Progressives have long believed government spending is a force for good. And, of course, sometimes it is just that.
However, the tendency to waste money and misdirect precious resources and time is ever present when OPM is at stake and politicians are empowered to spend OPM on whatever they decide will be best for society as a whole.
Let's see what famed journalist and critic H.L. Mencken had to say about all this in the Great Depression era of the 1930s in Notable & Quotable:
"H.L. Mencken, writing in the 1930s, collected in "A Mencken
Here is the perfect pattern of a professional world-saver. His whole life has
been devoted to the art and science of spending other people's money. He has
saved millions of the down-trodden from starvation, pestilence, cannibalism, and
worse—always at someone else's expense, and usually at the taxpayer's. . . .
Of such sort are the young wizards who now sweat to save the plain people
from the degradations of capitalism, which is to say, from the degradations of
working hard, saving their money, and paying their way. This is what the New
Deal and its Planned Economy come to in practise—a series of furious and
irrational raids upon the taxpayer, planned casually by professional do-gooders
lolling in smoking cars, and executed by professional politicians bent only upon
building up an irresistible machine."
What Mencken said in the 1930s still rings true today.
People are people and "world-savers" are still saving the world.
Self reliance is a no-no to the "world-savers," but the do-gooders somehow never manage to save people from themselves, no matter how wise their decisions, how much time or how much OPM they have at their disposal to spend.
OPM is expensive and largely ineffective, but to the government knows best gang of "world-savers," there's never enough OPM to get the job done.
Some things never change.