http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46325.html GOP budget hawks chicken out early By: Joe Scarborough December 14, 2010 04:40 AM EST Well, that didn't take long. Less than a month after handing the president a shellacking, Republicans who ran against Obama's fiscal recklessness added another trillion dollars to America's debt. Even before being sworn in to start the 112th Congress, the GOP has become a co-conspirator in what Charles Krauthammer is calling the "swindle of the year"âa scheme that will "pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years." It seems that the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist is one of the few conservatives left in Washington to give a damn about America's deficit crisis. He is certainly the only columnist who understands what we have been saying on "Morning Joe" for a week: that Barack Obama is about to pass another reckless stimulus bill. But this time, the same GOP leaders who once vilified the president as a socialist will be his closest allies. Krauthammer dismisses Obama's "newest free lunch" as little more than a second stimulus package that will "blow another $1 trillion hole in the budget." One GOP senator who voted against Obama's second stimulus plan said the vote was an easy one to take. "The debt can't just be something we talk about in our campaigns," Nevada's John Ensign told me after casting his no vote Monday night. "These deficits will destroy us. I just couldn't vote for new spending and new tax giveaways without a single offset." Oklahoma's Tom Coburn, Alabama's Jeff Sessions, South Carolina's Jim DeMint and Ohio's George Voinovich joined Ensign in voting against the budget busting stimulus plan. Aside from Krauthammer and the small group of deficit hawks, the rest of the Republican Party is marching in lockstep behind a stimulus plan that puts America deeper in debt than the stimulus scheme devised by Nancy Pelosi in 2009. All the president had to do to gain their support was wave tax cuts in front of Republican leaders and, like Pavlov's dogs, they began to drool. Once the salivating stops, America will be $1 trillion deeper in debt to China and our growing list of creditors. By now no one should be surprised by the Republican Party's dementia when dealing with the debt. After all, this is the same party who campaigned forever on fiscal restraint before turning a a $155 billion surplus and turned it into a $1 trillion dollar deficit. Like Senator Tom Coburn and a few conservative holdovers from the 1990s, I issued early warnings every step of the way. What is so disturbing six years later is how little things have changed in that time. This is what I wrote in 2004 in my book "Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day": "If you want tax cuts, you get them. Want to increase defense spending to over $400 billion? Sure. How about an $8 trillion Medicare drug bill? We know it will bankrupt the system but we need those seniors voting for us. And why not keep conservatives happy by passing another tax cut? Maybe then they will forget their president teamed up with Ted Kennedy to pass the biggest education bureaucracy bill ever." Two years later in September 2006, I penned a piece for The Washington Post that is appropriate for President Obama today. "Our president was wrong to believe that the United States could fight a war, cut taxes and increase federal spending, all at once." In October 2006, I noted in Washington Monthly that Bush Republicans allowed the federal government to explode at record rates, with spending for the education bureaucracy up 101% under Bush, the Justice Department up 131%, Commerce up 82%, HHS up 81%, State up 80%, the Department of transportation up 65%, and the four agencies targeted for elimination by my 1994 class averaging 85% increases in Bush's first term. While I was reporting on the Bush Republicans' outrageous spending habits, Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats were promising to put America's financial house in order. "Democrats are talking about no deficits â we're talking about fiscal responsibility," Pelosi said on the campaign trail in 2006. She bluntly declared that Democrats would "put an end to deficit spending." Of course we know how that story ended. For four years, Nancy Pelosi presided over the most fiscally reckless Congress in U.S. history. Like Republicans, Pelosi's Democrats also refused to heed warnings from the few remaining fiscal conservatives in Washington. Tax cuts, two wars, massive Pentagon budgets, budget busting bailouts, bloated agency increases, and unchecked entitlement growth were the norm under Speaker Pelosi's reign - whether Bush or Obama were sitting in the Oval Office. Following Barack Obama's victory in 2008, I wrote "The Last Best Hope," blasting the new president for continuing Bush's radical Keynesian approach to economic policy. "Mr. Obama chose to respond to a crisis brought on by too much spending and too much debt with even more spending and even more debt. Few in the national press noted the absurdity of the president trying to get out of debt by racking up historic deficits." Few still do. Instead of deciding this week to borrow another trillion dollars from China, Obama's new GOP friends could have offset Obama's second stimulus plan with longterm budget cuts. That would have sent a message to markets around the world that like Germany and Britain, the United States is ready to get its financial house in order. Paying for Stimulus II would have also sent a message to voters that Republicans finally mean what they say. But for now, neither Republicans nor Democrats seem particularly interested in saving this country from economic collapse. I wish both parties the best of luck in the 2012 elections. Judging from last week's pathetic performance, they will both need it.