As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, who promises that he and his fellow Republicans will “protect taxpayers against the rush to spend their money.”
This loud pledge of thrift and transparency by the G.O.P. leadership might be more persuasive coming from people who had displayed such inclinations anytime before last year’s election. But these are the same politicians who squandered astronomical amounts when they controlled the federal budget.
And today, at a moment when economists of all stripes agree that we must spend big and spend fast to forestall a depression, the timing of the Republican conversion is as dubious as its credibility. To delay the stimulus spending proposed by President-elect Obama for the sake of partisan posturing is to risk disaster.
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