Lawrence Kudlow has many smart things to say about GWBs Gulf Coast rebuilding program. Among others, he downplays the significance of the cost and emphasizes, as I have before, the role of the market and personal responsibility in the plan.
But the most interesting observation concerns the international audience for Bushs proposals:
Bush knows, even if others have forgotten, that the terrorists are carefully watching the U.S. government’s response to the natural disasters in New Orleans, Houston, and elsewhere. Hurricanes are one thing, but a terrorist attack with biochemical weapons or a nuclear weapon would be far more devastating. Even another 9/11-type bombing episode from the air, ground, or sea could present more of a challenge than what we now face in the Gulf Coast. Bush knows this. He knows that the U.S. must rebuild the Gulf no matter what it takes because this effort might be a test run for something far worse.
Is $200 billion too high a price to pay to send a message to our terrorist enemies? I doubt it.