We are living in exciting and suspenseful times. It's the kind of excitement you get from spending a lot of money - or gambling. The Federal stimulus spending and budget plan are nothing if not a huge gamble. It's thrilling to walk up to that one hundred dollar window at the track. The problem is the odds are against us.
Government spending is not a bad thing in concept. After all, we are all in this together, and we are only giving the money to each other. And if we could be sure that none of our tax dollars were going to line the pockets of the well-connected, that would be fine.
But when people say that government spending - especially Federal government spending - is inefficient, this is exactly what they have in mind. The money that goes to pay for a $900 hammer or a $20,000 toilet seat doesn't trickle down to the people who need it. It gets lost somewhere. Someone who knows how to work the system has taken their cut.
The stimulus plan is sure to have a million strings attached. Projects that could have been completed for half the price will now cost double. And forget about anything being completed on time or under budget. There will be no way to give the money back. Every penny will be spent.
Isn't that exciting!