It’s the Spending, Stupid

Friday, September 30th, 2005 3:38 pm by Neal

It’s the Spending, Stupid is the title of Mona Charen’s latest essay taking the Republican leadership to task over a Federal government spending spree that is, well, NOT conservative. She writes

Perhaps you’ve heard the one about the 700 firefighters from a variety of states who volunteered to do rescue work following Hurricane Katrina? They sat in a hotel room in Atlanta for days getting sexual harassment training from FEMA officials. No joke. Note to Republicans eager to shovel new money at federal agencies: This is the way government works.

Now there’s more news that ought to be, but isn’t, a joke. Casting about for a place to temporarily house the people stuck in the Superdome and convention center in the days following Katrina, FEMA contracted with a cruise line to provide three ships at a cost of $236 million. But as aides for Sen. Tom Coburn calculated and The Washington Post reported, this averaged out to a rate of $1,275 per evacuee, per week. A quick glance at the newspaper would reveal that a seven-day western Caribbean cruise embarking from Galveston can go for as little as $599 per person. And that includes entertainment and the cost of actually propelling the ship through the water.

How did FEMA get snookered?

Read the essay to find out. It’s not a happy story, but as Charen points out, this is the way government works (or doesn’t work). I’m afraid that the Republican leadership simply isn’t aware that the majority of their base is fiscally conservative and disgusted by the Medicare prescription drugs bill, farm subsidies, pork-laden transportation bills, and now, federal hurricane bailouts. Are we at a point where the only significant difference between the modern Republicans and the Socialist Democrats is support for the War on Islamic Terrorism?

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