"Big Storm Opportunism" indeed. That's the title of a Wall Street Journal editorial that purports to expose "The larger liberal fallacy ... that effective government requires bigger government."
Such is the largest chestnut of ideological arguments from the right, but in this case--the case of disaster relief--the WSJ's editorial board forgot that just eight paragraphs earlier they had observed: "Regarding the budget for FEMA ... Mr. Obama's own fiscal 2013 budget sought $10.008 billion. That was a cut of $641.5 million, or 6.02%, from fiscal 2012." What the Stay Puft Marshmallow President of ravenous socialism, according to the WSJ, was doing cutting a federal line item of bigger and bigger and ever-bigger government escapes me. Yet I'm sure the WSJ is clear on this contradicted matter, so I'll let it pass.
What shouldn't pass, though, is this other, typically chickenshit notation from the Journal: "We couldn't find an apples-to-apples comparison in the Ryan budget resolution, because FEMA spending was part of a larger category." Well what about your nominee's pledge? As Jonathan Chait wrote yesterday, "Romney’s budget promises require shrinking domestic non-entitlement spending as a share of the economy by about two-thirds." Unquestionably, this week FEMA would be excluded from such shrinking. Next week?
But let's sum up. The authentic fallacy that pseudoconservatives have successfully huckstered for decades is that liberals wish to enlarge government merely for the sake of enlarged government. I'm personally unaware of any liberal or liberal pol or even socialist for that matter who advocates bigness as a stand-alone virtue of government. Government should do what government should do, the doing of which is, of course, a matter of legitimate dispute. But I've never heard a liberal Democrat argue, imply, suggest or even hint that big government is, by definition, good government. The right simply makes this stuff up.