Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Kudlow on Bush’s Katrina response

Lawrence Kudlow has many smart things to say about GWB’s 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 Bush’s 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.

Discussions - 1 Comment

I would think that potential terrorists learned another thing: that both state and federal governments are almost helpless when it comes to protecting their citizens.

Time was used and wasted creating and restructuring bureaucratic departments (Dept. Homeland Security, czar for intelligence ,or whatever the position is named) instead of creating dependable plans for evacuating people, and improving infrastructure for evacuations. It is obvious our current interstate system is not up to the task; people may either die at home, or die in a traffic jam.

I appreciate the distinction between the federal/state balance and how it differs when facing natural disaster and terrorist attacks, but the hope of terrorists will not be diminished by such legal minutia. Terrorists have clearly seen that our officials are not serious about disasters. Instead of electing Augustans and Antonines we have only elected Neros.

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