Get Ready To Be Disappointed By The 112th Congress
One day before the new Congress is sworn in, the guys at Reason.tv remind us that, if history is any guide, it’s time to be ready to be disappointed:
Is it too soon to declare the new Congress a failure?
Ever since their midterm election triumph, Republicans have talked tough about cutting spending. Here’s hoping they make good on those promises, but they spouted the same tough talk after their 1994 election triumph and look what happened.
Back then the GOP revolutionaries targeted more than 200 programs for complete and utter elimination. They scored some minor victories (adios helium fund!), but a decade into their “revolution” (and after they gained a Republican president) inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs slated for elimination actually increased by 27 percent. And since then total federal spending has continued to soar, so why should we take Republicans seriously this time?
I’m prepared to be surprised by the incoming Congress. They may actually come up with a plan to reduce federal spending. They might start eliminating unnecessary and wasteful government program. Heck, they could even sit down with the Democrats and the President and hammer out a long-term plan to bring spending and the deficit under control.
Past experience, however, tells me that none of this is likely to happen and that we’re in for two more years of partisan hackery.