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October 26, 2005

Commentary: John Stossel

John Stossel
What Congress Did Is Disgusting

Years ago, interviewing economist Walter Williams for a show ABC News called "Greed," I was perplexed when Williams said, "a thief is more moral than a congressman; when a thief steals your money, he doesn't demand you thank him."

That was silly hyperbole, I thought, but watching Congress spend, I see that I was naive and Williams was right.

When the Democrats held power, I confronted Sen. Robert Byrd about wasting our money on "Robert Byrd Highway"-type projects in West Virginia. His answer was as arrogant as he was: "I would think that the national media could rise above the temptation of being clever, decrepitarian critics who twaddlize, just as what you're doing right here."

"Twaddlizing?" I asked.

"Trivializing serious matters," he explained.

I persisted, "Is there no limit? Are you not at all embarrassed about how much you got?" Byrd glared at me in silence, and finally demanded, angrily, "Are you embarrassed when you think you're working for the good of the country? Does that embarrass you?"

The Republicans promised to change the culture. Democrats sold panic. "Don't vote for them! They're going to shrink government and take away your favorite programs!" They needn't have worried. The Republicans got elected, but if the Democrats' goal was to expand the government, they were the real winners.

Once Republicans were in power, they started spending money even faster than the Democrats did.

Posted by Danny Carlton at October 26, 2005 07:34 AM

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