Okay we’ve been told repeatedly that in November the voters spoke. What they said, however, is open to interpretation. According to Republicans voters said exactly the same thing most members of their party say all the time: they want smaller government, lower taxes and deficit reduction. And apparently what this amorphous throng supports is a return to a lot of the same practices that got us in so much trouble a few short years ago.

But ask conservatives of all stripes what they think should be eliminated from the budget and after a lot of stammering it eventually becomes clear that bold measures tend to single out the weak and powerless for sacrifices strong, influential members of our society will never be asked to make. Imagine in our current state of cardiac arrest, the kind that constricts normal humane impulses, local governments are curtailing police, firefighters and medical staff because of budgetary constraints. One might have thought those weren’t optional services but rather must-have requirements that any decent functioning governing structure should provide. It remains to be seen how localities will maintain security with a diminished municipal workforce or promote the general welfare, that rarely referenced constitutional assurance.

POST CONTINUES AT BUZZFLASH/TRUTHOUT FOR DECEMBER 3RD