Today’s Wall Street Journal has taken on the contention of the New York Times editorial in which it was asserted that events such as super-storm Sandy proves the ‘need’ for more big government. Followers of NYT will not be surprised, as the policy of the paper seems to be that stubbing your toe proves the same thing.
First there is the Opinion Journal video ‘Left won’t let a storm go to waste’ where Bret Stephens is interviewed and comments, “You judge the quality of a persons thinking by the type of strawmen they construct:” (Contains ad)
There is also an editorial column which despite being Romney centric, generally agrees with the libertarian perspective that government action should be devolved down to the lowest level possible to get the job done:
Citizens in the Northeast aren't turning on their TVs, if they have electricity, to hear Mr. Obama opine about subway flooding. They're tuning in to hear Governor Chris Christie talk about the damage to the Jersey shore, Mayor Mike Bloomberg tell them when bus service might resume in New York City, and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy say when the state's highways might reopen.
Energetic governors and mayors are best equipped to handle disaster relief because they know their cities and neighborhoods far better than the feds ever will, and they know their citizens will hold them accountable. The feds can help with money and perhaps expertise.
The larger liberal fallacy here is that effective government requires bigger government. Americans expect a government, at whatever level, to do its core functions well. But the bigger and more costly the government, the more likely it is to do more things poorly.
The rush to use Hurricane Sandy to justify a bigger federal government makes us wonder if there's an excuse liberals won't use to grow Leviathan? The reality of the federal fisc is that whoever wins next Tuesday is going to have to choose between functions best done by the federal government and those that can be done better by others. A government that can't distinguish between a big storm and Big Bird is simply too big.