Just imagine what would have happened if President Bush had said, just after sending the troops into Iraq and passing the Bush tax cuts:
"We can't continue to spend . . . as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money."
Well, the scorn of the comics on Saturday Night Live would have been the least of his problems.
But now comes President Obama, the bright political star of 2008 worrying about wasting the taxpayers' money. He's got to be kidding. Writes Daniel Henninger in The Wall Street Journal:
Whatever one's view, [the health bill's] trillion-dollar-plus cost is an agreed given. Days earlier the public saw Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling by almost $290 billion to make room for the needs of the $800 billion stimulus bill, the unprecedented $3.5 trillion budget, and the House's approval Dec. 16 of a new $154 billion jobs bill. Amid this President Obama said Monday: "We can't continue to spend . . . as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money."
As a convinced conservative and partisan, I almost want President Obama to give us more of this. Because it is clear that, however the mainstream media may shield him, people just hate his agenda--which is to spend the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people like Monopoly money.
President Obama wants to spend more money on government health care. He has already spent a lot more money on government education. He wants to spend more money on government energy projects. He is spending more money on welfare, partially rolling back the Clinton-era welfare reform. He is planning a big jobs bill to spend more money.
The problem is that we know that all these things just treat taxpayers' money as Monopoly money. People waste government health-care dollars because it's not their money. People waste education dollars, K-12 to college, because it's not their money. Corporations waste money on hare-brained green energy projects because the government subsidies give them free money. Jobs bills are known to be less effective in creating jobs than tax-rate cuts for businesses and business owners.
And President Obama talks about Monopoly money? President Bush would never have got away will nonsense like that.
Nor, I suspect, in the end, will President Obama.