I've been saying for some time it must be the Democrats who reign in Barack Obama who is showing all the restraint and maturity of a college freshman turned loose with daddy's credit card on a distant campus.
As it turns out a good number of Democrats have become quite alarmed at Obama's largess and are ready to cancel the credit card. POLITCO reports this morning: Moderates uneasy with Obama plan
|Moderate and conservative Democrats in the Senate are starting to choke over the massive spending and tax increases in President Barack Obama’s budget plans and have begun plotting to increase their influence over the agenda of a president who is turning out to be much more liberal than they are.|
A group of 14 Senate Democrats and one independent huddled behind closed doors on Tuesday, discussing how centrists in that chamber can assert more leverage on the major policy debates that will dominate this Congress.
Afterward, some in attendance made plain that they are getting jitters over the cost and expansive reach of Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal.
Asked when he’d reach his breaking point, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, said: “Right now. I’m concerned about the amount that’s being offered in [Obama’s] budget.”
Another attendee, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), said she expected the newly formed caucus to shape Obama’s budget proposal as it moves through Congress.
Sen. Evan Bayh, the Indiana Democrat who assembled Tuesday’s skull session, added that he was “very concerned” about Washington’s level of spending, especially in a $410 billion “omnibus” spending bill to fund the government until the start of a new fiscal year in October.
As for the tax increases on high-income earners called for in Obama’s plan, Bayh said, “I do think that before we raise revenue, we first should look to see if there are ways we can cut back on spending.”
“The American people and businesses are tightening their belts,” Bayh added. “I think we need to show that the government can economize as well.”
If the moderate Democrats in the Senate are willing to work with moderate Republicans — as Bayh said they are eager to do — they will negate the White House’s ability to portray opposition to Obama’s spending as partisan obstructionism.
This is genuine bipartisanship at work. A welcome development.