Deficit Hawks vs. Deficit Peacocks: Fiscal Conservatism vs. Liberal Rhetoric

Newt Gingrich

February 3, 2010

It’s not often that I quote the liberal Center for American Progress, but they’ve come up with a term for the Washington liberals posing as budget cutters that is perfect: Deficit peacocks.

As opposed to deficit hawks who are the real fiscal conservatives, deficit peacocks strut around pretending to cut spending through gimmicks like spending freezes that are “freezes” only in the sense that they “freeze” into place previous frenzied spending binges (check out this clever video to see the “freeze” in action).

By pretending to be budget cutters, deficit peacocks engage in an old liberal trick. They promise future spending cuts while approving massive current spending. Then, later, they demand tax increases to pay for all that spending.

Today, deficit peacocks are strutting all over Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Obama could all cut spending if they wanted to, they just don’t want to.

They’d rather pretend and try to fool the American people. They say, “Wait for the spending cuts.”
I say, “Watch your wallet America.”

By 2020, the National Debt Will Triple Since the Last Republican Budget

There is no small amount of irony in the record $3.8 trillion budget Washington Democrats are proposing for next year – including a record $1.6 trillion in deficit spending.

Americans fired Republicans in 2006 for their lack of fiscal discipline. Disgusted with congressional spending on bridges to nowhere and other pet projects, voters gave Democrats the majority in Congress.

And look what we got for it.

The last budget produced by congressional Republicans was in 2007. That year, the deficit was approximately $160 billion.

The next year, under the Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress, the deficit shot up to $458 billion. The next year, in 2009, it was a mind-boggling $1.4 trillion.

In this new budget, of course, the Obama Administration proposes to spend $1.6 trillion more than we have.

(click here to see a full slideshow from the House Republicans Budget Committee)

Since they took over Congress, Democrats have increased non-defense spending by a dizzying $1.4 trillion.

Under their budget, the national debt will almost triple by 2020.

Obama Wants to Cut 1.8% of Deficit. Reagan Requested Cutting Almost 20%

Americans understand that these aren’t just stunningly large numbers on a graph. We understand that government spending this grotesque – and the tax increases that inevitably accompany such spending – kills jobs. It is precisely what we don’t need right now.

Tomorrow in Irvine, Calif., American Solutions will host a jobs summit to meet with small business leaders to consider a very different plan, one that will feature job creation solutions that will put Americans back to work. For more information, go to

Meanwhile, don’t be fooled by the newfound rhetoric of fiscal conservatism coming from President Obama and Washington Democrats.

The President announced with much fanfare that he has identified about $23 billion in spending cuts for 2011. But even if all these cuts were enacted, they would amount to only 1.8 percent of the expected $1.3 trillion budget deficit for next year.

In stark contrast, when President Ronald Reagan came into office, he called for spending cuts that totaled almost 20 percent – or one-fifth – of the 1981 budget deficit.

But then again, Ronald Reagan was a deficit hawk. The Democrats in charge of Washington today seem content to be deficit peacocks.

We Kept Our Promise in the Contract to Balance the Budget

In his statement accompanying his budget, President Obama made this offer:

“In order to meet this challenge, I welcome any idea, from Democrats and Republicans … It’s time to hold Washington to the same standards families and businesses hold themselves. It’s time to save what we can, spend what we must, and live within our means once again.”

I accept the offer to meet this challenge. When I was Speaker, we kept our promise in the Contract With America to balance the budget. We balanced the budget for four consecutive years for the first time since the 1920s. And we did it while paying off $405 billion in federal debt, lowering taxes, and increasing defense, intelligence and scientific research funding.

It can be done, Mr. President. We don’t have to mortgage our children’s future to pay for our present.

The truth is our kids can’t afford anymore deficit peacocks. For concrete ideas on how to be a deficit hawk, go to .

Categories: America, Democrats, government, money, people, politics, taxes | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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