As Congress reconvenes next week to pass a $26 billion bailout of state and local governments entombed in their own deficits, we witness a foretaste of the crisis that will be the central event of the first half of next year: the collapse of state governments.
As long as the Democrats control Congress, they will continue to rubber-stamp Obama’s requests for bailouts of profligate states. But when the Republicans take control, they will be less than forthcoming. Republicans will ask the central question: Why should taxpayers from states that have cut their budgets and observed spending restraint, pay for the extravagances of the other states? Why should forty-seven states have to pay for California, New York, and Michigan?
As we suggested in our recent column, the new Gallup/USA Today poll confirms that Obama’s ratings have collapsed as a result of the WikiLeaks release of Afghan War memos. Down from 46% in the most recent poll, Obama’s job approval has plunged to 41% — the lowest it has ever been in any major poll.
Democrats have now joined in the defection from Obama impelled by their increasing anger over his continued involvement in Afghanistan and the emerging double dip in the recession. Support for his war policies there has dropped to 38% from 46% in February while approval of his handling of the economy has plunged to 39%.