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September 18, 2005
The stupid leading the idiots.
Pandagon notes the idiotic poll on Instapunkit's site about how to pay for the $200B in Katrina relief. Here are the items they suggest: Someone should have spent some time with the Federal Budget Explorer, which lets you make changes to various programs and see the effects on the budget. So let's look at those suggestions just a touch more closely, shall we?

Let's leave aside for the moment that it would be utter politcal suicide to go after farm subsidies. Leave aside also that a lot of them go to states that supported Bush and have Republican Congresspeople. Things that would probably be considered "farm subsidies" are mostly in the Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency; total budget, $20.1B. There's also the "Agricultural Marketing Service" ($1.1B), so call the total there $21.2B. Just a touch over 10%.

You can add in a whopping $.4B for the Corporation for public broadcasting, $.8B for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (Dept. of Ed.), which probably covers DARE, and throw in the entire House ($.8B) and Senate ($1.2B) budgets and come to a grand total of...

$24.4 Billion

Yep, a whole 12% of the recovery cost.

But you know, as much fun as it is to point out that these people have no clue what they're talking about, there's a larger point. Bush has been in office for 5+ years now. The GOP has controlled the Congress for 2.5+ years. If there's $200 billion in "unnecessary spending" (as Bush put it) in the budget, just who put it there? It's a typical Bush maneuver: try to arrange it so you get credit for fixing something that you broke in the first place.