Posted by: Debby Durkee | May 24, 2010

Voters demand spending rollback

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Voters demand spending rollback.

Michael Barone says that the latest defeats of sitting senators and congressmen have been defeats of congressional appropriators. He says this isn’t really a revolt against taxes, but a revolt against spending, and Republicans need to capitalize on it with a bold plan to rollback spending. This is from National Review Online.

This month, three members of Congress have been beaten in their bids for reelection — a Republican senator from Utah, a Democratic congressman from West Virginia, and a Republican-turned-Democratic senator from Pennsylvania. Their records and their curricula vitae are different. But they all have one thing in common: They are members of an appropriations committee.

Like most appropriators, they have based much of their careers on bringing money to their states and districts. There is an old saying on Capitol Hill that there are three parties — Democrats, Republicans, and appropriators. One reason that it has been hard to hold down government spending is that appropriators of both parties have an institutional and political interest in spending.  Snip –

(House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey) decision to retire after a career of 41 years… is evidence that, suddenly this year, pork is not kosher.

It has long been a maxim of political scientists that American voters are ideologically conservative and operationally liberal. That is another way of saying that they tend to oppose government spending in the abstract but tend to favor spending on particular programs

In the 1970s, when inflation was pushing voters into higher tax brackets, tax revolts broke out in California and spread east. Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts were popular, but spending cuts did not follow

The rebellion against the fiscal policies of the Obama Democrats, in contrast, is concentrated on spending. The tea-party movement began with Rick Santelli’s rant in February 2009, long before the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts in January 2011.

What we are seeing is a spontaneous rush of previously inactive citizens into political activity, a movement symbolized but not limited to the tea-party movement, in response to the vast increases in federal spending that began with the TARP legislation in fall 2008 and accelerated with the Obama Democrats’ stimulus-package, budget, and health-care bills.  Snip –

Now the political scientists’ maxim seems out of date. The Democrat who won the Pennsylvania 12 special election opposed the Democrats’ health-care law and cap-and-trade bills. The tea-party-loving Republican who won the Senate nomination in Kentucky jumped out to a big lead. The defeat of the three appropriators, who between them have served 76 years in Congress… is the canary that stopped singing in the coal mine. Snip —

…House Republicans like Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Peter Roskam are setting up websites to solicit voters’ proposals for spending cuts, while Paul Ryan has set out a long-term road map toward fiscal probity. Worthy first steps. I think voters are demanding a specific plan to roll back Democrats’ spending. Republicans need to supply it.

Barone says the Conservatives in Britain’s recent election didn’t act boldly enough and set out specific cuts where their opponents did. Republicans need to get their head in the game so they won’t be sharing power as the Brits, who have found themselves behind the eight ball. Boldness is required. Skittishness to propose big things in an era where big things are required could result in a small rather than a big election. Read all of Barone here:

http://article.nationalreview.com/434768/the-gathering-revolt-against-government-spending/michael-barone?page=1

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Responses

  1. Boldness from our leaders is required and if we want the change we say we do then we must support it/them. If we don’t want to saddle our children and grandchildren with a boat load of our debt we need to be responsible consumers and quit using deficit spending. If we didn’t earn or the money to pay for it, we don’t deserve it. The only right we have is the opportunity to pursue it, not the right to have it!

  2. Amen, Ted. Time to put the brakes on. Time to suck it up and go without all of that government largesse. In the long run it will be the best thing that has ever happened to this country in the past 25 years or so.


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