by Don Boudreaux on May 4, 2006

in Politics

About an "emergency spending bill for Iraq and hurricane recovery," today’s Washington Post reports that members of the so-called "world’s greatest deliberative body" are behaving — are you ready for this? — like politicians.  Yes, like politicians!  Not like wise solons; not like public-spirited leaders; not like courageous and self-sacrificing public servants but, instead, like persons who are skilled principally at being elected to government office and who, once in office, excel at spending goo-gobs of other people’s money wastefully and even harmfully — and then who have the gall to stare into television cameras and insist that they are noble and great and good and inspired and brave and wonderful and vital and that their actions benefit the nation and even humankind.


At the bill’s core is $72 billion in war-related funding and about
$27 billion to aid Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and
Louisiana. But with November midterm elections approaching, senators
showed little restraint on items that would prove popular with
constituents or important interest groups.

For example, the
legislation includes $4 billion in aid to farmers and ranchers to
offset rising natural gas costs and provide new relief from drought,
floods and wildfires.

If my eight-year-old son behaved as these people behave, I’d punish him severely and work with every sinew of my body and soul, day and night, to rehabilitate him.  And if, at the end of his childhood, I discover that I failed — say, if my son, when he’s grown, aspires to political office — I’ll hang my head in shame knowing that I’ve unleashed on the world someone who is at best a leech.

(Hat tip to FLOW’s Michael Strong.)


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