The Wall Street Journal this morning carries a feature by my pal Stephen Moore about the elfin Grover Norquist, who reminds us that Democratic promises about future spending cuts to accompany immediate tax increases are “imaginary unicorns.” Which brought to mind a useful phrase that Churchill applied to his old friend David Lloyd-George that we ought to revive and deploy just now—“the Happy Warrior of Squandermania.” Here’s the full quotation, from 1929:
The Rt. Hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs [Lloyd George] is going to borrow 200 million Pounds and to spend it upon paying the unemployed to make racing tracks for well-to-do motorists to make the ordinary pedestrian skip . . . Lord Rothermere, chief author of the anti-waste campaign, has enlisted under the Happy Warrior of Squandermania. . . This is the policy which used to be stigmatized by the late Thomas Gibson Bowles as the policy of buying a biscuit early in the morning and walking about all day looking for a dog to give it to.
Too bad Britain never had the wit to put this obscure Thomas Gibson Bowles person together with King Edward’s mistress Wallace Simpson, thus to form their own Simpson-Bowles Commission (rim shot).