I could hardly believe it, either. “Real and tangible progress for the American people.” That’s how the current President of the United States, in his weekly address yesterday, described the bloated $800 billion spending monstrosity that he just rammed down our throats. (Please don’t called it a “stimulus” package: the only thing it stimulates is fiscal irresponsibility.) I wonder if the current President of the United States had a little smile on his lips when he said those words: “Real and tangible progress for the American people.” Real and tangible progress for the governmental juggernaut is more like it. Did he snigger, just a little, when he went on to claim that throwing billions at every conceivable Democratic boondoggle would somehow “save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years”? Did he manage to keep a straight face when he said that opening the US Treasury to Democratic interest groups would “ignite spending by business and consumers alike”? I didn’t actually hear the speech, but I wonder how he managed to get through the claim that putting the country in hock would “lay a new foundation for our lasting economic growth and prosperity.”
It’s a short speech, but painful, painful. The current President of the United States talks about “modernizing our health care system, saving billions of dollars and countless lives.” What he really wants to do is nationalize health care, a process that has been an expense disaster wherever it has been tried, expensive not only in dollars but also in the lives of those “countless” little people who find themselves at the mercy of an inefficient government bureaucracy.
On the issue of energy, the current President of the United States promises to litter the landscape with wind turbines and solar panels but says nothing about exploiting America’s vast reserves of coal, extracting more oil from American fields, or building nuclear power plants.
The current President of the United States acknowledges some “skepticism” about his plans for a politically correct spending orgy, but that simply provides him with an opportunity to indulge in one of his favorite tropes, blaming the administration of George W. Bush for setting a poor example.
Perhaps the most cynical moment in the entire performance came when the current President of the United promised to spend these “precious dollars”–all 800,000,000,000 of them–with “unprecedented accountability, responsibility, and transparency.” It will be amusing, in a gruesome sort of way, to click onto “recovery.gov,” a website that, according to the current President of the United States, “will allow any American to watch where the money goes and weigh in with comments and questions.” It will be very interesting to see what that website reveals, and what it conceals. Meanwhile, the 1073-page document that was just rushed through Congress wasn’t even read by those who voted for it–or by anyone else, really. Unprecedented transparency? Unprecedented chutzpah is more like it. As The Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, “Only this Tuesday the House unanimously approved a resolution promising 48-hour public notice before holding a roll call. Even better, the bill could have been posted on the Internet, as candidate Barack Obama suggested during the campaign. Let voters see what they’re getting for all this money.” Was it? “Not a chance.”
The current President of the United States is correct that “Ultimately, this is your money, and you deserve to know where it’s going and how it’s spent,” but I’d wager you won’t find this administration treating it as your money or telling you where it went.