Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Challenge to My Senators

I'm about to send the following message to Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn of Texas:

The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison/John Cornyn
United States Senate
Congress of the United States
Washington, D.C.

Dear Senator Hutchison/Cornyn:

I'm writing to you about Hurricane Rita, which may soon strike a devastating blow to Texas. As you know, President Bush has said that the federal government will pick up the tab for rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That tab is estimated to be about $200 billion, or around $700 per American. I hope that the $700 will be funded by cutting "pork" and other unnecessary government spending, as President Bush has suggested.

So, in spite of the prospect of grievous damage to homes and businesses in Texas -- and in the expectation that persons who live near the Texas Gulf Coast will evacuate inland -- I hope that Hurricane Rita leads to the following results:

1. The President should call for the uninsured damage to be defrayed by taxpayers, as before.

2. The cost of Rita will lead to additional cuts in unnecessary federal spending.

3. This will continue as additional hurricanes and other unavoidable natural disasters occur, depleting all unnecessary federal spending for FY2006, and perhaps beyond.

4. Congress, then facing the prospect of evolving into a sort of disaster-relief agency with the power to appropriate funds, will resist any further spending on disaster relief, by issuing the following joint resolution:

WHEREAS, the legislative power of the Congress of the United States is limited by Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States, and

WHEREAS, said Section does not contemplate the provision of disaster preparedness or relief, notwithstanding previous and erroneous interpretations of the Commerce, General Welfare, and Necessary and Proper Clauses of the Constitution, and

WHEREAS, Congress shall therefore no longer be a party to disaster-preparedness and disaster-relief programs that have the effect of encouraging and subsidizing the maintenance of residences and businesses in high-risk areas, and

WHEREAS, such encouragement imposes undue burdens on those persons who sensibly choose not to live in high-risk areas, and

WHEREAS, persons and businesses who choose to live and operate in high-risk areas should be responsible for protecting and insuring themselves and their property, and

WHEREAS, when persons and businesses do not take responsibility for themselves they make economically inefficient decisions that have ramifications for the well-being of all Americans, in addition to the direct costs of disaster preparedness and disaster relief, and

WHEREAS, the functions of disaster preparedness and relief can be provided more effectively and at lower cost through private insurance (if properly deregulated); other cooperative, market-based measures; and private charity, and

WHEREAS, government programs absorb funds that individuals and business could put to better use in such private endeavors, and

WHEREAS, the defense of Americans and their property from armed attacks is a legitimate function of the United States government, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that from this day forward Congress shall not appropriate or make any other provision for disaster preparedness or disaster relief, except as necessary in the event of attacks upon the persons and/or property of American citizens by enemies of the United States, foreign or domestic.

Liberty Corner