Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pity the Poor Republicans

Even David Brooks was saying that the Republicans' choice to "rebut" the State of the Union Speech, Governor Bobby Jindal, was a "disaster" and that his ideas are "insane."

The best example of wasteful government spending in the stimulus bill that Jindal could come up with was a few million dollars for "volcano monitoring." I suppose he considers this wasteful because there are no volcanoes in Louisiana. But to be fair, he would have to agree that if you take away the money for the U.S. Geological Survey to prepare for potential volcano disasters, then you should probably also take away the money for hurricane monitoring, and levee monitoring in New Orleans. In Jindal's view, therefore, it must be wasteful to spend government money to try to prevent or to prepare for any kind of natural disaster. Maybe he thinks it is more efficient for private businesses each to spend their own resources keeping track of the volcanoes and hurricanes in their area. Or perhaps he thinks it is better for the government to wait for the natural disaster to destroy your city, and then spend billions supposedly re-building it. (Oh yeah, but we already tried that approach, and it didn't work out too well.)

Meanwhile, President Obama was of course, awesome. He seems to appreciate as well as anyone that it is time to seize the moment, to put forward ambitious proposals, and to make them happen with all deliberate speed.

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