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Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 15, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The author tells a compelling story about the federal budget process. Like any good story, it has villians and heroes. Who wears the black hats and who wears the white ones will surprise you.
The history of the budget process, how it's written, approved and implemented is well researched by the author and presented in an entertaining and informative style. For a non-fiction offering, Buck Wild is more paced than most books of this genre. It's a page turner that keeps you wondering what the next chapter will offer up.
Today's hot items of term limits, the war on terror,taxes and the deficit are all discussed in the book. How the current Republican leadership has chosen to govern in light of these factors is the book's real meat. Once the GOP gained control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue they changed. Mr. Slivinski offers some intriguing reasons.
The author closes with a brilliant historical analysis of the spending habits of two types of government, united government, our current form, and divided (gridlock).
I have been a proud Republican for thirty years and will continue to be.However when I enter the voting booth this November I will be approaching the who and why of my vote from a different viewpoint thanks to Mr. Slivinski.
Buck Wild is a must read,if you pride yourself in being an informed voter.
by Larry Mann
Stephen Slivinski's new book, Buck Wild: How the Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, describes this transformation. The book begins with President Reagan's bruising battle to pass the 1981 budget, which included substantial cuts in both taxes and spending. This was one of the most important victories of the Reagan presidency, as Reagan was never again able to enact substantial cuts in expenditures. Still, Reagan was at least fairly successful in limiting the growth of government. In fact, non-defense discretionary spending actually declined relative to inflation during the 1980s.
Unfortunately, Reagan's legacy has been lost on his successors. President Bush's tax hike in 1990 betrayed many fiscal conservatives. Furthermore, after Republicans won control of both the House and Senate in 1994, they seemed poised actually to reduce the size of government. In fact, in 1995 Congress passed a budget that cut non-defense domestic spending for the first time since 1981.Read more ›
Starting his analysis in 1994 with the Republican Revolution, Slivinksi argues that the Republican Party stuck to its Contract With America pledge to scale back a federal government "that is too big, too intrusive and too easy with the public's money," but only for a short period. From 1995 through 1997, the Party was able to limit discretionary spending, move towards a balanced budget and pass welfare and farm subsidy reform under intense opposition. Beginning in approximately 1998 when a strong economy produced a surge in federal revenues, the Party started to abandon its limited government roots in favor of expanded spending, targeted tax breaks and increased government pork. This transformation reached its apex under the GWB administration, which has presided over the largest expansion in federal spending since LBJ (in total) and Nixon (after excluding defense and homeland security expenditures). This leads Slivinksi to conclude that the Republicans have become the party of big government.
Many who disagree with Slivinski's and others' criticisms of the Republican spending spree, like to argue that federal spending increases should be evaluated as a percentage of GDP, rather than in absolute terms. While I disagree, the record from 1995 through 2006 lends little support for this argument. In 1995, when the Republicans took control of Congress, federal spending was 20.7% of GDP.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Buck Wild documents the corruption of our two-party political system.
Share it with your friends and read the book by Joe Scargorough provides the inside details.
Affirming or negating the simple proposition, "there's little conservative about George W. Bush," is an excellent indicator of political preference in America. Read morePublished on January 29, 2008 by Bernard Chapin
For proponets of limited government this is a must read. I've often thought that if I really knew how to follow the money, I'd get closer to the truth of our government. Read morePublished on April 20, 2007 by Andy Johnson
Don'e blame me, I voted *** Libertarian ***. This book does a fine job of showing how the "two party" system has become one big party at your expense! Read morePublished on October 23, 2006 by R. Paul
While this book is an excellent contribution to the increasingly heated public discussion over what GOP rule in Washington has meant for the country's fiscal affairs, I believe... Read morePublished on September 26, 2006 by T. DeHaven