Excerpt Of The Day: Offsetting Disaster Spending

“It’s shameful: Conservatives in Congress now compare Bush — unfavorably — to Bill Clinton. Staffers point out that when disaster triggered unanticipated spending on Clinton’s watch, that government-loving liberal actually asked Americans to make some tradeoffs.

After the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake, Clinton asked for more than $3 billion to offset the new costs. The Democratic Congress gave it to him.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Clinton asked for more than $1 billion in cuts. The newly Republican Congress insisted on more than $15 billion in offsets. (Let’s hear it for divided government!)

Since taking office, Bush has yet to ask for a single offset to disaster-related spending.

The point of the debate among the Republicans isn’t about whether to spend the money needed to rebuild after Katrina — that’s a given. The question is whether, even under the most extreme of circumstances, they can make even the most minor of cuts to the size of government.” — Ryan Sager

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