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In Which I Say Something Nice About Bush

To shift into a far more wonkish mode for a moment, I actually think President Bush's proposal for a line-item veto is excellent:

"When the president sees an earmark or spending provision that is wasteful or unnecessary, he can send it back to the Congress," Bush said. "And Congress is then required to hold a prompt up-or-down vote on whether to retain the targeted spending. In other words, the Congress is still in the process."

He said this procedure would "shine the light of day on spending items that get passed in the dark of the night," sending "a healthy signal to the people that we're going to be wise about how we spend their money."

Matthew Yglesias is right that pork is hardly the biggest of our problems (or even of our budgetary problems), and that Bush is unlikely to actually use the line item veto for much. But pork is still a problem, and the law would remain on the books for more responsible future Presidents (not Frist, but perhaps McCain) to use. In any event, given that Congress is controlled by Republicans, I'd rather see them spend their time on doing a tiny amount of good than their other agenda items (FMA, ill-advised tax cuts, etc) that do a large amount of harm.


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