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October 26, 2005 3:00 AM

Federal spending splits GOP, threatens political base

The countrys governing party has spent itself into a political mess. Since Republicans took control of the government five years ago spending has soared driven by mounting costs for the Iraq war, homeland security, rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, and a pricey new prescription-drug benefit under Medicare, the biggest expansion of an entitlement program since the 1960s. Its all ballooning the cost and size of the federal government. At the same time, federal revenues have failed to keep up with the runaway costs, saddling the country with steep deficits and rising debt, alarming fiscal conservatives and Wall Street, and making America dangerously dependent upon loans from abroad, especially from Japan and China.

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