Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Don't Hold Your Breath for the Spending Cuts

Republicans last night made it clear that there will be no spending cuts to write home about. Various GOP members of Congress said they would like an across-the-board cut in "discretionary spending." This is spending that is explicitly authorized each year, as opposed to so-called mandatory (entitlement) spending that is on automatic pilot and whose level depends on how many people become eligible for Social Security, Medicare, and food stamps.

Discretionary spending constitutes just one-third of the federal budget, so the Republican sights are fixed on only that much spending ... except that the party vows not to touch military and "homeland security" spending.

With so much spending off limits, the potential for cuts is not great.

Therefore I ask: Except for those expecting new patronage and consulting jobs, why is anyone excited about last night's election results?

1 comment:

Eric Hanneken said...

I guess it's because for most people, politics isn't about policy. Rather, it's about increasing the status of their in-groups, and demoting the status of out-groups.

For those of us who do care about policy, maybe divided government will slow down the transformation of bad ideas into laws. Maybe. I wouldn't describe myself as "excited," though.