Republicans: Stop Doing So Much; Dems: Do More
This Gallup poll, in some ways, is tautology: Republicans are conservative about the role of government, and Democrats are liberal. Members of the GOP believe that the government has overextended itself wildly — trying to convince businesses to hire more workers, cajole banks to reform and give more loans, persuade consumers to purchase more goods and save millions of American families from the economic ravages of joblessness. Democrats believe the government is not doing enough.
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In the past few months, deficit spending has become the battleground for those beliefs. On the Hill, Democrats are desperate to push through legislation that would do much to help the poor and the jobless — providing Medicaid and unemployment benefits, as well as a host of other measures. There, Republicans have drawn the line in the sand. What is interesting to note is that Republicans are winning. They killed legislation that should have been unremarkable, even popular. And they have managed to shift the argument to deficits, to convince the government to trim its programs back, despite economic consensus that the economy needs sustained governmental stimulus until demand returns.