The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Monday, September 05, 2005

starve the beast

As Grover Norquist, Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and the rest of the free-market anti-government folks say. Starve the beast (government) of taxes, and it'll naturally shrink, stop trying to do so much. "Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem," Ronald Reagan asserted in his First Inaugural Address. These guys have been so good for so long at convincing the public that government is bad, even a Democrat--Clinton--proclaimed in his 1995 State of the Union that "The era of big government is over."

Wow. What a difference a hurricane makes. Now, all of a sudden, people are realizing that maybe the government does have an important place in the life of a nation. An old joke runs that the ten scariest words in the English language are "We're the federal government, and we're here to help you." Do you think that the folks in the New Orleans Convention Center or Superdome or Biloxi waterfront think that? The Norquisties are hiding, and Bush continues to stress that the government and 'the private sector' and 'faith-based groups' work together to alleviate the disaster of Katrina, but is there anyone around today that isn't rethinking the demonization of the government?

Stephen Elliott, in today's Salon puts it nicely this way:

"The disaster, it seems to me, is the failure of a philosophy. A philosophy of small government, tax cuts, deficits, and privatization. The federal government should have arrived sooner but the federal government was doing other things."

I wonder if small-government warrior Trent Lott's going to take any Federal money to rebuilt his house?

At least they're staying the course in one respect: Halliburton's got the New Orleans cleanup contract from the Feds.

1 Comments:

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger KGC said…

    Funny how everyone seems to find confirmation of their own philosophy in the Katrina disaster. Liberals remain liberals, libertarians remain libertarian, and conservatives, inexplicably, remain sorry apologists for the current administration. I haven't come across a single person who has reconsidered their demonization (or worship) of the state as a result. Myself included.

     

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