Under the header Big Government Ahead, David Brooks identifies four sources of massive new spending soon to be coming out of Washington and warns: “What we’re going to see, in short, is the Gingrich revolution in reverse and on steroids. There will be a big increase in spending and deficits. In normal times, moderates could have restrained the zeal on the left. In an economic crisis, not a chance. The over-reach is coming.”

As bad as the new levels of spending in Washington will be, what Brooks forgets to mention is that the era of Big Government has been back for some time now. Just look at this graphic on regulatory spending prepared by The New York Times:
As you can see President Bush has presided over record increases in regulatory spending that rival only Richard Nixon and John Kennedy. Bush’s record when it comes to non-defense federal spending is equally terrible as this chart on the average annual real growth of non-defense federal outlays shows: