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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/26/2005 4:40:27 AM EDT
www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007278

The GOP's New New Deal
The bill for Katrina may fall due next November.

BY STEPHEN MOORE
Monday, September 19, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

There's an old adage that no one in Washington can tell the difference between $1 million and $1 billion. Seldom has that Beltway learning disability been more vividly demonstrated than in the weeks since Katrina.

When President Bush announced last Thursday that the feds would take a lead role in the reconstruction of New Orleans, he in effect established a new $200 billion federal line of credit. To put that $200 billion in perspective, we could give every one of the 500,000 families displaced by Katrina a check for $400,000, and they could each build a beach front home virtually anywhere in America.

This flood of money comes on the heels of a massive domestic spending build-up in progress well before Katrina traveled its ruinous path. Federal spending, not counting the war in Iraq, was growing by 7% this year, which came atop the 30% hike over Mr. Bush's first term. Republicans were already being ridiculed as the Grand Old Spending Party by taxpayer groups. Their check-writing binge in response to the hurricane only confirmed, as conservative leader Paul Weyrich put it, that "the GOP, once the party of small government, has lost its bearings and the Republican establishment doesn't seem to get the message that the grass roots of the party is enraged."

Congressman Todd Aiken of Missouri complains that Congress was forced to vote on the $62 billion first installment of funds "even though we knew a lot of the money may go to waste." Mr. Aiken and several dozen other House conservatives proposed an amendment to the $62 billion hurricane relief bill that would offset at least some of the emergency spending by cutting other government programs a meager 2.5 cents out of every dollar that federal agencies spend.

Was the amendment defeated? No. The Republican leadership would not even allow it to come to a vote, on the grounds that there was no waste which could be easily identified and cut.

Dozens of other reasonable proposals to offset Katrina's tidal wave of deficit spending have been similarly repelled. Mike Pence of Indiana suggested a one-year delay on the multitrillion dollar new prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. For 220 years, seniors have managed without this give-away; one more year of waiting would hardly be an act of cruelty. It would save $40 billion, but there were no takers. Then there was the well-publicized idea by Republicans and several Democrats in Congress to cut $25 billion for bike paths, train-station renovations, nature trails, parking garages, auto museums and 6,000 other such pork projects in the just-enacted highway law. It was torpedoed by the powerful committee chairmen who patched this abominable bill together in the first place.

It's only been 10 days since reconstruction funds were voted out of Congress, but there are already stories of misspending. For example, the Louis Vuitton store reported selling two monographed luxury handbags for $800 each, both paid for by women with FEMA's $2,000 emergency disaster relief debit cards.
Rapacious trial lawyers are already on the hunt rounding up Katrina's victims to unleash a barrage of multimillion dollar lawsuits. Now they have been empowered by Congress to finance these lawsuits against taxpayers . . . with taxpayer dollars.

The government has just allocated $250 million for "counseling and legal services." After 9/11, the federal government authorized tens of millions of dollars for "counseling" to traumatized families of the victims. A Republican Study Committee audit discovered that millions went for "peace" and "diversity" workshops, a "yearlong celebration of trees, gardens and other healing places," theater workshops, anger-management classes and multiculturalism programs to discuss "who we are and why we are here." (Isn't that what churches are for?)

Politicians from seemingly every congressional district appear to be elbowing their way to the orgy table for a slice of this $200-billion pie. At last count, 12 governors declared their states emergency disaster areas, and thus eligible for federal aid. Iowa, Michigan and Utah, for example, states nowhere near the Hurricane, are lining up for disaster relief funds.

Conspicuously missing from the post-Katrina spending debate is a question for some brave soul in Congress to ask, What is the appropriate and constitutional role here for the federal government? Before the New Deal taught us that the federal government is the solution to every malady, most congresses and presidents would have concluded that the federal government's role was minimal. One of our greatest presidents, Democrat Grover Cleveland, vetoed an appropriation for drought victims because there was no constitutional authority to spend for such purposes. Today he would be ridiculed by Ted Kennedy as "incompassionate."

We all want to see New Orleans rebuilt, but it does not follow that this requires more than $100 billion in federal aid. Chicago was burned to the ground in 1871; San Francisco was leveled by an earthquake in 1906; and in 1900 Galveston, Texas, was razed by a hurricane even more ferocious than Katrina. In each instance, these proud cities were rebuilt rapidly and to even greater glory--with hardly any federal money.

Alas, in the world of compassionate conservatism, the quaint notion of limited federal power has fallen to the wayside in favor of an ethic that has Uncle Sam as first, second and third responder to crisis. FEMA, despite its woeful performance, will grow in size and stature. So will the welfare state. Welcome to the new New Dealism of the GOP.
Both political parties are now willing and eager to spend tax dollars as if they were passing out goody-bags to grabby four-year-olds at a birthday party. The Democrats are already forging their 2006 and 2008 message: We will spend just as many trillions of dollars as Republicans, but we will spend them better than they do. After witnessing the first few Republican misappropriations for Hurricane Katrina, the Democrats may very well be right.

Mr. Moore is senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal and a member of its editorial board.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:53:28 AM EDT
Shit. Do you think I could convince them I'm from NO and my apartment was destroyed? I'll say my birth certificate was in there!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:56:32 AM EDT
This will be the biggest campaign advertisement relief effort you and I have ever seen.




CMOS
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:07:03 AM EDT
I regret my '04 vote.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:08:34 AM EDT
ibtbb (inbeforethebushbots)

And yes, I voted for him twice.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:08:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



I am sure Kerry wouldn't have sent funds to NO, and he probably wouldn't have pushed to have the AWB renewed, huh?

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:11:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



What would you suggest he do: tell them to fuck off?
He is not going to raise taxes to pay for it (at least he
has directed Republican congressional leaders not to).
I agree that it is a shitty deal, but since this is the
greatest natural disaster in US history, he kind of had
to open the wallet.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:12:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



I am sure Kerry wouldn't have sent funds to NO, and he probably wouldn't have pushed to have the AWB renewed, huh?




Kerry wouldn't have been able to do nearly as much damage as Bush because he'd have had a hostile congress.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:17:09 AM EDT
so if bush cuts welfare payouts, cuts envorowacko subsidies, cuts pork spending on useless projects, and ruduces overseas givaways, and decides to spend the money here in the good ol' USofA, what would you say about it then? hhmmmmmmmm?
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:19:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



I am sure Kerry wouldn't have sent funds to NO, and he probably wouldn't have pushed to have the AWB renewed, huh?




Kerry wouldn't have been able to do nearly as much damage as Bush because he'd have had a hostile congress.



Right. And the congressional votes for rebuilding NO would have been different 'just because', I suppose.

'Logic' like yours put Clinton in office for two terms.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:22:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



I am sure Kerry wouldn't have sent funds to NO, and he probably wouldn't have pushed to have the AWB renewed, huh?




Kerry wouldn't have been able to do nearly as much damage as Bush because he'd have had a hostile congress.



Right. And the congressional votes for rebuilding NO would have been different 'just because', I suppose.

'Logic' like yours put Clinton in office for two terms.



And Clinton was largely stopped on his agenda, the most obvious example being universal health care. Note that Bush has approved more spending than any of his predecessors, including Clinton.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:52:58 AM EDT
btt - your tax dollars at work.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 7:04:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 7:06:39 AM EDT by LANCEMAN]

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
so if bush cuts welfare payouts, cuts envorowacko subsidies, cuts pork spending on useless projects, and ruduces overseas givaways, and decides to spend the money here in the good ol' USofA, what would you say about it then? hhmmmmmmmm?



Sounds nice even though it will never happen because this is what is called "Compassionate Conservatism" Besides Congress controls the purse strings and how many things has the President ever vetoed ? I think it is somewhere in the neighborhood of ZERO.

ETA: I want to know where they are finding Beachfront houses for under 500,000 or even a million for that matter around here. You can't even buy a 1/4 acre beachfront around here for under 500,000.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:06:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LANCEMAN:
[I want to know where they are finding Beachfront houses for under 500,000 or even a million for that matter around here. You can't even buy a 1/4 acre beachfront around here for under 500,000.



Yeah, that's a bit overstated, but I think you get the author's point.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:13:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 10:13:39 AM EDT by RichinCM]

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



What would you suggest he do: tell them to fuck off?
He is not going to raise taxes to pay for it (at least he
has directed Republican congressional leaders not to).
I agree that it is a shitty deal, but since this is the
greatest natural disaster in US history, he kind of had
to open the wallet.



Presidents up until about 1910 never used public money for disaster recovery/rebuilding. That means that Galveston and SF got nothing for their hurricane and earthquake, respectively. What we are witnessing is democracy in action. When 51% of the people realize that they can take from 49% by law, then democracy fails.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:20:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



I am sure Kerry wouldn't have sent funds to NO, and he probably wouldn't have pushed to have the AWB renewed, huh?




Kerry wouldn't have been able to do nearly as much damage as Bush because he'd have had a hostile congress.



Assuming one considers this 'Damage'...



NO POLITICIAN FROM ANY PARTY WOULD EVER GO ON RECORD 'ECONOMIZING' DISASTER RELIEF IN A CASE LIKE THIS!

This is an untouchable situation, politically, and NO will get whatever funds the state/locals want...

It's just political reality...
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:20:43 AM EDT
The Conservatives want Iraq rebuilt but not one of our own cities.

Liberals want one of ours rebuilt but not Iraq.

Being the American I am, I say we take care of our own. The cost seems to be a bit insane though. I think they should rethink that.

Or better yet, lets make Iraq pay for it. All that $ we spent on those SOBs they should return the favor.



Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:21:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:23:18 AM EDT
I regret my vote as well after the renewal of the patriot act and other things he has done. Lesser of two evils was deceiving this time around.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:24:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
so if bush cuts welfare payouts, cuts envorowacko subsidies, cuts pork spending on useless projects, and ruduces overseas givaways, and decides to spend the money here in the good ol' USofA, what would you say about it then? hhmmmmmmmm?


'Bout effing time!!!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:28:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



I am sure Kerry wouldn't have sent funds to NO, and he probably wouldn't have pushed to have the AWB renewed, huh?




Kerry wouldn't have been able to do nearly as much damage as Bush because he'd have had a hostile congress.



Assuming one considers this 'Damage'...






Of course spending us into oblivion is "damage".



NO POLITICIAN FROM ANY PARTY WOULD EVER GO ON RECORD 'ECONOMIZING' DISASTER RELIEF IN A CASE LIKE THIS!

This is an untouchable situation, politically, and NO will get whatever funds the state/locals want...

It's just political reality...



More to the point, it's a cultural reality. As they say, we get the government we deserve. This kind of action is entirely predictable, since our culture considers it "just and equitable" to trample the rights of one group to serve the needs of another group; the politicians are just following suit. The Founding Fathers foresaw this and did their best to write into the Constitution specific language protecting individual rights, but no such document could stand up to decades of erosive institutionalized and mandated altruism. And unless the populace comes to fully understand the meaning of "liberty", things will get worse. A lot worse.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:29:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
so if bush cuts welfare payouts, cuts envorowacko subsidies, cuts pork spending on useless projects, and ruduces overseas givaways, and decides to spend the money here in the good ol' USofA, what would you say about it then? hhmmmmmmmm?



I'd love for him to do all that, and NOT spend the fucking money.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:39:00 AM EDT
I'd rather have them spend $200 billion on fellow Americans than on some shithole on the other side of the globe...
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:41:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RichinCM:

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



What would you suggest he do: tell them to fuck off?
He is not going to raise taxes to pay for it (at least he
has directed Republican congressional leaders not to).
I agree that it is a shitty deal, but since this is the
greatest natural disaster in US history, he kind of had
to open the wallet.



Presidents up until about 1910 never used public money for disaster recovery/rebuilding. That means that Galveston and SF got nothing for their hurricane and earthquake, respectively. What we are witnessing is democracy in action. When 51% of the people realize that they can take from 49% by law, then democracy fails.



No. When 51% realize they can take from 49% that is democracy in action.

Long live the Republic!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:52:39 AM EDT
I saw someone explain his dismal poll numbers (like that matters, he aint up for reelection).
Leftists like his rebuilding plan but will never support him anyway, and his base hates the rebuilding project so they also dissapprove. Hence his approval at 37%!!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:56:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 10:56:43 AM EDT by kill-9]

Originally Posted By Roland_O_Gilead:
No. When 51% realize they can take from 49% that is democracy in action.

Long live the Republic!



Except the more that politicians worry about popularity polls, the more like a democracy, and the less like a republic, the U.S. becomes.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:18:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I regret my '04 vote.



What would you suggest he do: tell them to fuck off?
He is not going to raise taxes to pay for it (at least he
has directed Republican congressional leaders not to).
I agree that it is a shitty deal, but since this is the
greatest natural disaster in US history, he kind of had
to open the wallet.



Bush won't raise taxes but somewhere very soon down the road someone will have to raise the taxes to cover all of new social programs and spending Bush has put in place. Right now the annual federal budget deficit for last year was $427 Billion. Bush said by 2009 it should be cut in half. That was before the latest spending request for Iraq and before the hurricanes. Even if you take the original numbers and take the time frame Bush was claiming, which no one other than he was supporting, the government would still be spending $200+ Billion more than it was making. With the Federal Debt pushing almost $8 trillion dollars, the government can't go on spending hundredes of billion dollars more than it makes. Someone sometime very soon is either going to have to kill a bunch of social programs, screw all of us by cutting back on law enforcement, roads, schools....or taxes are going to have be increased.

While this might have been the largest disaster of the day, Bush's actions of appologizing for the federal government not running everything, appologizing for the federal government not getting there quick enough so save everyone, dropping a huge amount of cash trying to make someone happy, and stating that next time the government will do more...Bush is setting the precedent that the federal government is going to come in, save the day, pay for everything, and rebuild things any time there is another disaster.

In my book Bush has gone soft, sold us out, sold out what we stand for and just plain sucks now. As for the Kerry comments, the election is over get over it. We are stuck with Bush now and what he is doing sucks and it's real. Comparing him to some theorectical worse evil...doesn't make up for the fact that right now he really sucks.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:56:41 AM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 12:22:10 PM EDT
Just this morning the president was commenting on making it easier in the future to use the US military as first responders and for domestic LE operations. He kept saying "the federal government must take a larger roll". That doesn't make me feel good

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:07:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LANCEMAN:
Just this morning the president was commenting on making it easier in the future to use the US military as first responders and for domestic LE operations. He kept saying "the federal government must take a larger roll". That doesn't make me feel good




Like I said, until the culture changes, we're in for some intrusive, expensive government, paid for by those who work for a living.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:27:16 PM EDT
...for the evening crew.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:44:40 PM EDT
I don't even know what to think about all this. Makes it seem like right when i start earning a decent living, i will be paying for all this crap now. Fiscal conservatism appears to be DOA along with any hope of a small, responsible .gov. I really don't think i care who drives the country anymore. It's like choosing between a drunk and a crackhead. i think i'll just walk.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:47:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BustinCaps:
Fiscal conservatism appears to be DOA along with any hope of a small, responsible .gov.



It is.
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