I for the life of me don't know how you got on this topic, but I do know it has garnered a lot of attention. And I am so pleased that cutting government spending is now front and center in the national debate. I think we all know who to thank for that. I hope to see more of them elected in 2012.
Just think how easy things would have been if the Dims would have done their job and passed a budget when they had complete control. LIKE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO!!!
X-ray, I agree with you that the Democrats should have passed a budget when they were in control of both houses of Congress. They could have done so after the election, but, if you recall, it was an extraordinarily busy lame duck session (the Bush tax cuts were extended to avert a government shutdown) and the Republicans were filibustering almost everything. Still, they (the Dems) should have tried and it was irresponsible of them not to.
Having said that, the current GOP has been the most irresponsible opposition of my lifetime (almost 70 years, my first vote was for Goldwater), and the current crop of freshman House members are so detached from reality that they have manufactured a crisis over the debt ceiling when we have plenty of real ones they could have been addressing. In doing so, they have focused the attention of the world on our financial vulnerabilities to the extent that we are going to lose our AAA credit rating which will make our problems just that much more intense. Clearly, the AAA rating was undeserved (the last time I loaned the government money it was at 11% to send my kids to college and I wasn't crazy about that) but still it would be nice to have it.
I was a life-long Republican, but W's wars off budget, unfunded, un-means tested prescription drug benefit, and irresponsible tax cuts turned me into an Independent (this year I am supporting Ron Paul, as I did in 2008).
In the "be careful what you wish for department," I often reflect that if Al Gore had been allowed to win Florida and the White House, we wouldn't even have a national debt today. The surpluses being generated by the Clinton tax rates would have retired our entire national debt by now and we would be in a stronger position to address the entitlement problem.