Paul Jacob

This pattern may be repeated at the national level. Certainly we can expect a slew of shiny new programs of a quasi-socialistic nature. I mean, who won the election? Look at what he and they promised. Look at their histories.

But, hope alone cannot trump the limits of finance. We can expect those programs to cost more than predicted. And deliver less.

And, during a financial crunch, making the unsustainable even less so.

If we are lucky, politicians at the federal level will do what Hawaii’s politicians did. Their solution wasn’t “raise taxes,” it was cut spending. Hawaii’s politicians actually cut the universal health care program for kids. Nixed it. It is no more.

Hawaii is blessed with divided government: Both houses of the legislative branch are dominated by Democrats, but the governorship is held by a Republican, Linda Lingle. And it was she who, in news reports, received most of the honor (or blame) for cutting the too-expensive services.

Can we expect the incoming administration and the new, slightly shuffled batch of federal representatives — united under one party — to do that decent and rational thing?

Well, let me tell you, I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m hoping that federal-level Democratic politicians are as responsible and clear-sighted as Hawaii’s divided partisans.

Talk about the audacity of hope.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.