Saturday, September 17, 2005


Subsidiarity Part 2: Thoughts on Bush's Thursday Night Speech

Although he hem haws and stutters like a machine gun when trying to give extemporaneous remarks, President George W. Bush ranks right up there with Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill when giving prepared speeches intended to inspire and uplift.

His address to the Nation on September 15th on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was another example of this--at least in part.

He very movingly spoke about volunteers, aid and rescue workers, hospital personnel, and ordinary citizens banding together and scarificing heroically to assist those in need. He also took pains to allay many concerns by pointing out that recovery efforts are moving ahead of schedule and that the "major gasoline pipelines are now in operation, preventing the supply disruptions that many feared. "

But then he goes from sounding like Churchill after the Battle of Britain to sounding like a Matthew Lesko {1} infomercial. When he got done disclosing all the federal monies he plans to throw at this disaster, LBJ's legacy became that of a fiscal conservative in comparison. When I hear the President say such things as , "Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone, from roads and bridges to schools and water systems", I must ask, "Principle of subsidiarity, where art thou?" Why is the federal government picking up the tab for infrastructure that is the responsibility of the local government? And why isn't the President asking why the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana failed so miserably in their duty to both prepare for something like this and execute even the deficient procedure they already had in place and demand that they be held accountable?

As with all other federal spending on social programs, the lion's share of this money will never even reach its so-called intended recipient, especially with city and state officials that are as corrupt as those in the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. For example, before the Hurricane, Louisiana had already federal funding to upgrade the levee systems. Want to know where that money went? It went to paying for fiber optics for the casinos.

Whatever meager funds that do get to those who are poor is gonna wind up, in large part, in a crack pipe or liquor bottle. I mean, that's where most of the welfare money that hasn't been gobbled up by a greedy bureaucrat has gone in the last forty years. How does George W ( W as in Wide Open Wallet) Bush expect this to be any different? He's going to have a "team of inpectors general reviewing all expenditures" ? Great! One group of clueless and/or corrupt bureaucrats looking over the shoulders of the group of another. I'll sleep better at night knowing the foxes really do guard the hen house now.

Besides, if the private faith-based and secular organizations are doing as well the President says (and I do believe they are, don't misunderstand me), then why does he see any need for such intrusive federal involvement? He should cheerlead their efforts and insure that the federal governement is going to stay the hell out of the way. Everyone will be better off for it.

Finally, it is high time for both the President and other politicians who call themselves conservatives to stop allowing the race card to be dealt in situations like this. I believe the President had both the opportunity and the duty to denounce those who used Hurricane Katrina to advance their hate-filled, race-baiting agenda. Charlatans and shakedown artists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who have profited for far too long off of the misery of those they claim to speak for need to be treated with the same disdain that we so willingly (and rightly) treat white racists like David Duke and other KKK remanants.


{1} For those of you may be unfamiliar with Matthew Lesko, he's that goofy looking guy who has that infomercial hawking a book on how to get (not borrow) government money for everything from getting a Ph.D to taking an overseas vaccation.


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