home

GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina

by Last Night in Little Rock

The NY Times reports today that G.O.P. Split Over Big Plans for Storm Spending. I wrote here that the federal government had a moral obligation to pay for the damage and reconstruction.

Suddenly, the big spenders become misers.

The drive to pour tens of billions of federal dollars into rebuilding the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast is widening a fissure among Republicans over fiscal policy, with more of them expressing worry about unbridled spending.

On Thursday, even before President Bush promised that "federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone," fiscal conservatives from the House and Senate joined budget watchdog groups in demanding that the administration be judicious in asking for taxpayer dollars.

Billions for Iraq, no questions asked. Money for Americans to recompense a Paleo-Con debacle: "Whoa, let's talk about it." What hypocrites.

And so it goes ...

< Teaching the Constitution | Documentary Questions Murder Conviction >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    "Billions for Iraq, no questions asked. Money for Americans to recompense a Paleo-Con debacle: "Whoa, let's talk about it." What hypocrites."...TChris hypocrite n : a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he does not hold TChris, supporting spending money on one thing and being less supportive of spending money on a completely different thing does not a hypocrite make. But you already knew that didn't you?

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    sarc: Fiscal conservatives? Only when it makes them look good. Nice try with your carefully selected definition. You look like a hypocrite too when we see what else the word means.
    Hypocrite: One who plays a part; especially, one who, for the purpose of winning approbation of favor, puts on a fair outside seeming; one who feigns to be other and better than he is; a false pretender to virtue or piety; one who simulates virtue or piety. [1913 Webster]
    Take your choice they all sound spot on to me.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#3)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    I support using federal money to rebuild, with some quibbling over details, but how does one fulfill a moral obligation by spending other people's money?

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    roy-once the tax check clears it is not "other peoples money."

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#5)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    NO is one of "our" great cities. Please use "our" money to rebuild it. Please do not use "our" money to hire mercenaries, here, or elsewhere

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    Squeaky, thanks for the definition. I guess I only had access to dictionary.com and not a 1913 edition of Websters. Regardless, every aspect of your definition is based on "a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he does not hold." Funny how that works, and funny how supporting spending on one thing and being less supportive of spending on another still does not a hypocrite make. Many folks seem to have an emotional attachment to NO which seems to overwhelm their common sense. I do not believe we can build a levee that will protect NO against all storms, nor do I think that future presidents and congress's will have the self-discipline to continually fund said levee's upkeep for perpetuity. Therefore, I believe we're laying the groundwork for another greater and completely avoidable catastrophy in future. On the plus side, this massive gvt spending will give a huge boost to the economy of the gulf coast and a significant boost to our nation's economy. I'm sure we'll have to pay the piper at some point, but, since the spending apparently can't be stopped, we might as well make hay while the sun shines.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#7)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    On the plus side, this massive gvt spending will give a huge boost to the economy of the gulf coast and a significant boost to our nation's economy.
    See the broken window fallacy.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#8)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    roy, yep, various talking heads (and wikipedia) differ in their opinions as to what the effect rebuilding NO will have on the gulf coast and national economy. Despite my misgivings about the wisdom of rebuilding there at all, I don't choose to throw my lot in with the economic gloom and doomers. However, if I'm wrong about the rebuild's effect on the economy, then I have no reason to support it at all.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:55 PM EST
    I support using federal money to rebuild, with some quibbling over details, but how does one fulfill a moral obligation by spending other people's money? Apparently you aren't familiar with the "liberal" mindset. They think it's their money.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#11)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:55 PM EST
    sarcastic If the Republican President proposes massive funding for the Gulf but the Republican Congress does not fund these projects, doesn't that make Republicans hypocrites? roy, If rebuilding the Gulf is not a moral obligation, then why do you support it?

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#12)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    I favor federal funding of the rebuild as a practical, rather than moral, obligation. I think our current system is set up so that the government is supposed to take over disaster recovery, and you have to go to the federal level to find enough money in this case. I'd like our system to move to small government or private(*) solutions, but we can't just switch to that approach now that there's a big bill. If it is a moral issue, I don't see how the current plan provides any absolution or virtue for the President, congressmen, or any other beurocrat. They make no real sacrifice; they force sacrifice upon the people in the form of taxation, and direct the money. Directing that money well won't make anybody a nice, generous, or moral person. It just makes them effective. That can fulfill a practical obligation, but not a moral one. *: "Private" is not a code-word for corporate welfare. I am not a Republican.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#13)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    "As all of us saw on television, there is also some persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action." George Bush
    My question is this. Bush has been in office for five years. What bold action has he taken to assist those people who live in poverty and are victims of racial discrimination? Is poverty something he's just discovered from watching television recently? Also, is his plan just to help the minorities and poor who were victims of Katrina and ignore everyone else? After years of purposeful neglect, Republicans are being forced to help the poor and minorities. If you ask me this is the real reason that the GOP is grumbling about the costs of Katrina.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#14)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    "If the Republican President proposes massive funding for the Gulf but the Republican Congress does not fund these projects, doesn't that make Republicans hypocrites?" john paul, that's an interesting question. If a Repiblican Congress person says "I don't think we should fund the rebuilding of NO" and really believes that, where's the hypocricy? If the answer to your question was "yes," then every congress person that chooses not to support his party's leader on any issue would be a hypocrite.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    NO is six feet below sea level. It does not take a genious to figure out that it will flood again and you can't stop it. Move NO to high ground or don't waste my tax dollars on that city. I live in a state that was affected by a flood and did anyone take up donatations for us, hell no. Hurricane Floyd 1999 Coming just two weeks after Hurricane Dennis saturated the coastal soil, Floyd caused an estimated $6 billion primarily in flood damage and claimed 56 lives, making it the deadliest hurricane in the U.S. since Agnes in 1972. Deaths: 56 Homes destroyed: 7,000 Homes uninhabitable: 17,000 Homes damaged: 56,000 Number of people housed in temporary shelters: 10,000 Number of customers without electricity at some point: over 500,000 Number of people rescued from flooded areas: over 1,500 I know the numbers are not that close but at that time it was the worse and we got nothing. We had people in temporary housing for more the three years. So go cry me a river if it takes more then a week to rebuild NO.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#16)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    Funny how the Netherlands are below sea level and their system works just fine. bushco will never abandon the area, too much oil biz there. But just like he pledged money for NYFD, securing our ports, body armor for soldiers, this land grab will benefit no one but bush campaign contributors. e.g. getting rid of the minimum wage, but allowing no bid contracts for KBR.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    "e.g. getting rid of the minimum wage" I must have missed something, he got rid of the minimum wage?

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    I must have missed something, he got rid of the minimum wage?
    He sure did. The vultures are descending on the city before the corpses have been counted.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    No he did not. "President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage." Prevailing wage in construction is higher, often much higher, than minumum wage. Regardless, Bush did not remove the minimum wage requirement.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#20)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    sarcastic I agree with you. Republicans who publicly oppose the rebuilding of New Orleans and oppose helping the poor and minorities are not hypocrites. They are being true to their beliefs.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    good night JH.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    OK sarc, you are technically correct. However, the main point is that this benefits no one but a very lucky few at Halliburton and Bechtel. Everyone else stays poor. under the Davis-Bacon Act, for construction in Orleans parish,laborers would make about $7-10 per hour. By suspending Davis-Bacon, Bush is now saying that Halliburton doesn't have to pay that much. To put this in perspective, a laborer with a wife and two kids, if he were the sole support, working full-time, would be at or below the Federal poverty level even if he received the Davis-Bacon wages.

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#23)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:57 PM EST
    Sailor, You are right about the Dutch, they had a huge flooding disaster in 1953. The system they built to prevent a repeat is very impressive. Too bad that America in 2005 does not feel able to match the Netherlands of the 1950's. "We're number 120!"

    Re: GOP Worries About the Cost of Katrina (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:57 PM EST
    For a long time now the Federal Government has been struggling with a problem involving flood relief. People build a house on a flood plain, the house gets destroyed, the government pays them to build another house right on the flood plain again. The house gets destroyed again. It's quite clear that's a crappy situation. The correct solution is to help people rebuild someplace nearby, but no longer on the flood plain. If they rebuild NO the same as before, it will flood again. Because the democrats have such a strong desire to hurt Bush they are now effictivly hurting the future of NO by preventing anyone from the Bush administration from trying to come up with a rebuilding plan that will help protect a "New" New Orleans. Instead it'll be rebuilt like before. The levee's will get strengthened, but they'll still evenuatlly fail due to the local conditions. With regards to comparisons to the Dutch: 1) A significant percentage of the low countries are below sea-level. THey have no choice but to rely on levees. Talking about how great their levee system is is making a virtue of necessity. NO could be built more intelligently, why not do that instead? 2) When was the last time they got hit by a catagory 4 hurricane? NO has a lot more to contend with than they do.