Monday, September 19, 2005

Sucking up to Bush

Michael Barone's latest syndicated column is a big wet kiss to Bush. Consider, if you can stand it, the following:
In Jackson Square, Bush found his voice for the first time since the levees broke. He described the people he had seen on the ground and the recovery work that had already been done. He promised to rebuild the Gulf Coast and re-engineer New Orleans, and added -- wisely, in view of Louisiana's heritage of corruption -- that inspectors general would oversee the spending.
The whole world is wondering whether we can trust the idiots who can't account for nearly $9 billion meant for reconstruction of Iraq. Don't worry, Barone assures us. Our brilliant Preznit is going to make inspectors general keep an eye on those bad boys in Louisiana.
Bush's liberal critics have been hoping that the Katrina disaster would increase support for big government, and they have a point when they say that there are some things only government must do and that it -- or they: local, state, federal -- must do them well. Bush's proposals use government differently. Like the GI Bill of Rights and the no-down-payment VA home mortgages of Franklin Roosevelt, Bush's Worker Recovery Accounts and Urban Homesteading would help people out, but only those who in turn do something to lift themselves up.
So let's get this straight. Liberals are salivating at the prospect of a return to big government. But Bush has a better way. Unlike those feckless liberals, he's going to be like Franklin Roosevelt. Is there any other way to read this? Yes, it really is that stupid. Barone continues directly:

And his Opportunity Zone turns on its head the liberal notion that the most effective way to help the poor and helpless is to tax everyone else heavily and hand out money to those in need.

Instead, Bush will borrow money heavily and hand it out to his contractor friends and give it away in tax breaks. The policy innovations from this White House have completely confounded liberalism.
Lower taxes and less bureaucracy, Bush is saying, will enable people in the private sector to build the kind of self-propelling economy that offers everyone a chance out of poverty.
Apparently Barone is letting Karl Rove write his columns for him.