02/24/11 Budget Backpedal

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Last November, Independents, disaffected Democrats and Republican voters elected 87 freshmen House Republicans.  The common theme was to end out-of-control spending.  We’ve racked up more about $4 trillion of debt since Obama took office. 

Congressional Republicans under President Bush were lousy, too.  Bush could never find his veto pen when Republican leaders were piling on the debt.

The GOP has now promised to rein in federal spending.  Their “Pledge to America” spelled it out in black and white, promising to cut “at least $100 billion in the first year alone.”  But they’ve been back-pedaling ever since.

First they offered $74 billion in cuts from the President’s 2011 budget.  Except that budget was never passed before Democrats left office.

Last week, the House passed a spending bill that had only $61 billion in cuts.  The GOP excuse is that the figure is pro-rated for the year.   But their pledge was crystal clear: “at least $100 billion.”

The public has no stomach for wild spending in Washington.  On top of that, 47% of Americans have zero federal tax liability.    One-half of the country gets a free ride at the expense of the rest of us.  And the public debt grows. 

Newly elected conservatives want to return to fiscal sanity.  Republicans leaders seem content with the status quo.

Unless they get with the program, establishment Republicans may find themselves out of power come 2012.