Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Fact-Free Federal Funding Challenge

After the recent flooding that many Texas communities experienced due to some extremely heavy rains, we received an email asking:
"How do you feel about using FEDERAL funds to clean up that flood damage?
"Shouldn't you take care of it yourself and prove you are capable?"
The questions might seem superficially legitimate, but they ignore at least a couple of relevant facts.

First, Texas routinely pays far more TO the US federal coffers than it receives FROM Washington. So an occasion for Washington to return some of those Texas funds to Texas after a natural disaster is actually a good thing, in that it restores some balance to the equation. Had Texans been able to keep that wealth within Texas in the first place, there would have been more than adequate funding for relief efforts. But because Washington has been leaching Texans' wealth for its own agenda for decades, it is only fitting that some of that wealth be returned to Texas for aiding in the coming months of recovery.

Second, it seems at once naïve and presumptuous to suggest that Texas should "prove" itself "capable" of "taking care of" a natural disaster recovery by generously telling Washington to keep the wealth it has taken from Texas, and turning instead to whatever resources remain after that plundering. Were Texas already a truly sovereign and independent state, there might be a different story to tell. But as long as the infrastructure exists wherein Washington bleeds productive states like Texas to fund their unproductive counterparts, the producing states' fiscal health has already been handicapped. They've already "proven" themselves quite "capable" of sustaining their less productive siblings, so there's really no need to "prove" it again with self-imposed austerity.

Until either or both of the above situations change, no one should realistically expect Texas to do anything less than call on Washington to return at least a portion of its plunder to relieve Texans of natural disaster losses.