Thursday, January 15, 2009

Steyn 1/15/09

Another Routine Emergency

My take on Mark Steyn's latest. His column was published on the Orange County Register.

Summary: For the inauguration of Barrack Obama, George W. Bush declared Washington, D.C. a Federal Disaster Area. Obama and the Democrats are fine with this because now they can tap into FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds to help pay for costs associated with the inauguration. This is the first time in history that the inaguration of a President has been officially declared a national disaster.

The proposition that a new federal administration is itself a federal emergency is almost too perfect an emblem of American government in the 21st century. FEMA was created in the 1970s initially to coordinate the emergency response to catastrophic events such as a nuclear attack. But there weren't a lot of those even in the Carter years, so, as is the way with bureaucracies, FEMA just growed like Topsy. In his first year in office, Bill Clinton declared a then-record-setting 58 federal emergencies. By the end of the Nineties, Mother Nature was finding it hard to come up with a meteorological phenomenon that didn't qualify as a federal emergency: Heavy rain in the Midwest? Call FEMA! Light snow in Vermont? FEMA! Fifty-seven under cloudy skies in California? Let those FEMA trailers roll!
My Views: What more is there to say? This shows more than anything the state of how government budgets and spends money in our day in age.

Mark Steyn is a syndicated columnist from Canada. Here's his Wiki bio.

His latest book is on the right. This is the book that got several Human Rights Commissions in Canada hot and bothered. With free speech under unprecidented attack, Mark Steyn managed to pull out a badly needed victory. This was the first time a Canadian Human Rights Commission found a defendent innocent.