There is no such thing as a free lunch.


“We need earmark reform. And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

So said Barack Obama during a presidential debate last year. However, the new $410 billion “omnibus” spending bill that Obama will sign into law soon contains over 8,500 earmarks worth almost $8 billion. So says Obama now,

“Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their district, and that’s why I have opposed their outright elimination.”

Supposedly he’s going to push for “earmark reform” in the next budget. But most Republicans spurned this bill, as did a few democrats – notably Evan Bayh of Indiana. He even wrote a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece to complain. Writes Bayh,

This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

Well said, but so far this president is out of control on government spending. And it’s likely going to get worse.

March 11, 2009   No Comments

Liberal vs. Conservative on Government Spending

I recently read two opinion pieces regarding what to do about the economy, specifically, whether the government needs to spend more or less money.

In one of the pieces, Paul Krugman of the New York Times argues that this is not the time to be cutting public spending and investment. He says that state and local governments, since they are required by law to have balanced budgets, are trimming social programs and public spending in order to eliminate their deficits. This behavior, in turn, is exacerbating the crisis by downsizing the local safety net and increasing unemployment by eliminative public sector jobs.

In the other piece, Peter Schiff, writing for the Wall Street Journal, argues that the government is broke and really has no money to spend. It can only borrow money from the future, or in the absence of willing lenders, take it out of the current economy by printing money, and then put it back in somewhere else. He says that individuals, local, and state governments are responding to this crisis rationally by spending less, but the federal government wants to respond by spending more, in the form of a giant stimulus package.

Who do you agree with?

December 29, 2008   1 Comment