There is wisdom in restraint. Knowing where to draw the line between necessity and self-indulgence is a skill that some will never master. The past two years on Capitol Hill suggest that Harry Reid is one of those people.
The phrase “winning the future” was used several times during the State of the Union address, and has since become a slogan for the newest spending behemoth endorsed by Senate Democrats. Winning the Future would be more appropriately titled Recovery Act II, which is exactly what we would be saddled with had Republicans not gained control of the House.
Reid says he wants to cut spending, but Winning the Future’s deficit reduction strategy skirts the issue by embracing the president’s five-year domestic freeze. The plan also vows to eliminate “extra tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires,”  a veiled reference to the eagerly anticipated expiration of the tax rate compromise at the end of 2012. The end result of the two-tier plan would be a $40 billion per year swipe at the deficit, and a revenue gain from taxing the wealthy that experience assures us will be spent as quickly as possible.
Winning the Future is a hefty, State of the Union-style laundry list culled from two years of Democratic excess:
To out-build our competitors and create the infrastructure we need to compete in a global marketplace, the Democrats’ agenda calls for modernization of air travel, transportation, internet, manufacturing and electric grid infrastructure, measures that will create jobs. 
There are few smart investments for the destitute, but Democrats propose to lavish infrastructure spending on clean energy technology, a new Clean Energy Deployment Administration, energy efficient buildings and homes, cyber security, a 21st century surface transportation system, high-speed internet, and a smart electric grid.  As with the first Recovery Act, the justification is job creation.
The word “jobs” is used twenty-three times in the list of initiatives that Winning the Future will fund, reviving the failed promise to put people back to work. The logic as to how these jobs will be created remains fuzzy. For example, surface transportation spending is forecast to create 30,000 jobs for each billion in federal spending that states and localities can match. This is a safe boast, because many states have nothing but debt in their future. States who would benefit the most, if you believe the party line, will not be able to cough up matching funds for elaborate federal projects.
The president has been working hard to feed our fears of becoming a second-rate power, blaming education and outdated infrastructure instead of the failure of his administration to understand what makes a free market economy thrive. The problem is not that America lacks the education or infrastructure to be competitive, but that we are failing to create jobs because businesses are resisting attempts to create a highly regulated, planned economy.
The Democratic propaganda machine is good at this sort of thing, or Barack Obama would not be our president. Voters are being offered hope for the future, and no matter how false the promises ring, hope is something that has been in scant supply.
Unless Republicans can come up with a vision that promises more than austerity and cuts, they will be maneuvered into being the bad guys in 2012. Those who believe that retired teachers live in hovels, that government workers are beaten-down, underpaid wage slaves, and that public works will salvage our economy need an alternative to Democratic fantasy. If the sound bites coming from Madison, Wisconsin are any indication, there are still plenty of voters who will swallow Winning the Future hook, line, and sinker, and their support will give Democrats a leg up in 2012.
1..“Senate Democrats Roll Out Agenda For Winning The Future By Cutting Spending, Creating High-Paying Jobs And Keeping America Competitive.” February 16, 2011. http://democrats.senate.gov.