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Goner Message Board / ???? / Katrina makes the case against government
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 9:48 pm
 
Katrina makes the case against government


By Thomas Bray / The Detroit News

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During a Los Angeles radio program, Ari Kelman, a history professor at the University of California, Davis, approvingly quoted a colleague as asserting that Katrina "might be our first libertarian atrocity."

What he meant is that the drive to cut taxes and minimize government, fueled by libertarian sentiments, had supposedly dealt a severe blow to society's capacity to anticipate, plan for and recover from natural -- and unnatural -- disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Democrats and some Republicans are making clear they hope to use the hurricane as a rationale for refusing to extend the tax cuts enacted in 2002-03 and even launching a new poverty program in the guise of hurricane relief.

"Democrats think this is the worst possible time to be cutting taxes," intoned Thomas Kahn, staff director for Democrats on the House Budget Committee.

But if there is a message in Hurricane Katrina, it's not that taxes are too low. Indeed, federal tax revenue is $225 billion higher than a year ago -- and up more than 50 percent in the last decade. Federal spending has been rising fast, too: It's back up to about 19.5 percent of gross domestic product, almost exactly the average of the postwar era.

The problem is that it's much more fun politically to spend billions on highly visible, $225 million bridges to nowhere in Alaska than on stronger levees in New Orleans. In any case, America had large surpluses in the late 1990s, and nothing was done then to strengthen the levees either.

If anything, the response to Katrina helps make the libertarian case. Let's keep in mind that Katrina was the true atrocity, a gigantic storm whose effects took nearly everybody by surprise. But when the partisan hysteria abates a bit, what we are likely to find is that government at all levels failed to perform effectively. Would that be a big surprise?

President Bush deserves blame for thinking that in creating the Department of Homeland Security, and placing a patronage-run Federal Emergency Management Agency within it, he had done something substantive about U.S. preparedness. But state and local authorities performed no better, and in some cases worse.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco reportedly turned down Bush's offer to use federal troops. New Orleans authorities kept their fleet of school buses on the sidelines rather than enforce their mandatory evacuation order. And when the going got tough, a third of its famously corrupt police department took to the hills.

Many of the same folks who have been so quick to criticize government for its failure to get things right during Hurricane Katrina now are demanding even bigger government. There is certainly a case to be made, in the age of nuclear-armed terror, that a president should be able to order troops into an emergency without waiting for an invitation -- though civil libertarians might want to think carefully about the implications once they are through bashing Bush.

I disagree with hard-core libertarians on several issues. But they are right to remind us that government failure is no accident. Political incentives tend to make for a lot of misguided decisions, based more on who has the votes than on who really needs the money.

Fortunately, democracy tends to correct its mistakes more quickly than other forms of government. But citizens shouldn't delude themselves that higher taxes and bigger government will make them much safer in the long run.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 9:57 pm
 
Fortunately, democracy tends to correct its mistakes more quickly than other forms of government. But citizens shouldn't delude themselves that higher taxes and bigger government will make them much safer in the long run.

I think that citizens with half a brain will agree with this last statement; what is needed is government that fucking works. Where are all the citizens saying "Hey we need higher taxes and bigger government to fix this Katrina mess!" What is The Detroit News?
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:01 pm
 
"I think that citizens with half a brain will agree with this last statement"
half a brain, yes.
a WHOLE brain, no.
as a social-worker(re:parasite),I suppose you know what side the butters on.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:12 pm
 
Public campaign financing.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:15 pm
 
Go fuck yourself.

What makes you think I am a "parasite"?

You are such a little bitch. You know absolutely nothing about me, my work, my paycheck, nothing. I suppose I should have known better than to try to comment on some half-ass Libertarian propagandha posted by the mighty Goubler. Fuck off.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:24 pm
 
No true Conservative president would pull the National Guard out of a disaster-prone state, in order to fight for abstractions like "democracy" in the Middle East...alot of other Conservatives are pissed, too. If the GOP want my vote in '08, they've gotta clean the stench of the Bush administation out of the party, and I dont see that happening.I may even(holds back vomit) vote Dem. if they nominate a pro-defense, old-style Democrat.
sorry for the political harange;this week has shown how meaningless this shit is in the long run...again,if there's any way i can help anyone out, lemme know.


Words of the wise.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:40 pm
 
Thomas Bray writes for the Wall Street Journal opinion page. He's never met a tax cut he doesn't like and is frightened of any pro-environmental policies. The Journal had the famous "lucky duckies" column about poor people not paying their share of taxes, hence they were "luckie duckies."
My guess is that a number of the folks commenting on the board here are potentially "luckie duckies!"
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:44 pm
 
"Go fuck yourself."
good one!!(but do you talk that way in front of "the children"?)
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 10:51 pm
 
"My guess is that a number of the folks commenting on the board here are potentially "luckie duckies!"
I know I am.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 11:10 pm
 
good one!!(but do you talk that way in front of "the children"?)

Absofuckinglutely. They'd insist on it if I was dealing with a prick such as yourself.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 11:13 pm
 
"Absofuckinglutely. They'd insist on it if I was dealing with a prick such as yourself."
yeah, the prick you quoted 5 posts above.
I'm really impressed you "care" about the children...just like Michael Jackson!
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 11:14 pm
 
"Occupation: Social Workin Fool"
truer words were never spoken.
Posted: Sep 12, 2005 11:23 pm
 
OK, this is the last for me as it is fairly obvious you are just simply baiting me at this point. But I have to ask, why are you so miserable? Seriously. I don't see how you function in the world with your sad ass "personality". Do you interact with people or do you sit around and masturbate to the CATO website?

And finally, what are you fucking doing looking at my My Space profile? You are a fucking creep, man! Jesus!!!
Posted: Sep 13, 2005 7:40 pm
 
How can you define a social worker as a parasite? I don't understand.
Posted: Sep 13, 2005 10:11 pm
 
I have been working on trying to figure it out and while I can't figure HIM out, I think he has the typical idea of a social worker as someone who works for the government snatchin' kids and handin' out checks. And that is being kind to what I believe is going on in his brain.
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