It seems that our friends in the Democratic Party have a somewhat different view of what the 2012 elections will bring:
Biden: Dems will take the House
By Mike Lillis – 01/27/12 01:26 PM ET
CAMBRIDGE, Md. — House Democrats will win the House in November, swinging the gavel back into the hands of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Vice President Biden predicted Friday.
“Nancy, I think, is not going to be remembered just for being the first woman Speaker,” Biden said, “she’s going to remembered for being the second woman Speaker.”
Addressing House Democrats gathered on the Eastern Shore for their annual retreat, Biden said the combination of GOP obstructionism and a strengthening economy will propel the Democrats back into control of the lower chamber after just two years in the minority.
“It’s becoming absolutely clear the decisions that we made … are actually working,” Biden claimed, almost whispering because he said he’s battling a cold.
That’s a rather odd claim, given that the Democrats are running against “obstructionist” Republicans who won’t let the Democrats get anything done. Yes, the economy is picking up, slowly, but it has been doing so since the so-called stimulus plan projects ended and the second stimulus plan was not passed. Your editor is unsure how the Democrats can claim that their programs are working and concomitantly claim that the Republicans have prevented them from getting their programs passed.
Of course, in claiming that Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will become the Speaker of the House again, the Democrats are asking to return control to a party which, when in the majority, didn’t even try to do their jobs. The 111th Congress had huge majorities in both the House and Senate, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for part of the time, yet they not only didn’t pass a budget for FY2010 and 2011, but they never even tried! The government was funded not through the standard budget process, but a series of continuing resolutions and omnibus spending bills. The Democrats did not try to pass a budget for FY2010 for the simple reason that they couldn’t agree among themselves . . . and because the Democrats knew that the budget they would have passed, if they could have, would have provided Republicans even more ammunition in the 2010 elections. It didn’t work: the Democrats still lost control of the House of Representatives.
The Republicans have done a little bit better: at least the House passed a budget this year, but the Senate, still controlled by the Democrats, voted it down, and never passed a replacement budget. But total federal spending has gone through the roof, under both Republicans and Democrats:
The Democrats would complain that these are due to the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it doesn’t take much research to demonstrate that that is bogus. According to the anti-war site costofwar.com, the federal government spent a total of $1.38 trillion on both Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, which is less than the amount of inflation adjusted spending increase for just one year, FY2011. FY2011 spending on Iraq and Afghanistan was $169.4 billion, while the inflation-adjusted spending increase from FY2001, the last balanced budget, is $1.5 trillion. Interest on the national debt, which was certainly run up way, way, way too high under President Bush — although the increase in the national debt under just three years under President Obama has almost equaled the increase in eight years under President Bush — was $454,393,280,417.03 in FY2011. If we assign all of the cost of the wars in FY2011, and all of the interest costs in FY2011 to President Bush — something the Democrats would certainly like to do, even though the 2009 stimulus plan added nearly a trillion to the national debt all by itself — we have remaining federal spending almost $900 billion above inflation-adjusted FY2001 levels.
Or, put another way, if we zeroed out the costs of the wars and of interest on the national debt, and subtracted them from the final FY2011 budget deficit of $1,299 billion, the deficit would still have been $675.2 billion, higher than any of the deficits President Bush ran other than FY2009, when most of the budget was delayed by the Democrats and actually passed after Barack Obama became President.
Of course, while the wars will end, and disappear from the budget, we can’t just zero out the interest on the national debt, and at some point this summer, we will have added more to the national debt in 3½ years under President Obama than in all eight years under President Bush. We are continuing to spend at an unsustainable level, and if Vice President Biden gets his wish, that pattern will go on and on until we fall into the type of economic crisis that has beset Greece and Spain and Italy and Portugal.