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Sunday, January 01, 2012

For This We Could Have Voted Democrat

It wasn't that long ago ...

Voters rebuke Obama. Republicans win big. What's next?

What was next?

Sadly, more of what we had before Obama was rebuked and the Republicans won big:
The Spenders Won 2011
Wall Street Journal

Amid this month's payroll tax fracas, few noticed that Congress passed a 1,200-page, $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2012. Maybe no one in Washington boasted because it's a victory for spending as usual. Republicans—in the House and Senate—need a better strategy.

The news is that after accounting for last-minute unemployment insurance extensions, "emergency" spending and higher Medicare physician payments, total federal outlays are estimated to be $3.65 trillion in fiscal 2012, up slightly from $3.6 trillion in 2011. The last year has seen no major reforms in any of the big entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Spending on food stamps alone is scheduled to reach $80 billion in 2012, more than double the amount as recently as 2007.

Republicans had promised to roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels, to save $100 billion. But the August debt deal lowered the savings to $7 billion—or a 2012 target for appropriations of $1.043 trillion. Even that target was missed because appropriators tacked on roughly $10 billion in disaster relief—hurricanes this summer—and so the new total is $1.054 trillion. That's $4 billion more than the 2011 baseline of $1.050 trillion, although savings from troop withdrawals in Iraq may reduce that.

What about killing programs? Well, only 28 programs out of the thousands of line-items contained in the omnibus budget were terminated. [link]
It's fair to say that the United States of America was heading into 2011 with the very real prospect of bad times worsening if fundamental change didn't occur in the way Washington does business.  Nothing changed.  Those bad times worsened.  And will worsen even more in 2012.

Will Republicans win big again this year?

Will it matter?