Larry Elder

Robert Borosage called Bush a latter-day William McKinley, and accused the president's policies of "tax cuts for the wealthy" of creating an alliance of robber barons against the people. Borosage also attacked Bush for placing "arsenic in the water" and "salmonella in the food."

Edgar B. Anderson, an attorney and non-liberal, attended the entire rally. He pointed out that never, not once, did any of the speakers use the word . . . "taxpayer."

Again, since when does the left care about money?

During the 2000 election campaign, for example, Democratic candidate Al Gore pushed his plan for a "prescription drug benefit for seniors." Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office placed the cost at $450 billion over 10 years. Even George W. Bush, despite his limited-government reputation, advocated an expanded prescription drug benefit with a likely price tag in the hundreds of billions of dollars. On matters like this, and their apparent "excessive cost," the left typically goes AWOL.

Remember the Ken Starr investigation of Bill Clinton's alleged subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice charges? Clinton aide James Carville said, "This started out as a $40,000 land deal that lost money and about $50 million and five years later . . . (blah blah blah)." Did anybody show the same concern over the cost of the Watergate investigation of President Richard Nixon?

The left opposed Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, in part, on the basis of its "cost." But providing paid family medical leave seems of little concern to the left.

AmeriCorps, which "pays" volunteers; the demand for full funding for Head Start; presidential candidate John Kerry's, D-Mass., support for nationalized health care; and the demand to "bail out" profligate, in-debt state governments -- all appear indifferent to cost. Instead the euphemisms used designed to detract attention from our pockets being picked include federal assistance, federal aid, federal dollars, federal funding, state aid, etc. Notice anything missing? The word "taxpayer."

So when the left cries about "cost," assume they simply oppose the proposed program. When I once suggested to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that our war against terrorism might necessitate cutbacks in social spending, she said, "Well, I just think that you're painting a horrible picture of what we're about. We're the greatest country in the world, and, in fact, we have always, always, made sure that defense was No. 1. What we have not done was to focus on terrorism, and we have failed in that regard, and yes, we need to do that. But do we have to educate our children and make sure that we find a cure for cancer, and Alzheimer's? You bet."

Sure, we can do it all. Just don't tell the taxpayer.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit