Republicans Who Hate Big Government Want Big Government Reponse To Oil Spill
“BP is the responsible party, but we need the federal government to make sure they are held accountable and that they are indeed responsible. Our way of life depends on it,” Jindal said.
Jindal’s ambitions have always extended beyond the bayou: He wasn’t shy about blasting Obama’s stimulus package as “irresponsible” — while accepting much of the money.
He also positioned himself as a responsible Republican voice on health care — dismissing the House plan as “radical,” but urging Republicans not to abandon the process.
Other small-government conservatives have suddenly seen the bureaucratic light and are begging for government intervention.
Alabama, Florida and Mississippi — all three governed by men who once considered themselves limited-government conservatives — want the federal government to mobilize (at taxpayer expense, of course) more National Guard troops to aid in the cleanup.
About the time that Alabama, Florida and Mississippi were asking for more federal help, three small-government Republican senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions of Alabama and George LeMieux of Florida, were flying over the gulf on a U.S. government aircraft with small-government Republican Rep. Jeff Miller (Fla.).
“We’re here to send the message that we’re going to do everything we can from a federal level to mitigate this,” Sessions said after the flight, “to protect the people and make sure when people are damaged that they’re made whole.”
And Sessions, the Senate’s most ardent advocate of tort reform, is anxious to sue BP. Conservative Congressman Thad Cochran of Mississippi says he is making sure “the federal government is doing all it can.” Another limited-government conservative, Senator Roger Wicker, also of Mississippi, says he will “make sure the federal government is poised to assist in every way necessary.”
There’s a reason conservatives should embrace the federal government. Their regions get more money from Washington than their Democratic counterparts.
It may have taken an ecological disaster, but the gulf-state conservatives’ newfound respect for the powers and purse of the federal government is a timely reminder for them. As conservatives in Washington complain about excessive federal spending, the ones who would suffer the most from spending cuts are their own constituents.
An analysis of data from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation by Washington Post database specialist Dan Keating found that people in states that voted Republican were by far the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending. In states that voted strongly Republican, people received an average of $1.50 back from the federal government for every dollar they paid in federal taxes. In moderately Republican states, the amount was $1.19. In moderately Democratic states, people received on average of 99 cents in federal funds for each dollar they paid in taxes. In strongly Democratic states, people got back just 86 cents on the tax dollar.Click here for reuse options!
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