Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day: The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America

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Here's the Real Deal! The same Washington politicians who took control of Congress by promising to balance the federal budget are now bankrupting America by launching the biggest spending spree in the history of the United States.

With big-spending Democrats at their side, President George Bush and his "conservative" Republican Congress have controlled the government's checkbook while the national debt has skyrocketed past seven trillion dollars. That's right, ...

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Overview

Here's the Real Deal! The same Washington politicians who took control of Congress by promising to balance the federal budget are now bankrupting America by launching the biggest spending spree in the history of the United States.

With big-spending Democrats at their side, President George Bush and his "conservative" Republican Congress have controlled the government's checkbook while the national debt has skyrocketed past seven trillion dollars. That's right, $7,000,000,000,000. How has the party of Reagan become the party of big- government spending?

Now former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough delivers a scathing indictment of Republicans and Democrats alike in the same informed, hard-hitting, and entertaining style fans of Scarborough Country have come to admire. Having had a ringside seat during his four terms in the House of Representatives, Scarborough gives the inside scoop on how Washington really works and on the spending orgy the Republicans have fueled the last ten years.

The story begins with Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and the Republicans promising to balance the budget and reform Washington. It culminates with a Republican president continually rubber-stamping pork-filled appropriations bills that squander taxpayer dollars. That is, unless you think it's necessary to spend millions of dollars on research into "alternative salmon products" in Alaska, or the study of crickets in Utah, or of sea turtles in Hawaii. Sadly, these instances merely hint at the gross spending by Congress.

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Editorial Reviews

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Former Florida congressman Joe Scarborough doesn't mince words about the politicians who are bankrupting America. In this hard-hitting book, the host of Scarborough Country, MSNBC's top-rated show, castigates both Democrats and Republicans for their fiscal duplicity and weak moral fiber. In fact, fellow Republican and self-proclaimed conservative George W. Bush is on the receiving end of this book's most searing accusations. Scarborough notes that Democrat Bill Clinton grew the government by 3.4 percent during his eight-year presidency; Bush has expanded government spending by a staggering 10.5 percent. The author doesn't spare his congressional colleagues either, nicknaming them "our perpetual imperial congress" for fiddling while our tax dollars burn. Strong words for hard times.
Publishers Weekly
Elected to Congress in 1994 as a Contract with America revolutionary, Scarborough spent six years representing the Florida panhandle, and currently hosts the MSNBC political talk show Scarborough Country. His book is part memoir, part political treatise that purports to explain how various "Washington barbarians" are bankrupting America. Full of partisan and reformer zeal, the freshman class of 1994 set out on its crusade to reform Congress and reduce government spending. However, the crusaders met their Saladin in President Clinton and his skillful use of the veto pen. The House freshmen were further disillusioned when their leadership opted for compromise rather than continued confrontation following the government shutdown in 1995. Scarborough bitterly compares the Republican leadership to the pigs in George Orwell's Animal Farm-indistinguishable from the corrupt Democratic bosses they had ousted. His account of the Republican Congress is well told from the perspective of the House freshmen, but Scarborough never asks the hard questions about why the Gingrich Republicans became so unpopular with voters. Similarly, the book's promise to reveal the "real deal" about why government spending continues to rise, is nothing more than the revelation that interest groups, lobbyists and politicians collude on government spending because it is in their mutual self-interest. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Republicans and Democrats are both burning our tax dollars, argues this former Republican Congressman, now host of MSNBC's Scarborough Country. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060749842
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/7/2004
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough can be seen nightly as the host of Scarborough Country on MSNBC. He served as a member of Congress from 1994 to 2001 and currently resides in Pensacola, Florida,with his wife and three children.

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Read an Excerpt

Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day

The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America
By Joe Scarborough

HarperCollins

ISBN: 0-06-074984-9


Chapter One

The Raw Deal

Telling Americans the uncomfortable truth about their government has angered Democratic presidents, Republican Speakers, and party bosses of all stripes for as long as I can recall. But this truth-telling approach I've adopted was responsible for getting an unknown thirty-one-year-old elected to Congress in a Florida district that had not sent a Republican to the House of Representatives in more than a hundred years. And it was that same straight-talking style that got me re-elected in landslide elections three times. But my methods did little to endear me to party bosses or committee chairmen who preferred to pepper news outlets with press releases to keep the natives happy while operating quietly behind closed doors constantly consolidating power. As was the case in Congress, I still believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant to cure the ills of Washington. So political hacks of the world beware. It's time for Americans to tear down the gates of the Imperial Congress and let some sunlight illuminate the grim realities of congressional business. As I say on my cable news show, it's time for the "Real Deal."

My fellow Republicans, Congress, the president, and national party bosses have conspired with Democratic politicians, lawyers, and bureaucrats to indulge in the most reckless federal spending spree in U.S. history. How reckless, you ask? Well, in just three years since George W. Bush was elected president, your Republican-run Congress took a $155 billion surplus and turned it into a staggering $455 billion deficit. These self-described conservatives did it in part by passing a staggering array of pork-barrel bills, billion-dollar farm subsidies, and trillion-dollar entitlement programs that America cannot afford.

At the same time, Republican congressmen voted into power in 1994 under the platform of cutting wasteful Washington spending have worked with liberal Democrats to strap you and your unsuspecting fellow Americans over the course of the last decade with the largest annual budget deficit and federal debt in the history of the United States. Most get reelected with ease by telling the folks back home that they still support smaller government and balanced budgets. But when they return to Congress, these politicians meekly fall in line. That is why the U.S. National Debt Clock in New York City blinked wildly out of control as it streaked somewhere north of $7 trillion.

Seven Trillion Dollars! Dear God.

Jesus, Drugs, and Debt

$7,000,000,000,000+ is an impossible numerical concept for most Americans to grasp. Since I spent my undergraduate years at the University of Alabama, I adopted former football coach Bear Bryant's skeptical view of numbers. "It's kinda hard to rally a campus around some math class," the Bear opined. I agreed and avoided math like the plague in college, relying instead on the goodness and pity of others when it came time to comprehend basic mathematical concepts. Fortunately, back when I was in Congress, Michigan representative Nick Smith was kind enough to draw diagrams in crayons to help me understand just how hard it would be to pay off America's multitrillion-dollar debt.

Nick told me back then, as I tucked my abacus safely into my office drawer, that if I had earned $1 million every single day from the moment Jesus Christ was born until the year 2000, I would still not have earned enough money to pay off America's debt. And that ominous calculation was drawn up four years before Congress went on one of the wildest spending sprees in U.S. history.

Even with the federal deficit and national debt spiraling out of control in recent years, Democrats and Republicans both began pushing for the passage of a national drug benefit for America's ever-expanding senior population. Politicians on both sides of the aisle spent most of the Medicare drug debate acting like burnt-out '70s rock stars. Armed with an endless supply of your cash, these public prima donnas continued paying for their drug fix even after the accountants and lawyers gave them the grim news that their budget surplus had disappeared into a sea of red ink. But in Washington, the band always plays on. There are no Willie Nelsons, no Mick Fleetwoods, no MC Hammers, no repossessed hot tubs. That's because when Washington politicians run out of money, they just print more! Do I hear someone shouting, "Can't touch this"?

Voting for what America's comptroller general David Walker called an $8 billion boondoggle was indefensible for Nick Smith. As the Medicare drug package approached the House floor, Smith says party leaders came to him with an offer too good to refuse: Support our drug deal and we will funnel $100,000 into your son's congressional campaign. But Smith just said no to drugs, voted against adding $8 billion to America's debt, and caused an ethics investigation to be launched into the alleged bribe.

Even mathematically challenged stooges like myself are able to figure out that Washington politicians are mortgaging our economic future and forcing this generation and the next to ultimately pay a painful financial price.

Forget for a minute the economic apocalypse our country will endure when baby boomers push Social Security, Medicare, and retirement programs to the brink of bankruptcy. Instead, focus on what your congressman and senator are costing you and your family today.

Most Americans work half the year paying off taxes, fees, and regulations thrust on them by big-spending politicians at all levels of government. But these days your congressman's culpability is not limited to tax day. You now pay for their carelessness every time you pay your monthly credit card bill, student loan, car lease, or home mortgage. Just as economists have been predicting for years, Washington's runaway deficits are now causing interest rates to move back up. As investment guru Steven Rattner recently told the New York Times, "The question is not whether interest rates will continue to go up. But rather how far and how fast."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day by Joe Scarborough Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 The Real Deal 13
Chapter 2 Barbarians at the Gate 33
Chapter 3 Battling the Imperial Congress 51
Chapter 4 Capitol Offense 77
Chapter 5 Not a Dime's Worth of Difference 91
Chapter 6 Becoming the Imperial Congress 105
Chapter 7 The Easter Rising 121
Chapter 8 Fat White Pink Boys 137
Chapter 9 Why Washington Always Wins 149
Chapter 10 How to Fix It 171
Epilogue 183
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2005

    Less Government can be a GOOD thing!

    This book takes a good, hard, look at how the Republican party of today differs from the Republican party of the 1980s Ronald Reagan Era. Although there has been an expensive War on Terror the past couple of years--due in large part to the 1990s Clinton era gutting of the U.S. military--other big, costly, government programs seem to be all the rage under the current President Bush and many of today's Republican leaders. What is ironic is that the Republican party--long known for less government intervention in individual's lives--today spends more money with Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and White House than it spent during the 1990s Clinton Big Government years. It is rather sad, but obvious, that the young Republican mavericks who were elected during the 1994 Newt Gingrich Contract With America (also patterned very much after President Reagan's ideals) never really received the credit that they were due for showing fiscal responsibility. Although, as author Scarborough points out, many of the young 1994 Republicans have since voluntarily left Washington D.C. due to their own self-imposed term limits, many members of the Freshman Republican Class of 1994 had more to do with balancing the budget during the 1990s than Clinton or the old-time Dems and Republicans who have served in Washington for decades and are still there today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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