From Andrew Sullivan:

Washington now spends a record $22,000 a year per household. Defense and 9/11-related spending accounted for less than half the growth in spending between 2001 and 2003. Overall federal spending is accelerating in Bush’s second term, not declining as he promised. Entitlement spending is set to explode in the next decade or so – requiring massive spending cuts, huge tax hikes, or real entitlement reform. Bush has made the entitlement problem far worse rather than better in his first five years. Under the post-1994 Republican Congress, pork barrel spending has gone from around $10 billion to $25 billion today. The number of “earmarks” under today’s Republicans has gone from 1,439 in 1995 to 13,999 this year so far. The feds cannot account for $24.5 billion spent in 2003. This is what big government conservatism does for you.

And more from one of Sullivan’s readers:

As you have pointed out they have lost the fiscal high ground. They have governed ineffectively. Democrats, OTOH, balanced the budget and cut welfare. They are looking pretty good right about now, aren’t they?
I grew up with, was marinated in, and for some reason continue to live deeply among, the ‘Southern conservative base’. I’ve been to the conservative churches, parties, PTA meetings, gatherings, etc. They will ABSOLUTELY sit on their hands in ’06 and ’08. I think that aspect of this has been way under-explored. If Harry turns out to be a centrist or left-of-center, Republicans are dead meat.
REMEMBER: we only need about 4% of conservatives to sit out, much less vote Democratic, to totally screw up the party. And I think it’ll be more like 20% here in the South. Over the Supreme Court alone.
This is a ticking time bomb, and anyone, including Bush, including Miss Laura, that thinks otherwise, is living in a dream world.

Indeed. Fiscal conservatives are hot about Bush’s lack of restraint. I can’t help but think they’ll vote with their silence come Fall 2006.

Any traditional conservatives out there who are playing to either vote Democrat or not vote at all?

Business Federal Spending Keeps Going Up Under Bush