Mandatory vs Optional Spending

Everybody knows the difference between mandatory and optional spending. You have to pay the rent, buy the groceries, get a toothache attended to and pay for the heat. Optionally, you can buy some champagne, a sports car, a cottage by a lake…, depending on how much money you have left over after dealing with the mandatory spending. Governments are the same way. They have to keep the roads paved, the water running, the sewers flowing, the dikes in repair, firemen putting out fires, police catching criminals, the food inspected… Optionally, governments can wage wars, explore space, support opera, offer subsidies to profitable industries such as oil, enact historical pageants… The Republicans don’t understand the difference. They imagine resource wars are mandatory, as are bonuses paid to the rich to reward them for being rich while they consider seeing that everyone is housed and fed and the country’s infrastructure is in repair to be frivolous expenditures, first to go on the chopping block. Republicans try to fool the people into chopping expenditures that benefit the general population and expand expenditures that benefit only rich Republicans regardless whether they are mandatory.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)