The governors' request for more money from Washington is also about unfunded mandates, the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid and a lot of other "entitlement" programs that could have been made solvent during the Bush administration, which tried, but was unable to succeed due to opposition from Democrats who preferred to have an issue rather than a solution.
It isn't that options, other than overspending and misspending, don't exist. The Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedel, Stuart Butler and others (heritage.org), the National Taxpayers Union (ntu.org) and Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org) have all written thoughtful and nonpartisan papers on the subject of government pork. The problem is that Democratic politicians (and too many Republican politicians, which is why the GOP is again in the minority) have refused to adopt them. Again, Democrats would rather foster a dependency on government so that people would be less self-reliant and more dependent on politicians for their current and future welfare.
This is a formula for socialism and for whatever political system follows to enforce it, though socialism advances even in our supposed constitutional republic. Anyone who relies less on themselves and more on government will see their freedoms erode. It has always been this way.
If this growing dependence on ever more costly and overreaching government continues, we may have to change the familiar letter abbreviation for this country from USA to ATM.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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