Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The failure of the government entitlement mentality

From NewsMax:
America's top talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday that the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the fingerpointing that has ensued offers the nation some profound lessons.

"What we've seen in New Orleans is first and foremost the utter failure of generation after generation after generation of the entitlement mentality," Limbaugh began at the top of his show.

Flood victims had been doubly victimized by the perception that government would somehow save them from nature's rage, he said.

"They had no idea what to do because they've been told somebody else was going to fix it."

After fostering dependency among the citizens of New Orleans, Limbaugh said state and local officials failed to respond to the dependency they helped create.

"You've all seen the pictures of the school buses and the municipal buses that are flooded and ruined," he noted, referring to widely circulated photos of buses that sat idle throughout the storm just a mile away from the Superdome.

"We know there was an utter failure to execute an evacuation plan that was long in place," he said, before charging: "We're looking here at utter incompetence - total incompetence from the mayor of New Orleans and the Gov. of Louisiana."

"[The flood victims] were told to go to the Superdome but even then they had to walk to the Superdome" as the storm battered the city. "And they had to bring their own food and water to the Superdome," he noted

The top talker didn't spare federal officials, saying that another lesson of Katrina is that "large bureaucracies that grow ever larger by the year cannot handle circumstances like this."

"We have also learned that the utter failure of large bureaucracies only begets hearings by those bureaucracies which will serve really one purpose: And that is to give themselves excuses and reasons to further enlarge those bureaucracies - which will only compound our problem."

Only one government bureaucracy functioned well under the stress of the Katrina crisis, Limbaugh said: the U.S. military.
Whether you like Limbaugh or detest him, I have to say that this is one area where I agree with him. After all, you just know that Shrillary's proposed "Katrina Commission" will be as useless as tits on a boar...or similarly, the 9/11 Commission. The "Katrina Commission" will be used to (a) point fingers of blame, and (b) bloat the federal government even further. Of course, Bush will go along with the idea for fear of "What would resisting the idea look like?"

However, depressingly, don't look for the entitlement mentality to go the way of the dodo bird anytime soon.

By the way, I don't know if Limbaugh is advocating NO government help. I doubt it, but I won't speak for him. Personally, I think it was incumbent on state and local governments to better facilitate and coordinate the evacuation and rescue, but I do agree that this "I'm not worried...the government will come through!" mindset that undermines individual responsibility contributed to the alarming lack of urgency displayed. The flooded buses and the delayed reaction by Gov. Blanco to federal comandeering requests are the two biggest embarrassments and tragedies to this whole ordeal, and lives were lost as a result.

Look, I'd rather have waited until cleanup, rescue, and aftercare were completed before the fingerpointing and calls for investigation began. However, the left started this fight while the grown-ups tried to address the actual problems, so don't expect me to pull a "Gang of 14" and take this one lying down.