Who Has the Right to Waste My Money?

I’ve wasted my money from time to time. I once bought a pair of bell-bottom jeans. I took Susie W. on a date. I bought a Cuban cigar when I was in the Caribbean. I contributed to Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. But I always figured that was my business–it was, after all, my money. Now, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu sets me straight, as Mark Steyn writes:

On Friday, he defended the ban on Edison’s iconic incandescent in economic terms:

We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.

It is easy to understand why this offends the Obama administration: they want a monopoly on wasting our money. Mark writes:

I wonder if Secretary Chu has any idea how stupid this argument sounds from an administration that has wasted more of other people’s money than anybody else on the planet. Secretary Chu and his colleagues took a trillion dollars of “stimulus” and, for all the stimulating it did, might as well have given it in large bills to Charlie Sheen to snort coke off his hookers’ bellies with. (In my weekend column, I touch on only the most lurid and outrageous of the government’s many smart investment decisions: its use of stimulus dollars to stimulate the Mexican coffin industry.) …

There’s a limit to the amount of damage I can do wasting my own money. There are no limits to the damage Chu & Co can do wasting my money.

Actually, I think Mark is a little too kind. My own view is that Chu should be tarred and feathered. This would be a subtle way of reminding him that our right to spend our own money is not dependent on his approval.