corporatists masquerading as conservatives

Jonathan Chait in TNR points out that conservatives' rhetoric and the GOP policies (with control of Executive and Legislative branches of government) are worlds apart:

What [Republicans] hated about the Medicare bill was the part about helping senior citizens buy medicine. When the government gives money to sick people, you see, that's incipient socialism. When it gives money to drug companies, doctors, and employers, that's the free market in action.

All this is in keeping with the recent pattern of Republican governance. Last year, the Associated Press conducted a remarkable study showing how federal spending patterns had changed since the GOP took over Congress in 1995. Republicans did not shrink federal spending, it found, they merely transferred it, from poorer Democratic districts to wealthier Republican ones. This, the A.P. reported, "translates into more business loans and farm subsidies, and fewer public housing grants and food stamps." In 1995, Democratic districts received an average of $35 million more in federal largesse than Republican districts, which seems roughly fair given that Democratic districts have more people in need of government aid. By 2001, the gap had not only reversed, it had increased nearly twentyfold, with GOP districts receiving an average of $612 million more than Democratic ones. Justifying this shift, then- Majority Leader Dick Armey said, "To the victor goes the spoils." It would be a worthy slogan for Bush's reelection campaign.

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