On Nov. 2, 2010, the Republican Party recaptured the majority in the House. In the Senate, Republicans now possess numbers sufficient to sustain a filibuster and stop objectionable legislation from getting to the floor.
Obamalism has now been arrested. Voters rose to say no to the two-year gusher of spending and the staggering increases in the annual deficit and the national debt. Under Obama and the Democratic congressional majority, the national debt, as a percentage of GDP, jumped from 69 percent to a projected 94 percent. Voters said, "Enough!"
"Governing isn't as easy as you think," said retiring Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash. "Many of you have taken pledges that are contradictory. … You must be honest about the numbers, since our annual deficit now exceeds all discretionary spending combined. If you set as your goal to roll back the size of government, you have an obligation to answer the tough questions and show real courage, not just appeal to ideology. Treat the voters like adults."
Politicians take contradictory pledges because voters send contradictory signals. Voters oppose tax hikes, even on the so-called rich. They agree that government is too large and understand that the three major drivers of domestic spending -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- grow on automatic pilot and saddle future generations with trillions of dollars in unfunded liability.
But voters, especially older ones, still want to spare this or that program or entitlement from the scalpel. Voters dislike ObamaCare. But a majority finds it perfectly acceptable to mandate that insurance companies take on those with pre-existing illnesses. This, of course, stands the concept of "insurance" on its head by forcing companies to assume knownrisks rather than just unknown ones.