by Mel Griffith
Now that the dust has settled from the last election it appears that the country's rush to disaster has slowed down. While it has slowed down it is a long way from turning around. The country is still borrowing forty cents of every dollar it spends and is headed for bankruptcy. While some TEA Party candidates failed to win, enough got elected to hopefully slow down some of the crazy spending and over-regulation in Washington. But the best that can be hoped for is to block some bad things. Positive change will not come as long as the present administration - which wants to make America into a copy of Europe - is in power. That means that there needs to be a focus on improving both the White House and the Senate in 2012.
Not everything can be fixed by changing the people running the country. We are all going to have to recognize that the whole country is living beyond its means and has been for some time. We have a lot more government than we can afford. Senator Bunch recently wrote an article pointing out that there are some things that it is essential for government to do and that there are non-essential, but good and worthy projects, that government also does. Our problem is that government has taken on more good and worthy projects than we can afford and some will have to stop. Some government projects are useless and wasteful. But getting rid of all of them would not be nearly enough to fix the problem. There are many projects that we benefit from and really like that are not entirely necessary. We are going to have to do without some of them or drastically raise taxes to pay for them.
The national election results were mixed, with the Republicans sweeping the house, but not doing as well as they had hoped in the Senate. In Tennessee, it was a different story with the Republicans making a clean sweep. They gained three US House seats, the Governor's office, a State Senate seat and 14 State House seats. It is doubtful that even the most optimistic Republicans expected to gain 14 seats. While the big gains were at the state level, the focus was on the national government. The disaster for the Tennessee Democrats was due to the bungling of the Obama administration and Congress, not the fault of Governor Bredesen, who has run the state government in very responsible fashion.
With power comes responsibility. All the newly elected officials will do well to remember why they were elected or they may suffer the same fate as many of the newcomers elected in 2006 and 2008 did in the last election.