Matt Welch on Washington's Phantom Austerity


Here's just how stubborn the growth of government is: Even after a Democratic president wins office by campaigning until Election Eve on a "net spending cut," even after he gives his first proposed budget the humblebragging title of "A New Era of Responsibility," even after both Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke describe the country's long-term budget outlook as "unsustainable," even after a populist, anti-government backlash sweeps the land for a year and a half, culminating in the Republican re-taking of the House of Representatives and the rise of a new type of limited-government politician embodied by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky); even after those forces collide in a series of high-profile debt-ceiling showdowns…after all this stomach-churning sturm und drang over the size and scope of government, the federal bureaucracy still has yet to be cut. And no matter what anyone tells you, writes Editor in Chief Matt Welch, it won't be cut any time soon.