Wasteful Spending

After a mighty struggle, the Democrats in Congress managed to override President Bush’s veto and give taxpayer money to millionaire farmers. Now, P-E Obama has identified that as wasteful spending. Well well well! Who knew that Democrats favored wasteful spending?

But, as Greg Mankiw points out, even sensible sounding changes can have bad consequences unless you think through the economics. I doubt that P-E Obama really wants to raise food prices – which means he didn’t think through the economics. This does not bode well for the future.

But not to worry. Every President vows to cut wasteful spending. Bush had a special commission to identify ineffective programs, grading most government programs on an A through F scale. He scaled back and eliminated a few, but most changes require either explicit or implicit Congressional approval. How much luck did he have? Remember this: every wasteful spending program buys someone’s vote.

So, I wish P-E Obama the best of luck in cutting wasteful spending. I hope he’s a little more careful about it than he’s indicated so far, but mostly I look forward to his battles with Congress. With a little luck, he might expose the inner workings enough that we’ll get some fresh faces in two years.


One response to this post.

  1. This is silliness. The president has no power over the budget at such a microscopic level. It’s all talk. He can’t cut wasteful spending, because passing spending bills is not what the Executive branch does.


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