Monday, September 26, 2005

Wishing for a surplus

Many Europeans absurdly think that the United States government is too limited and that Bush should expand its involvement in a range of areas, from healthcare to pensions and unemployment benefits. Unfortunately the problem is quite the opposite:
The startling bottom line on Bush administration profligacy is this: At $22,000 per household, federal spending is at an inflation-adjusted post-World War II high and set to go still higher soon as the Baby Boomers start drawing Medicare and Social Security. Reforming those entitlements will be tough enough. And voters will have good reason not to want to entrust that task to a party that can't even admit the wastefulness of bridges to nowhere in the wake of the new century's worst hurricane.
This is the one area in which I think President Bush has been seriously remiss, though Congress has played its part. Now there is a laudable effort by internet activists to counter this trend, called Porkbusters (more info here), and it is getting a lot of media attention.
Here is an excellent post by Chicagoboyz (via Instapundit) that almost makes me wish for an enlightened despot: no haggling, compromise, re-election worries or special interests - just a $347.47 billion surplus! Keep on dreaming.
Ronald Reagan memorably said in his first inaugural address: "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." I hope the grassroots pressure will bring lawmakers back to their senses, otherwise they deserve to be booted out of Washington.

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