Friday, September 16, 2005

Will Congress Buy It?

Bush rules out a tax hike to cover the cost of rebuilding after Katrina:
The president said in a nationally televised speech Thursday night that the federal government will pick up most of the tab. Congress has already approved $62 billion in aid, and reconstruction costs are estimated to be at least $200 billion. . . .

Speaking at the White House Friday afternoon, Bush said that although rebuilding the Gulf Coast would be expensive, he was "confident we can handle it and our other priorities." He said the government will "have to cut unnecessary spending" and should not raise taxes.
That raises a few questions:
  • If the feds are going to pick up the tab for Katrina (presumably the uninsured damage), why not pay for everyone's uninsured damage? Why don't we all cancel our auto, homeowners, and umbrella liability policies and let the rest of the nation insure us through taxes? In fact, why not cancel all health insurance and let the federal government run the health-care system. Oops, sorry, I got carried away there.
  • If the federal budget includes $200 billion in unnecessary spending (a mighty low estimate, in my opinion), why is it in the budget in the first place? I know, I know, pork and bureuacratic empire-building. All essential, of course -- until it's unnecessary.
  • And will members of Congress from the States that were largely unaffected by Katrina stand by while Bush moves their pork to Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and a few others? Do you believe in the tooth fairy?
Stand by for some kind of tax increase. Read my lips.