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Who’s Reckless?

Here’s a letter that I sent yesterday to Newsday:

You report that “President Barack Obama sternly warned Wall Street against returning to reckless and unchecked behavior” (“Obama warns Wall Street against high-risk behavior,” September 14).

What gall he has.  Following the lead of his predecessor in the White House, Pres. Obama irresponsibly portrayed the economy as being in far-worse shape than it was in – seemingly to justify his increasing, in a single year (2010), federal-government spending by 34 percent over the previous year.  No such percentage increase in spending has happened since 1952.  The resulting budget deficit will be more than 11 percent of GDP – a figure not seen since WWII.

Until Presidents Bush’s and Obama’s rash actions, Wall Street executives, no matter how ‘reckless’ they might have been, at least generally spent only their own money or money voluntarily entrusted to them.  Mr. Obama, in contrast, and expanding on a tradition followed by most recent presidents, irresponsibly spends large amounts of money taken from other people – especially from future taxpayers who’ll be on the hook to service the federal debt.  That is reckless and unchecked.

Donald J. Boudreaux