Free-Spending Republican John Hoeven Picked To Help Shape National GOP Platform
I’m not sure how much party platforms even matter these days. At least in the Republican party, it doesn’t seem like a lot of attention is paid to what is supposed to be the party’s guiding platform when it comes to actually making policy.
But for what it’s worth, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has picked freshman Senator John Hoeven for a key position in developing the party’s platform for the national convention later this summer.
“He asked me if I’d do it and I said I will,” Hoeven told The Hill.
On the face of it, Hoeven may seem like an inspired pick. Hoeven is less than two years into his first term, and won his way into the Senate by a wide margin. Thus he has some insurance against what is sometimes a very stormy political process. Plus, Hoeven comes from a state that is central to a lot of Republican talking points.
Thanks to the oil boom, the state not only skipped the national recession but actually managed to thrive during it. Coming out of Hoeven’s term as governor here, the state was boasting large budget surpluses.
But if you peel back some of that superficial facade, you realize that Hoeven represents a lot of what’s wrong with today’s Republicans. While North Dakota boasted surpluses over Hoeven, that was because of prudent fiscal management. Under Hoeven growth in state spending exploded at a rate faster than the federal governemnt’s:
North Dakota can also brag a strong economy, but Governor-turned-Senator Hoeven’s approach to economic policy is remarkably similar to President Obama’s, consisting mostly of government spending on economic development schemes. It would be entirely accurate to say that Hoeven, like Obama, believes that the government drives economic success.
Which is why Hoeven has long opposed broad tax reforms, such as the income tax cuts he joined with unions to defeat on the 2008 ballot.
To the extent that North Dakota’s economy thrived under Hoeven, the causes were circumstantial. The aforementioned energy boom, combined with some very good years in agriculture, made up for a lot of bad policy.
To think of Hoeven being central to shaping the national GOP’s guiding set of ideas going into this election year should be disappointing news to conservatives.Tags: Asshats, gop, John Hoeven, mitch mcconnell