Wednesday, March 4, 2009

As Obama Agenda Becomes Clear, Support Erodes

As the Obama administration rolls out massive new government spending bills by the week, support from those in the center of the political spectrum is quickly eroding. Already this week, numerous political commentators and newmakers are questioning the direction of the Obama administration.

David Brooks wrote for the New York Times this week that moderates are not pleased with many early actions of the new administration.
The U.S. has always been a decentralized nation, skeptical of top-down planning. Yet, the current administration concentrates enormous power in Washington, while plan after plan emanates from a small group of understaffed experts.

The U.S. has always had vibrant neighborhood associations. But in its very first budget, the Obama administration raises the cost of charitable giving. It punishes civic activism and expands state intervention.

The U.S. has traditionally had a relatively limited central government. But federal spending as a share of G.D.P. is zooming from its modern norm of 20 percent to an unacknowledged level somewhere far beyond.

Manu Raju observes for Politico that moderates in the Senate are already becoming disillusioned with the influx of spending coming from the President.
Moderate and conservative Democrats in the Senate are starting to choke over the massive spending and tax increases in President Barack Obama’s budget plans and
have begun plotting to increase their influence over the agenda of a president
who is turning out to be much more liberal than they are.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) announced he is breaking ranks with his party and voting against the $410 billion spending bill currently before Congress. He wrote for the Wall Street Journal urging his colleagues to do the same.
The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither. ...

But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. ... this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate. ...

Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.