'Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley summed up this worldview succinctly, in a question to Republican nominees Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: "How much less, do you really think, would be good for our country? How much less education would be good for our children?" When you are unbounded by spending restraints, government budgets can be boiled down to a simple question: How much, at long last, do you care?
What makes last night's fiscal denialism even more appalling was that many of the speakers themselves have had to fight tooth and nail with public sector unions over compensation and work rules. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel outraged police and fire unions by tackling pension reform and pointing out that "city government is not an employment agency." Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a former labor leader, has called teachers unions an "unwavering roadblock to reform." Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been there as well. Needless to say, such talk was absent from the podium last night.'