Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Natural Disasters and Frank Wolf

I haven't heard Frank Wolf comment on the California fires yet, but given his actions after Hurricane Katrina, I can only imagine. Courtesy of Rob on Raising Kaine, let's take the "way back machine" to December 22, 2005:
It's not often that I agree with Faux News, but this guy nails the problem with Frank Wolf's discriminatory amendments against the entertainment and tourism industries in the Katrina relief bills:
All of that said, Rep. Wolf's prohibition amendment to the aid package is, nonetheless, reprehensible. It's a naked attempt to impose his own morality on the victims of a natural disaster. In some ways, it's not all that different than the fringe fundamentalists who proclaimed that Katrina was some sort of divine wrath for New Orleans' penchant for indulgence. They believed liquor stores and casinos didn't deserve to be spared. Wolf's amendment says they don't deserve to be rebuilt.

Wolf's proposal is also bad economic policy (accepting the fact that such aid programs aren't great economic policy to begin with). Good developmental economic policy lays down a few general ground rules establishing property rights and enforcement of contracts, then lets businesses thrive or bust, flourish or wither, based on how well they meet public demand. The aid bill was purportedly aimed at getting businesses wiped out by this year's hurricane season back on their feet. Wolf's amendment turns it into a social engineering bill.

Wolf in fact was so sure of his moral rectitude in this matter, he didn't even want an honest dialogue on the matter. In a "Dear Colleague" letter circulated to his fellow members of Congress, Wolf wrote, "Prohibiting massage parlors, liquor stores and casinos from getting tax breaks is not a tough call. In fact, there really shouldn't be any debate."

Reprehensible discrimination. Bad economic policy. Fundamentalist meddling. Welcome to Frank Wolf's world!

I couldn't have said it better myself.

P.S. Maybe Wolf might start by condemning right-wing commentator Glenn Beck for his heinous remarks.

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