Does Bipartisanship = Bigger Government?

The Washington Post praises the “attempt to rise above the partisan squabbles that too often have paralyzed Washington” that led to agreement on a massive spending bill. Denouncing “the old ways” and “the customary blame-gamesmanship,” the Post editorializes:

The gang of 20 or so moderate Democrats and Republicans, led by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), heeded the president’s call for bipartisanship and hunkered down to produce the bill announced Friday night. Though the details of the package still need to be examined, the senators’ effort was an admirable one.

Being respectful and working together are very nice attributes. But the bottom line must be whether the country is better off with the product of the bipartisanship. And in this case the core of the controversy is whether a government running a $1 trillion deficit should spend another $820 billion (which willl almost certainly be more after it emerges from conference committee) that it doesn’t have. The Post asserts that the bill is “aimed at providing the quick and large injection of funds into the economy experts say is necessary.” But the Post knows very well that many economists disagree with that claim.

The Democratic and Republican senators who have made possible the passage of the largest spending bill in history have done the country no favors. The Post’s editors may disagree with that assessment. But the issue should be freedom, economic recovery, and the morality of piling more debt on our children, not process and politeness.