Drunken Sailors

I like the phrase “spend like a drunken sailor” because it conjures a powerful mental image of the inebriated swabbie, staggering through a red-light district, recklessly blowing his money on wine, women, and song during shore leave. These days, if you are someone like me who believes that the government should not spend like a drunken sailor, you really have nowhere to turn. The Democrats are poised to spend at outrageously high levels and incur mind-boggling deficits for the foreseeable future. The Republicans, on the other hand, demonstrated that when they were in power they had no fiscal discipline and they accordingly racked up enormous deficits. Even now, some Republicans Senators are happy to vote for the most reckless spending bills so long as a few pork-barrel projects come to the Senators’ home states.

Right now, the President and his party seem to be struggling a bit, and their willingness to immerse this country in red ink is turning off some voters, like me — but Republicans should not celebrate. I don’t trust them, either. The only reason Republicans didn’t spend as profligately as the Democrats plan to is that the Republicans lacked the imagination to think it was possible.

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