[BUMPED. See LATE ADD below.]
How will he turn the failures of the Democrat Flint city council and his own Environmental Protection Agency against the Republicans, I wondered, for surely as the sun rose today, just as if you let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity and you need not see it fall to know that it has in fact fallen, Barack Obama would.
"And this is not the place to sort out every screw-up that resulted in contaminated water. But I do think there is a larger issue that we have to acknowledge, because I do think that part of what contributed to this crisis was a broader mindset, a bigger attitude, a corrosive attitude that exists in our politics and exists in too many levels of our government. (Applause.)
And it's a mindset that believes that less government is the highest good no matter what. It's a mindset that says environmental rules designed to keep your water clean or your air clean are optional, or not that important, or unnecessarily burden businesses or taxpayers. It's an ideology that undervalues the common good, says we're all on our own and what's in it for me, and how do I do well, but I'm not going to invest in what we need as a community. And, as a consequence, you end up seeing an underinvestment in the things that we all share that make us safe..."Yes, it's certainly not the place to sort out how you and your party screwed up and poisoned your own voters. Nor will there ever be one, I expect. But it is the place to excoriate Republican straw men who dig poisoned water. And the mindset is that government must pay its bills. Well, let's rewind on that one. As David French argues,
Flint’s extraordinary government spending was the reason for its near-bankruptcy. A more than billion-dollar unfunded pension liability is not a sign of municipal frugality.Instead of standing up and doing the right thing, the city council voted 7-1 to endanger their own water supply rather than risk the wrath of their political base, public employees. This is not a question of infrastructure, which is a one-time expense, it's the result of a system that perpetuated itself by buying votes and support with money to come from generations still not yet born. Unpayable pension obligations are not "investments," they are cynical political graft.
Moral: Never attribute to fiscal responsibility what can adequately be explained by political corruption.
LATE ADD FROM CNN:
|The Borgias could do better.|