Enough is Never Enough
Apparently, the 60.4 billion dollars of deficit spending that Congress approved in response to Hurricane Sandy just wasn’t enough for some folks. We’re looking at you Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (sub. req’d).
She wants to authorize even more spending (presumably that will add to the deficit) to help prepare the region for future extreme weather events. When you have a penchant for spending like Sen. Gillibrand, sad to say, you’re in good company in the Senate.
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) have also “plead[ed] for investments in infrastructure that will stand up to future storms.” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is right there with them, cheerleading for the Army Corps of Engineers. She called a hearing to focus on how Congress can “expedite” and “improve” management of the Corps.
Her timing is impeccable!
Might we suggest it would have been more fruitful to consider the Corps’ inefficiency before they were awarded millions of dollars in the Sandy supplemental? We called attention to the Corps inability to manage projects in mid-December – they have a backlog of construction and operations and maintenance at the cost of approximately $70 billion. But as usual, the liberals chose to ram this legislation through and think about inefficiency later.
In fact, there were widespread calls for the Sandy Supplemental bill to focus strictly on recovery efforts, as opposed to rushing through massive amounts of money for adaptation. In typical congressional fashion, they decided to do both!
These lawmakers erroneously maintain the notion that the federal government can fix all problems. The Heritage Foundation’s Matt Mayer rebutted that idea shortly after Sandy:
Most important, it is critical to engage and leverage the private sector in recovery efforts. Though federal funds can assist in rebuilding infrastructure, the only way to restore what was lost in the devastation is to make it as easy as possible for the private sector to return, rebuild, and reinvigorate those communities and businesses that were affected by the storm.
If Congress and the federal government had an ounce of trust in the private sector and the free market and the ability of the states to use funds more wisely than the federal government, maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t have run trillion-dollar budget deficits every year of President Obama’s time in office.
It’s tragic, really. A crazy $60.4 billion in deficit spending isn’t enough for some Senators. Until liberal Senators let the scales fall from their eyes, and face the fact that spending must be cut, we will remain on a very dangerous fiscal path.
Heritage’s Romina Boccia explains:
Congress must put the federal budget on a firm course to balance in 10 years and keep it balanced, without employing budget gimmicks. Congress should abstain from abusing disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, to push through excess spending. Neither should Congress enact laws that count on spending outside the 10-year budget window, as is the case with Obamacare’s coverage expansion provisions.
Unfortunately, it seems some lawmakers are better at robbing us than representing us.