Now, finally, is the time for fiscal discipline
Or so say the Congressional Republicans.
The drive to pour tens of billions of federal dollars into rebuilding the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast is widening a fissure among Republicans over fiscal policy, with more of them expressing worry about unbridled spending.Odd how money was never an issue during the first Bush tax cut of 2001. Or the second tax cut of 2002. Or the third tax cut of 2003. Or the Medicare bill. Or the fourth tax cut of 2004. Or the first, second, third, fourth or fifth "emergency" spending bills for Iraq and Afghanistan. But now, NOW, it appears it's time to reign in the runaway train. And DeMint is worried about accountability?!?!? Has the fine Senator ever heard of the Coalition Provisional Authority or the Iraq Reconstruction and Relief Fund?
On Thursday, even before President Bush promised that "federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone," fiscal conservatives from the House and Senate joined budget watchdog groups in demanding that the administration be judicious in asking for taxpayer dollars.
One fiscal conservative, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, said Thursday, "I don't believe that everything that should happen in Louisiana should be paid for by the rest of the country. I believe there are certain responsibilities that are due the people of Louisiana."
Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, called for restoring "sanity" to the federal recovery effort. Congress has approved $62 billion, mostly to cover costs already incurred, and the price tag is rising. The House and Senate approved tax relief Thursday at an estimated cost of more than $5 billion on top of $3.5 billion in housing vouchers approved by the Senate on Wednesday.
"We know we need to help, but throwing more and more money without accountability at this is not going to solve the problem," Mr. DeMint said.
Odd how the US Representative for most of the New Orleans conurbation is a Democrat. And how the US Representative for southeast Louisiana is a Democrat. And how the US Representative for the Mississippi Gulf coast is a Democrat. I think I'm seeing a pattern here.