Ross Douthat at the New York Times picked up on the fact that Washington D. C. has been growing at leaps and bounds with 7 of the 10 richest American counties and no housing collapse while the rest of the economy is in decline, He mentions that it's been growing rapidly since the 70's. He credits (accurately) the federal government and the reckless spending going on there for decades, but he doesn't get to the source of the problem or the dire consequences on our economy if this problem is not addressed. Allow me to enlighten you.
It's a piece of legislation (what isn't, in this country) that is at the heart of this bloated government. The 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act began a pattern of annually increasing federal budgets, by as much as 10%, without regard to federal revenue or the necessity of an increase. The NIH, for example, gets a full 10% budget increase each year. Some reforms have been attempted since then but with little lasting effect.
You can understand the result, then, of drastically expanded government expenditures year by year, to the point that now government spends (our taxes) in excess of $1T over budget each year while revenue is down with the bad economy (caused by bloated government - see previous posts). Any sensible proposals of cutting the amount of federal budget increases, for example cutting a 10% budget increase to something smaller like 4% or 6%, is greeted with cries of "Draconian cuts!" from the left or "GOP killing elderly!" or "GOP slashing Medicare" or other such nonsense, even though the budget would still increase from that current year. It's all poppycock. And unsustainable spending.
Thus, we're burdened with a government bloated beyond necessity with overlapping programs, money beyond need, with federal workers making more than private sector counterparts not to mention their federal benefits. It creates a substantial drag on the economy. (See many corresponding links in this post.) This is where the Tea Party comes in. It is a grassroots movement of people who would love to see fiscal sanity and responsibilty return to Washington and work to get the votes to do it, and they have succeeded in various races including the recall election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, where he successfully reigned in spending and bettered employment while lowering taxes, through his union reforms. The Tea Party is demonized by the big government spenders themselves, including big government Establishment Republicans.
Between Obama and Romney, only Governor Romney has a record of cutting budgets and reigning in spending. He has my vote.