Welcome to the Great American Handout

Back when Barack Obama was running for president, he famously explained his socialist governing philosophy to a five-year-old:

We've got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?

He made a similar analogy later on in the campaign when responding to John McCain's assertions that Obama is a socialist:

By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

No one's arguing about how nice it is to share pizza, toys, and PB&J sandwiches. And Americans as a whole are a generous people. Back in 2007, charitable giving in this nation exceeded $300 billion for the first time. The problem is when a third party -- government bureaucracy -- takes your pizza, toys, and sandwiches and decides how much you get to keep and how much goes to the people they decide are worthy of enjoying the things you bought and paid for with the money you earned.

That's not sharing. That's redistribution. It's something that had its start with FDR's New Deal, reemerged during LBJ's Great Society, and now seems poised to catch up to the socialist states that the American left has long admired in Europe.

So here we are: faced with a ginormous "stimulus bill" that has less to do with stimulating the economy and more to do with the expansion of government power, and when we wonder about the lack of direction Congress has when it comes to actually spending the money, our self-appointed betters say, "So what?" and absolve themselves from blame if the money is misspent.

Economist Thomas Sowell explains the obvious:

What are the Beltway politicians buying with all the hundreds of billions of dollars they are spending? They are buying what politicians are most interested in -- power.

In the name of protecting the taxpayers' investment, they are buying the power to tell General Motors how to make cars, banks how to bank, and, before it is all over with, all sorts of other people how to do the work they specialize in, and for which members of Congress have no competence, much less expertise.

This administration and Congress are now in a position to do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression of the 1930s -- use a crisis of the times to create new institutions that will last for generations.

To this day, we are still subsidizing millionaires in agriculture because farmers were having a tough time in the 1930s. We have the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") taking reckless chances in the housing market that have blown up in our faces today because FDR decided to create a new federal housing agency in 1938.