Invoking his own name-and-shame policy, President Barack Obama warned the nation's mayors on Friday that he will "call them out" if they waste the money from his massive economic stimulus plan.
"The American people are watching," Obama told a gathering of mayors at the White House. "They need this plan to work. They expect to see the money that they've earned — they've worked so hard to earn — spent in its intended purposes without waste, without inefficiency, without fraud."
In the days since the White House and Congress came to terms on the $787 billion economic package, the political focus has shifted to how it will work. Obama has staked his reputation not just on the promise of 3.5 million jobs saved or created, but also on a pledge to let the public see where the money goes.
If we are relying on Barack "spread-the-wealth-around" Obama as the watchdog of our public treasury, we might as well pack it in now.
Of course, it will be difficult for anyone to "cut the fat" out of stimulus spending, because it's all "fat."
But as long as we're pretending that there is some legitimate purpose for the stimulus spending other than rewarding Democrats' political allies, shouldn't Obama and Congressional Democrats have put fiscal safeguards against wasteful overspending into the stimulus bill before enacting it? Waiting until the bill is enacted into law and then threatening to say bad things about cities that waste the money is rather weak, isn't it?
Between this sort of daily domestic bad news and Obama's rapid dismantling of America's national security (check out Charles Krautmanner for the latest recap of alarming developments), it's difficult for anyone to be sincerely pleased with where the country is headed under President Obama.