What the Election Results Mean for You -- and Your Pocketbook

GOP gains in Tuesday’s congressional elections will bring big change. Or will they?

Voters sent Democrats a blunt message of repudiation Tuesday night, making it clear that they’re disappointed with the party that’s been running Washington for the past two years. Americans are angry and worried about big government, big deficits and big unemployment -- and the government’s inability to address those issues.

But what kind of change can Republicans bring? On the No. 1 issue of spurring economic growth and creating jobs, the answer is “Not much.” Further fiscal stimulus is out of the question, a nonstarter because of deficit concerns. So, too, are big new tax cuts. And the most important element -- restoring consumer and business confidence -- has never been an arrow in Congress’ quiver. The best that lawmakers can do is avoid making things worse and hope that conditions improve before they have to face voters again.

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Mark Willen
Senior Political Editor, The Kiplinger Letter