“Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never play cards with a man named Doc. And never lie down with a woman who’s got more troubles than you.”

That was Nelson Algren’s advice to a young man. Let’s add one:

Never believe a politician who says, “I can get you this tax cut, Olympics, or war without your having to pay for it.”

Some folks locally and nationally have got the message — no free lunch. With referendums approaching April 17 in these three Chicago collar counties the open-space movement is telling taxpayers what they’ll get and what they’ll pay for it. And four DC lobbying groups — the wonkarific Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Concord Coalition, the Committee for Economic Development, and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget — on March 21 announced their support for “a budget resolution that would reinstate a pay-as-you-go rule in the Senate requiring any expansion  in mandatory programs  or any tax cut — including initiatives assumed in reserve funds — to be paid for with reductions in other mandatory spending or increases in other taxes.”

Ummm, does this make me a Republican? Should it?