Issue No. 1
It’s pretty clear that the big issue this election was spending. Not high taxes, or the lowering of taxes. Not war. Not illegal immigration. Not regulation. Not abortion. Above all these issues has emerged one supreme: high spending, over-spending.
According to increasing numbers of Americans, it’s the level of spending by government that must decrease. We must balance budgets. Soon.
One could play sloganeer and say “It’s the spending, stupid”; or, twist that, to say “It’s the stupid spending.” But however you formulate the problem, what the new Republican House must do is find a way to cut spending.
And, as I argued last week, it’s the House that has the constitutional duty to decide money matters.
But talk by the Republican hierarchy, about returning to 2008 levels of spending, will hardly cut it.
Indeed, that idea, of just returning to 2008 spending levels, seems to be a subconscious repudiation of the best thing that Republicans said on Tuesday, that “we’ve been given a second chance.” But to go back to 2008 levels merely takes government back to “before Obama,” and reflects an attempt to let themselves off the hook for the Bush-era spending extravaganza.
There are reasons why I put so little hope in politicians as such, and more in the direct actions of citizens. Even the best politicians tend to lack real convictions.
If the GOP offers any hope, it depends entirely on continued pressure applied to them by the people.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.