And the government-as-parent continues:
President Obama warned the nation’s mayors yesterday that he will hold officials at all levels of government accountable for how they spend federal stimulus money, pledging to “call them out” if the funding is wasted on projects that do not generate jobs for the struggling economy.
Politicians are incapable of being shamed, so this is pointless. There’s also real money involved, so I’m not comforted knowing that waste will be dealt with through stern words. More to the point, this:
“If you’re seeking to simply fund a personal agenda at the expense of creating jobs and using taxpayer money to do it, the president will call that out and stop it,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday. “That’s true for agencies and members of this administration. That’s true for governors. That’s true for mayors. That’s true for anybody that might take part in any amount of this funding.”
How is this an option? The government will spend $800 billion. If we’re to believe that it’s money well spent, then there should already be a plan for every penny. I don’t believe that, of course, but we’re still supposed to trust what is clearly a plan based on the belief that money spent is money well spent. That’s the Keynesianism we’re stupidly embracing. And the Obama administration is saying that we have to spend the money without extended consideration, but if it’s not spent well, he’ll call out those responsible. The one person out of his line of ire is himself. An accident, I’m sure.
This popped up today, tying uncomfortably to the previous story:
Less than a week after signing the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history, President Obama is turning his attention to the nation’s long-term financial condition with an unprecedented effort to rein in government spending.
To kick off the effort, the new president has invited about 130 people to the White House State Dining Room on Monday for a “fiscal responsibility” summit, a marathon session on long-term budget-busters such as Social Security, Medicare, federal purchasing and tax policy.
Perhaps the time to do that was before shoving $800 billion out of the Treasury as quickly as possible. But it’s okay, a room full of partisans should be able to hammer out their differences in a marathon session. We’ll be saved!