August 31, 2011

Peoria looks east . . .

. . . and from the Peoria Journal Star we learn that this is how it is playing in Peoria:

PEORIA — Rest assured, East Coast, Uncle Sam will be there for you in cleaning up. You may have to swap some other government services down the road for the immediate help, but hey, the most critical thing now is that your political leaders have arrived to do the math.

Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Fox News Channel that Congress would "find the money if there is a need" to assist ravaged local communities in the wake of the twin wallop of an earthquake and a hurricane, but that it would mean offsetting the price tag dollar for dollar "with appropriate savings or cost-cutting elsewhere."

You know, it goes without saying - which is why it should have been left unsaid - that the federal government has unprecedented budget challenges, that this is one more its leaders hadn't reckoned on, that "monies are not unlimited" and that it's probably going to require moving some dollars around. But with 41 people dead in 11 states as a result of Hurricane Irene as of this writing, $7 billion and counting in estimated property damage, nearly 3 million people still without power, homes and roads and businesses under water or swept away, don't you want a firefighter coming to your rescue right now rather than a bean counter to remind you the meter is running? Don't you want to hear from a sympathizer-in-chief rather than a scold-in-chief lecturing you about the foolishness of borrowing to buy that car when you should have been planning in advance for a loved one to get sick?

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