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GOP stance  misses facts

To the editor:

Rep. Jim Parison’s perspective on right-sizing the government (Ledger-Transcript, April 4) is so full of mis-statements and made-up ‘facts,’ I wonder if he’s been watching Fox News.

He says my message is that government is too small. In fact, I wrote that “Democrats want to gradually decrease spending, and increase revenue, so that the two balance somewhere near 21 percent of GDP.”

Rep. Parison wrote about “the recent explosion of government from 18 percent to 24 percent of GDP.” To find a year when federal government spending was 18 percent or less, you have to go back to 1966. Not exactly a “recent” explosion.

Rep. Parison references the 1990s, when the economy boomed, welfare rolls were cut, and the federal budget was balanced. And wouldn’t you know, all the credit goes to House Republicans. Apparently, President Clinton and the Democratic Senate were bystanders.

If you look at the Bush years, when Republicans controlled the White House, the House (6 years), and the Senate (4 years), federal spending increased from 18.2 percent of gross domestic product to 25.2 percent.

Rep. Parison criticizes President Obama for a borrowing binge, but never mentions that President Bush left President Obama with a $1 trillion deficit, and a broken economy.

The right size for government is one that meets the needs of the people without breaking the backs of taxpayers. Over the past 40 years, federal spending has averaged about 21 percent of GDP.

Republicans have gone on record supporting a cut to 18 percent of GDP -- a cut of 14 percent. This would take us to a level of spending not seen since before Medicare, Medicaid, the EPA, Head Start, and student loans. If your idea of the right size of government is a government without a safety and without environmental protection, vote Republican in 2014.

Mark Fernald


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