… is from Thomas Sowell’s recent column, “Budget Politics“:
Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?
The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.
UPDATE: Tours of the White House will be scaled back because of budget cuts. Seriously, what earthly reason is there for taking the political class seriously? That these people would ‘cut’ first in ways that lengthen queues at airports and that make the public believe that Uncle Sam is so short of cash that he can no longer afford to hire staffers to conduct tours of the White House speaks volumes about politicians’ integrity and motivation.