Democrats love to criticize Republicans for being hypocrites when it comes to spending restraint. "Why, look at the big deficits run up by the Bush administration," they shout. "Those Republicans are really the big spenders."
It's a good point. Problem is, the Democrats are even worse.
As Barack Obama spends us into oblivion, he has plenty of eager enablers in Congress. Under the dozen non- defense spending bills produced so far this year, expenditures will increase an average of 11 percent -- and all this during an economic downturn.
As the private sector contracts out of necessity, the federal bureaucracy flourishes.
"For Democrats, the increases represent catch-up after years of suffering under Bush, who for years tried to essentially freeze many domestic accounts," notes The Associated Press.
The winners, of course, are programs involving government handouts. For example, a measure designed to dole out subsidies for heating bills will receive almost twice as much money under the current budget than it did in Mr. Bush's final year.
The losers, of course, are defense and the taxpayers.
Spender in chief David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, argues the ramp up in spending is necessary to kick start the economy. In fact, precisely the opposite is true. Without some voices of fiscal sanity in charge, the nation is fast heading for a financial calamity, all the while as Democrats whistle a happy tune.
Even Rep. Obey acknowledges the problem.
"What we have to do ... is to figure out how to transition from the stimulus period to the time when you have to start throttling back," he said.
But Democrats have never shown any inclination to "throttle back" on domestic spending -- and never will. Consider that this spending spree takes place at a time when auto-pilot entitlement spending -- Medicare, Social Security -- continues to soar, with no serious reform efforts on the table.
We lope closer and closer to a budget calamity. Precisely when, Rep. Obey, will the Democrats actually decide to "throttle back"?