Is Divided Government Working?

The interesting thing to note about Barnes’s piece that Jim pointed to below is that it seems to confirm the arguments made by those who argued that if Republicans lost Congress, it would do more to restrain spending than if they remained in power. When Republicans controlled both branches of government, Republicans wouldn’t fight budget bills and President Bush wouldn’t veto them, because the spending was being done by Republicans. The Democrats, who are always the party of big government, were perfectly happy to oblige. Now that Democrats are in control, Republicans are much more fiesty about fighting excessive spending, and President Bush is ready and willing to actually use his veto pen. Ironically, if spending grows at a slower rate during this Congressional term, Democrats will argue in 2008 that they helped restore fiscal discipline to Washington. Another reason why Republicans should have gotten things right when they had the chance.