Even Steyn


It is a rare day when I take issue with the great Mark Steyn. But The Master has given in to despair on the subject of President Bush's response to Katrina in his Chicago Sun—Times column today. He laments to scope of spending that has been promised, and predicts massive theft of the proceeds. He's probably right on the latter point, but I think he's underestimating the probability of sneaking in some market—based solutions. He and I agree on the following point, but disagree on the probability of President Bush acting in accord with it:

Ambitious presidents seize on extreme events to change the culture, as FDR did, using the Depression to transform the nature of the federal government.

I see the Presdient using Katrina as a vehicle for introducing reform, via school vouchers and other "strap money to the victim, not the bureaucrats" measures. In particular, I expect the Great States of Mississippi and Texas to use their federal moneys in ways consistent with structural reform. Louisiana, corrupt and Democratic, will be a tougher case, to be sure. But, watching its neighbors recover comparatively quickly, and missing an unknown number of Cemocrat voters from the below sea level districts of New Orleans, even Louisiana might eventually change.

Hat tip: Dennis Sevakis

Thomas Lifson   9 25 05