Late in life, St. Augustine characterized his youthful, wayward ways in a droll prayer: “Lord, make me chaste and celibate — but not yet!”
Today, politicians of both parties understand the sentiment.
On Monday of last week, President Barack Obama unveiled his budget to Congress with this nicely worded maxim: “We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter, as if the hard-earned tax money of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money.”
Obama proposed a record budget of $3.8 trillion — including a deficit of well over $1 trillion. We can’t keep deficit spending like this, but we keep deficit spending like this.
Talking to reporters, Obama admitted that he and his friends in Congress “won’t be able to bring down this deficit overnight.” He cited the need for more job creation as reason to continue to spend so much money.
Money we don’t have. So it will be borrowed. Against future taxes. Or future default.
Sure, the president is proposing a freeze. To start next fiscal year. And he’s proposing a bipartisan committee to cook up some way to balance the budget. The committee hasn’t been formed yet.
That seems like too much procrastination for the state of our nation. I think St. Augustine would agree with me: Virtue is not something you put off until next year.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.