[W]ould-be government contractors [met] in the Hart Senate Office Building to figure out how to get a share of the money [Me: IN THE SENATE OFFICE BUILDING!!]. A "Katrina Reconstruction Summit," hosted by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and sponsored by Halliburton, among others, brought some 200 lobbyists, corporate representatives and government staffers to a room overlooking the Capitol for a five-hour conference that included time for a "networking break" and advice on "opportunities for private sector involvement."But all that money's covered, right? The fiscally conservative GOP is covering it, right? Tax hikes, spending cuts, or something?
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) sent his budget director, Bill Hoagland, who cautioned that federal Katrina spending might not exceed $100 billion. But John Clerici, from a law firm that helped sponsor the event, told the group that spending would "probably be larger" than $200 billion. "It's going to be spent in a fast and furious way," Clerici said.
[A] member of the Republican Study Committee [which proposes to pay for hurricane relief spending through budget "offsets", essentially budget cuts in other areas, and not through tax increases]... accepted that Congress would not find cuts to pay for the $62 billion spent so far on Katrina -- much less the $250 billion more that Louisiana wants from the feds. If "we find $20 billion in offsets, we'll probably declare victory," said the congressman, who spoke on the condition that he not be named.Let's see... that's at least $42 billion not covered in offsets, meaning that, in the BEST case scenario, "fiscal conservatives" are going into hock on over 66% of the funds, and more likely more than 90% of the funds.
I always said that Republicans would destroy this country if they got their way, and they're doing it in full effect. If you're a Republican, you can argue, blah blah blah, all day long, about that's not how you'd do it, these are RINOs, but your party is in control of every... single... branch... of... government. And it was Republican voters that nominated them and overwhelmingly voted for them to put them in office. It's your fault that Bush, who has not vetoed a single spending bill during his administration and has spearheaded enormous tax cuts, is the President (well, yours and the Supreme Court's). It's your fault that an unrepentant band of thieves runs Congress. It's your fault that wing nuts from such divergent extremes as Grover Norquist, Jamse Dobson, and their bastard son Rick Santorum have such pull in this country in spite of the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with them about just about nothing.
If you're a Republican, it's your fault and you are an unindicted co-conspirator in the looting and destruction of America. Congratulations.