Will the stimulus package be a pork fest?

by Bruce Webb
reader Buffpilot in comments insists the answer is clearly yes on the grounds

The Dems, have NEVER, shown fiscal responsibility when in charge of the purse strings (or at least since before LBJ). So you have zero track record to back you up on thinking that the Dems will suddenly cut back government expenditures and raise taxes to at least get close to balancing the budget. Can you imagine the Dems actually cutting the size of the Federal governemnt? Or reducing its power? Neither do I. BTW the Rs have not been any better.

Well the historical record tells us something different. If we examine Total Debt as a percentage of GDP it went down or stayed even under every post-war President not named Reagan or Bush. We were able to fund the post-war GI bill, the Marshall Plan, Korea, the Great Society, Vietnam, navigate the first Oil Shock all of it except for two years with a Democratically controlled house. And came through the whole thing with debt as a percentage of GDP bottoming out in 1980. I am afraid the old narrative of Democrats as the party of tax and spend policy leading to ever increasing deficts while Republicans being the party of fiscal responsibility has really not been the case since Eisenhower left office. Instead the whole concept of Small Government has since 1964 and the birth of the Modern Republican Party meant “don’t spend tax money on undeserving poor people”.