Politics

Michael Barone: "spending is not popular this year"

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Political analyst Michael Barone says that last Tuesday's elections are an indication that government spending, it is not so popular right now. Excerpt:

He knew when to fold

This month three members of Congress have been beaten in their bids for re-election—a Republican senator from Utah, a Democratic congressman from West Virginia and a Republican-turned-Democrat 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. […]

Their defeats are an indication that spending is not popular this year. So is the decision, shocking to many Democrats, of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey to retire after a career of 41 years. Obey maintains that the vigorous campaign of a young Republican in his district didn't prompt his decision. But his retirement is evidence that, suddenly this year, pork is not kosher. […]

The Democrat who won the Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District 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 among them have served 76 years in Congress (and whose fathers served another 42), is the canary that stopped singing in the coal mine.

More, including the observation that, unlike today, "past rebellions against fiscal policy have concentrated on taxes rather than spending," here.