The House has passed dramatic cuts in federal spending but this will probably backfire against Republicans supporting this measure once their constituents realize what government services which they have become accustomed to are being reduced or eliminated. House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, who is often on the conservative end of the Democratic spectrum, expressed these concerns about the spending cuts:
“They’re now driven by an arbitrary number picked out of the air because it sounded good,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer(D-Md.) said of campaign pledge, which is $100 billion lower than Obama’s proposed 2011 budget that was never enacted. Compared to 2010 levels, the spending cuts represent more than $61 billion in real savings, what would be the largest rescission of federal funds since the conclusion of World War II.
“A lot of them don’t know the ramifications in their own communities of what they’re doing,” Hoyer said in an interview.
Republicans who supported the cuts will soon learn that their constituents who voice support for spending cuts are strongly opposed to any cuts which might affect them. Republican objections to government spending, like most Republican views, are often divorced from reality. It’s the “keep government out of my Medicare” mentality of the right.
Concern for cutting the deficit has also motivated spending cuts, with Republicans remaining oblivious to where the deficit came from. The deficit exploded during the Reagan years and was brought under control under Bill Clinton. George Bush then squandered a surplus and increased the deficit to record levels as he fought two wars off the books and cut taxes primarily for the ultra-wealthy. Obama’s additions to the deficit, which were necessary to keep the country of of a depression, are trivial compared to what he inherited.
It will take hard decisions to bring the defict under control. This would not have been necessary if not for the reckless fiscal policies seen whenever Republicans have controlled the White House in recent years.