A reader writes:
People aren't going to hold up placards detailing a fifteen point plan for deficit reduction, anymore than antiwar protesters were going to debate the relative merits of a partition of Iraq versus immediate withdrawal. Protests are almost always infantile, incoherent, and often internally inconsistent (I'm guessing you'd actually get a pretty wide array of big-picture foreign policy viewpoints if you interviewed war protesters). Why are you surprised that you're unable to get more than a generalized feeling of the grievances being expressed here (and why Reynolds et al, who I am guessing have things they'd actually like to see cut, can't speak for the protesters).
As for this: "[w]hen you see them holding up effigies of Bush, who was, unlike Obama, supposed to be the fiscal conservative, let me know." The trick is, Bush is gone.
He isn't President anymore, and it doesn't make any more sense to hold up an effigy of him than of LBJ or FDR for giving us the programs that are *really* bankrupting us. Obama has governing majorities in both houses -- if he really thinks the problem is the prescription drug benefit doesn't have a funding source, he should either cut the program or find a funding source. And Obama didn't exactly run on trillion dollar deficits well after the economy recovers -- as far as I can recall the promise from his advertisements was that he had a spending cut that offset every new dollar in spending he put forward.
Personally, I'm not worried about the $2T deficit this year; it is excessive, but a large part of it is simply what needs to be done in an economic collapse. My concern is that, using realistic numbers for growth from CBO, we're getting long-term deficits that make the Bush Administration's deficits look like kid's stuff. And this is after the Bush tax cuts for the rich are reversed, after Obama implements a massive new energy tax with cap-and-trade, and after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wound down. And with only a down payment on what Obama would really like to do with health care reform. That should be enough to make your hair turn white, and cause you to direct at least a little bit of your ire at the people who are actually running the show now, instead of directing ad hominem assaults on fiscal conservatives for not doing enough during the Bush years.
For the record, I voted for Bush, but mainly because the Democrats' criticism of him was that he wasn't spending nearly enough on things like NCLB and because the prescription drug benefit included too much private action. If Democrats had nominated a Mark Warner or an Evan Bayh, it would have been a different story.