Mitch "the Knife" Daniels is out of the GOP run for the presidency. So is Paul "Young Gun" Ryan and Jeb "Smarter Brother" Bush. Which is all interesting and fun to follow if you care about that kind of thing.
The real question, especially considering the sad shape the U.S. government's finances are in, is what brave national politician of either party is going to get behind the idea that the feds can't simply keep spending like the Rapture is coming before the bill collectors. The debt ceiling is about to be breached again and something is going to have to give at some point.
According to the recent Reason Foundation-Rupe Poll, fully 74 percent of Americans support a spending cap. The idea has strong majority support among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents:
You can trust at least two of the GOP presidential hopefuls— former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-N.M.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to push for defined spending. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is pushing a spending cap equal to 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (roughly in line with average historical revenue), while other senators (including both Dems and GOPpers) are pushing for a cap that would settle around 20.6 percent of GDP, almost three points higher than the historical revenue average). That latter limit only looks good in a world where government expenditures equal 25 percent of GDP; indeed, it would probably lock in persistent deficits for the long haul.
But a spending cap—especially one that is pegged to actual average annual revenue brought in by the government wouldn't just be good from a fiscal point of view, it would be good from a political point of view. Or so says three-quarters of the American public. So would some pols now please go chase those votes?