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Policy Threats to Our Sustained Recovery

12:00 AM, Feb 20, 2010 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
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Perhaps even more important, there has been a change in the political atmosphere in the United States. Until recently -- before the Democrats lost gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, and a key Senate seat in Massachusetts -- the left-leaning Democrats in congress and the White House had no need to compromise with Republicans who were trying to rein in spending. Now they do: Voters have sent a wake-up call which is being heard in Congress and even by some in the White House. They want the deficit brought under control. And the political arithmetic is such that in the absence of compromise both parties will face angry voters in November, more so the Democrats than the Republicans. The end of a year of one-party rule just might produce a more sensible set of economic policies as newly empowered Republicans, backed by the Tea Party movement, reactivate the checks and balances that have stood the American system in such good stead in the past.

Irwin M. Stelzer is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, and a columnist for the Sunday Times (London).

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