May 24, 2006 1:22PM

Trimming Government for Dummies

Polls show voters generally believe the federal government is not on the right track. Runaway spending is a chief concern.


A new report shows “extensive fraud” at Fannie Mae.


Options for the GOP Congress:


(a) Forget this news story and look for creative ways to increase popularity with likely voters. Maybe a congressional resolution that will call for Barbaro’s speedy recovery.


(b) Act on today’s report. Issue scores of news releases denouncing fraud.


(c) Schedule a hearing after the summer recess “to get to the bottom of these allegations.”


(d) Trim the government. Now.


Memo to Congress: Choose (d). It would be good politics and good policy.


Memo to the White House: If Congress chooses (d), this would not be the right moment for Mr. Bush to use his veto for the first time. That would be bad politics and bad policy.