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Who's Generous?

I sent this letter today to the Baltimore Sun:

Like you, Tim Sharman is dismayed
that George Bush’s past struggles with chemical addictions do not
prompt him now, as President, to be more "generous" in his budget
toward the poor (Letters, February 7).  I oppose most of Mr. Bush’s
policies.  But I oppose even more the notion that it is possible to be
generous with other people’s – that is, with taxpayers’ – money.

Mr. Bush reconsiders the budget and increases welfare expenditures
substantially.  This move might or might not be wise policy.  But it
certainly doesn’t signal that the President has become more generous.
A politician, like you and me, can be generous only with his own
money.  A politician spending other people’s money is, at best,
implementing sound policies – and, more realistically, much closer to a burglar who "generously" uses part of his booty to buy rounds of
drinks for his buddies.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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