Now they want mother government to take care of them – and for President Obama to go down there the moment the catastrophe happened to hold their hands and soothe their pain. It is interesting how the gulf-state conservatives' suddenly found respect for the powers and money of the federal government due to a catastrophe in their own backyard.
Case in point: Senator David Vitter (R-LA), a hardened foe of big government, posted an item on his campaign Web site about the huge oil spill in the
Then came word from the Pentagon that Alabama, Florida and Mississippi – governed by conservatives who believe in low taxes and limited government even to the point of not providing for good schools, roads, bridges, etc – want the federal government to mobilize more National Guard troops to aid in the cleanup (at taxpayer expense, of course). That followed an earlier request by the Republican governor of
“BP is the responsible party, but we need the federal government to make sure they are held accountable and that they are indeed responsible. Our way of life depends on it,” said Governor Jindal, a constant critic of big government. He is blasting the White House for not doing enough to stem the oil flow in the Gulf! This is the same guy who decried the government doing volcano monitoring. It seems obvious that what is really going on here is political calculation. Jindal’s ambitions have always extended beyond the bayou: He was not shy about blasting Obama’s stimulus package as “irresponsible” while accepting a large amount of the money. He also positioned himself as a responsible Republican voice on healthcare — dismissing the House plan as “radical,” but urging Republicans not to abandon the process.
"They're not limited in liability on damage, so if you have suffered damages, they are the responsible party," said Sessions, sounding very much like the trial lawyers he usually maligns. "We're here to send the message that we're going to do everything we can from a federal level to mitigate this to protect the people and make sure when people are damaged that they are made whole."
"They're not too big to fail," Sessions said. "If they can't pay and they've given it everything they've got, then they should cease to exist." If you believe that the federal government will not be on the hook for a major part of the costs, perhaps you would like to buy a leaky oil well in the
Congressman Thad Cochran of
"We're going to have the oil industry folks, the BP folks, in front of us on the Commerce Committee,"
These conservatives speak with forked tongues. They tell their constituents how government should only exist for defense and should not provide for the welfare of the people and then turn around and ask the federal government to spend taxpayer’s money to clean op the oil mess. Yet, their regions already get about 30% more money from
An analysis of data from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation by Washington Post database specialist Dan Keating found that people in states that voted Republican were by far the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending. In states that voted strongly Republican, people received an average of $1.50 back from the federal government for every dollar they paid in federal taxes. In moderately Republican states, the amount was $1.19. In moderately Democratic states, people received on average of 99 cents in federal funds for each dollar they paid in taxes. In strongly Democratic states, people got back just 86 cents on the tax dollar.
Personally, I think we need big government, not just for defense, but to provide a safety net for all the people – and to be there when disasters happen. Although it is likely a temporary attitude, this ecological catastrophe has Gulf coast conservatives’ crying out for the aid and purse of the federal government – a timely reminder for all that government is necessary. As conservatives in
Oh yes, they have forked tongues, indeed.