U.S. realizing pitfalls of big government

Freedom New Mexico

Quitting must be a cool new trend among leading Democrats. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter became the latest, announcing Jan. 5 he won’t seek re-election next fall. He cited family concerns, but maybe he considered a re-election bid futile.

It should be a great time to be a Democrat. One of the left’s great orators became president, after a sweeping victory that inspired Americans. Democrats firmly control the United States House and Senate. They hold a majority of gubernatorial offices. They control more state legislatures than Republicans do. The vast majority of mayors are Democrats. Yet something isn’t right.

President Barack Obama begins 2010 with the highest second-year disapproval rating of any president in 50 years. Polls show two-thirds of Americans strongly oppose health care reform in its latest forms.

Ritter’s announcement came on the heels of decisions by U.S. Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and heavyweight Chris Dodd, D-Conn., to forego re-election bids.

One problem Democrats face is this: Americans have awakened to the fact government doesn’t drive the economy and improve their lives.

Perhaps the awakening began with Cash for Clunkers. While 700,000 Americans bought new cars, most did not. Most watched someone else buy a car only because government paid a dealer to sell it. They asked themselves: “Who paid the dealer to sell the car?” Each concluded: “I did, because productive Americans are the only source of money government has.”

Most Americans didn’t lose a home to foreclosure. That’s because most Americans didn’t indulge bad risks. Yet they watched government aid and abet those who did, rewarding irresponsible decisions. They asked: “Who’s paying for that guy’s bad judgment?” Each concluded: “I am.”

Americans have heard Democrats speak of creating jobs; they’ve seen unemployment rise. They’ve learned that jobs result from creation of wealth, not forced redistribution of cash from winners to losers. They’ve seen promises of free health care become proposed dictates to buy insurance.

Americans could have learned about economic stupidity from President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress, which also gave us big spending and government solutions. But Democrats put big government Republicanism on crack, during the depths of this GOP-caused recession.

Democrats educated Americans, like never before. That’s why big government types may have trouble getting elected, or re-elected, in November. Maybe Ritter, Dodd and Dorgan are merely the first to grasp the future.