As we end 2009, political junkies like me are already looking ahead at what may be in store for our country and state next year. This has been a historic year, with massive deficit spending by Congress, a president looking to nationalize our healthcare system, and the Conservative movement finding its voice again in the form of Tea Parties. With all that has happened in 2009, we begin to look and wander how 2010 will look this time next year. Some have said next year’s elections may be the most important in our country. I whole-heartedly agree with that sentiment.
The Obama administration has stated its plans for next year will be to start focusing more on the deficit and begin cutting spending in an attempt to bring our fiscal house in order. After a year in which President Obama and Congressional Democrats spent more money than all the other presidents combined, I’ll be curious to see how that will work. Will they cut out some of those pork barrel projects? Will they stop adding millions and millions of dollars into bills in the middle of the night? We have all heard the old expression that its hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Will President Obama and Congressional Democrats be able to learn new tricks of deficit reduction and less spending, or will they turn back to their old ways of funding millions of dollars for bridges to nowhere and fund these outrageous projects by inserting them in 2,000 page bills in the middle of the night? I think I already know the answer to that question.
Of course a big question is what will healthcare look like this time next year? It’s a game of ‘Deal or No Deal’ right now in the United States Senate, with Majority Leader Harry Reid trying to buy off the moderate Democrats in his own caucus to get them to sign off on a national healthcare bill that will forever change how we receive healthcare. Two weeks ago, Reid inserted language into the Senate bill that would give the state of Louisiana an extra $300 million dollars since it’s a state still dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Katrina. The sweetheart deal worked and Sen. Mary Landrieu, the only Democrat Senator from Louisiana, voted to bring the bill directly to the Senate floor, a vote that required all 60 Democrats to vote together as a block. This is just one of many deals being played out behind the closed doors of Harry Reid’s office. The Democrats in the Senate want to get a bill passed by Christmas, and the clock is ticking, and it is anybody’s guess if they can achieve that goal.
Also this year, the Conservative movement awoke after an eight year slumber caused by the out of control spending by a Republican President and Republican controlled Congress. We saw, in April, people turn out all over the country at their local courthouses and participate in tea parties. Conservatives rallied and showed they were sick and tired of the out of control spending by both parties, tired of the large deficits being ran up at the expense of future generations like their children and grandchildren. These Tea Parties were attended by both Republicans and Democrats.
This brings us to next November. What will our country look like when the midterm elections are over with? I predict there will be more Republicans in the House of Representatives and United States Senate. However, if Republicans pull off the unthinkable and re-claim the majority, they better remember who put their trust in them. It will be a coalition of Conservative Democrats and Republicans who will have grown weary in the current stalemate in Washington that may want to give Republicans one more opportunity to govern like Conservatives.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.