But more telling than the fact that Bush and Pelosi want to spend our tax dollars on precisely the same things is that they both insist they are "investing" when they spend our money on more government.
On whose behalf are they investing our money?
Webster's Dictionary has a straightforward definition for "investment." It is: "The investing of money or capital to secure profitable returns, especially interest or income."
When you make a successful investment of your own money -- perhaps even by taking an "innovative" approach in a "competitive" environment -- the profitable returns come back to you. When you miscalculate, you absorb the loss.
But what happens when the government "invests" your money for you? Who gets the gain? Who absorbs the loss?
When politicians say they are "investing" money they took from you in compulsory taxes, they want you to believe you are getting something back in return. Yet, except when the government carries out its core constitutional functions -- such as maintaining a military to defend us all against foreign enemies -- federal government "investing" takes money from all taxpayers and then targets the benefit of spending that money at two groups: the special interests that actually receive the money and the politicians who take credit for spending it.
In the programs Bush and Pelosi are promoting, math and science teachers and corn and switch grass farmers may benefit. For the rest of us, politicians will have to argue that our return on their investment of our money will be indirect -- or will materialize only over the long run.
If past experience is any guide, for example, even the families who send their children to the very public schools targeted by new federal education spending may not benefit from it. And their neighbors who also pay taxes while sending their children to Catholic, Christian or Jewish Schools must satisfy themselves in the knowledge that the kid down the street who attends public school has a higher paid math teacher now thanks to the shared "investment" strategy of a Republican president and a Democratic House leader.
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