In other words, if the government can spend enough, it can convince the rest of us to spend, too. Good luck with that math.
Maybe, instead of “investing” in road building and so forth, Washington should just hire 3 million or so people. That would protect those jobs since, once on the government payroll, these millions of people will have virtually guaranteed jobs for life.
Consider Florida again. The state legislature will meet in special session starting Jan. 5 and attempt to close a $2.3 billion deficit. But the state’s governor has already announced he won’t be eliminating jobs.
“I would like to draw to your attention that none of these recommendations involve furloughs or layoffs,” Gov. Charlie Crist told lawmakers as he sketched his plans for the controversial special session. “Our state employees provide an invaluable resource to all Floridians and should be commended for their continued service.” So all Florida bureaucrats will remain on the job, apparently helping all those troubled widows, orphans, etc. Bet the Grinch is ticked off about that.
As columnist Mark Steyn likes to say, a government big enough to give you everything you want still isn’t big enough to convince you to give any of it back when times get bad. The media abounds with bad economic news these days. It would be a perfect time for governments to set a good example by slashing spending across the board.
Don’t hold your breath.