Liberals insist President Barack Obama's "stimulus" program has worked to pull the nation out of the economic doldrums. Yet when it is suggested social programs expanded - allegedly temporarily - to help victims of the recession can be pared back, they resist.
An attempt was made this week to reduce spending on the food stamp program by a measly $2 billion a year - only about 2.5 percent of what the program costs. It was defeated by an unlikely set of allies.
Before you accuse proponents of such trimming of wanting to hurt the poor, consider this: Americans spend about $80 billion a year on food stamps. That is twice the budget of just five years ago, courtesy of expanded eligibility promoted by Obama and liberals in Congress.
Clearly, Americans with a national debt exceeding $16 trillion need to set priorities for spending. Yet Obama and liberal lawmakers resist any control.
Still, a coalition of thoughtful Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives might have forced some cuts through an omnibus five-year agriculture bill voted on Thursday. But the bill was defeated, 234-195.
Of course, most Republicans voted in favor of the cuts - but 62 did not. Why? Some analysts say they voted no - in effect supporting anti-cut Democrats - because they did not believe the spending control went deep enough.
Perhaps not. But apparently conservatives who voted against it have never heard the advice that half a loaf is better than none, especially in view of the fact Democrats control the Senate. This is no way to save taxpayers from bloated government.