At this point, if you’re a Democrat, you might as well throw up your hands, weep, and pray for a better 2012. The “spending spree” charge has stuck to you, and there’s simply nothing you’re going to be able to do about it between now and November.
Then there’s this:
Do you see alarming deficits or trends from 2003 through 2007 in the above chart? No. In fact, the trend through 2007 is shrinking deficits. What you see is a significant upward tick in 2008, and then an explosion in 2009. Now, what might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009? Democrats taking over both houses of Congress, and then the presidency, was what happened. Republicans wrote the budgets for the fiscal years through 2007. Congressional Democrats wrote the budgets for FY 2008 and on.
This is just an uncommonly idiotic partisan reading of the relevant data. “What might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009”? Oh, I don’t know, maybe the most severe economic crisis in a half-century? Congressional Democrats just decided to write budgets with Brobdingnagian deficits because they felt like it?
Listen: I think the Democratic Party is ripe for attacks over its utter lack of courage to do anything about entitlements and long-term debt. Yes, the healthcare law, as written, is paid for. But if it fails to rein in exploding healthcare costs, as I believe it will, then it will prove self-defeating on its own terms: that is, it will significantly expand access to care that grows ever-more expensive.
We’re still on the same disastrous course—a country living wildly beyond its means, consuming more than it produces—and the Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate has shown no stomach for imposing the fiscal drawdown that will one day arrive, one way or another.
But the idea that we started down this course in November 2006 ... it takes a crack-like partisan narcotic to convince oneself of that.