In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell has been busy. In office for only six months, the governor's office announced that McDonnell has "defeated former governor Tim Kaine's proposed $2 billion increase in the state income tax, kept existing car tax relief in place and brought Democrats and Republicans together to close the shortfall through spending reductions, and without a single tax increase." According to government figures, Virginia's state budget ended the 2010 fiscal year on June 30 with a surplus of about $220 million, which is an amazing turnaround in half a year.
Republicans are on the cusp of a political transformation -- in Congress and in state legislatures -- that potentially could rival their 1994 victory. Former Clinton pollster Dick Morris flatly predicts Republicans will capture both houses of Congress. If they do, they should conduct town hall meetings in every state, asking what government programs people would be willing to give up and then hold hearings where heads of all federal agencies are asked to justify the continued existence of those programs.
Diets can be painful and liposuction uncomfortable. Just as we must sometimes suffer to improve our physical health, so must we put big government on a diet and make sure it never again becomes obese. This should not be a partisan issue, but if Democrats make it one, then a new Republican majority should do what it failed to do the last time it controlled Congress: break our big government addiction and restore the liberty that we've lost.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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