Originally Posted By: Smike
truth be told at least on the current financial well being you need to look across the board at the Democrats for approving all the spending (as they have been in control of the congress for quite some time.) So your punishment needs to be a little broader then the just GOP.

The years of approval of military spending without any real conditions is what I think amounts to my largest grip I have against the Democrats.

Good points. But since the Democrats have taken over, they've at least tried to adhere to pay-as-you-go rules. When such attempts have been thwarted, such as with the Alternative Minimum Tax patch, it's been at the level of 41+ dissenting votes from Republicans in the Senate (plus the threat of a presidential veto). That's not to say that Democrats will not return to profligate ways if they get larger majorities and an Obama presidency, but unpaid-for tax cuts with increased spending over the prior six years under Republican control doesn't say much for their fiscal responsibility either, and at least the past two years have been an improvement. I wish I could promise that it would continue. We are living beyond our means as a nation, and that trend is not sustainable. (To which I would add: and we in the public need to be asked what we're willing to do about it if we're going to take it seriously.)

As for the military spending, I assume the "conditions" refer to the ongoing mission in Iraq. Again it's a result I disagree with but can understand. The House repeatedly passed military spending bills with conditions. They were, again, blocked in the Senate (I think the votes were pretty close to 50-50, but in any case couldn't clear the 60-vote cloture threshold). And there was the threatened veto to contend with. If they couldn't get something passed with conditions, the only other option was to withhold funds entirely. House Democrats in swing districts saw this as political suicide (next election attack ad: "Congressman So-And-So won't provide the funding to support our brave soldiers!"), so House leadership made a tactical choice to preserve their majority. So even if a majority in the public wanted some kind of restrictions, it was politically tough to hold the line on this one.

Such is life on Capitol Hill. Sometimes you're in the minority. And sometimes you're in the majority but still can't get something passed.