Giveaways to labor unions, like the $26 billion package for the teacher unions that the House is to be summoned back from its recess to pass, presumably will be off the table.
Larger issues need to be addressed. We’re overdue for a simplifying tax reform. And there is the looming crisis in entitlements — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
There is an assumption in the political world that spending cuts will be unpopular: Americans, it is said, are ideologically conservative but operationally liberal.
But there is some evidence that voters will back governors who cut spending, such as Mitch Daniels, re-elected while Barack Obama was carrying Indiana in 2008, and Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, elected in Virginia and New Jersey in 2009 and now enjoying good job ratings.