In Shakespeare's "Hamlet," Polonius gives his son wise advice: "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be." Clearly, those who put together the budget of the United States government have ignored the advice of Polonius for a long time.
President Bush delivered a $2.5 trillion budget (search) to Congress this week.
To his credit he wants to eliminate 150 outmoded government programs, saving taxpayers $15 billion per year.
It's a small start, but cutting wasteful programs is a move in the right direction. After all, it's our money, not the government's money.
We are hearing the usual protestations from people who worship at the shrine of big government and think you should, too.
Remember welfare reform? Some of the same people complaining now about program cuts said if welfare were reformed people would starve to death. Instead, they found jobs. Welfare reform worked and so will killing off government programs that don't work.
Recall Ronald Reagan's (search) wonderful line as you hear Democrats complaining about the deficit, which they never complained about when they were in the majority. Reagan said we have a deficit not because the American people are taxed too little, but because their government spends too much.
Spending too much is one of the few bipartisan activities left in Washington. Too many Republicans have joined Democrats they used to criticize in overspending and misspending. They get to Washington and find that programs and spending keep them in power.
In the debate over the president's budget, listen for the same over-the-top language we've heard before. Before proceeding with this budget, maybe they should read "Hamlet."
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.