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Republican Party (United States)

The Dead Tree Theory

Republican Party (United States) 46%

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Whenever a president gives a major address, like the one Barack Obama delivered to Congress this week, the opposition party delivers a rejoinder. Which American citizens always ignore. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s speech was, therefore, a kind of triumph. So bad, people actually paid attention!

We will pass over Jindal’s delivery, which sounded a little like a junior high schooler’s entry into the Chamber of Commerce “I Speak for Fiscal Restraint” contest. The content was the thing: a message to the nation that the Republicans were not going to have anything important or useful to say about the current economic crisis.

Absent any deep thoughts, the Republicans are going to complain about waste. The high point of Jindal’s address came when he laced into “wasteful spending” in the stimulus bill, and used as an example a $140 million appropriation for keeping an eye on the volcanoes in places like Alaska, where one is currently rumbling.

“Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.,” Jindal claimed.

I don’t know about you, but my reaction was: Wow, what a great stimulus plan. The most wasteful thing in it is volcano monitoring.

Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don’t have to hear their govern. rs bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That’s because they’re living off ours.

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By GAIL COLLINS

See Nytimes


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