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State and local relief on the right

According to Reihan Salam, there is "a broad consensus on [state and local relief]: conservatives, including a large number of Republican lawmakers, accept the idea that there should be some help from the federal government. Yet those on the right tend to prefer conditional assistance."

Is this true? Is there a Republican consensus that we should provide state and local relief funds to states that are willing to put forward sensible long-term budget plans? If so, which bills have been submitted, and how many co-sponsors do they have? Or is this one of those compromises that conservative intellectuals like but Republican lawmakers don't?

By Ezra Klein  |  August 3, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
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I've never actually read or heard anything from a conservative supporting this in the past. If "a large number of Republican lawmakers" supported this, wouldn't some of them, y'know, actually vote for it?

Posted by: FormerSwingVoter | August 3, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

A republican consensus that we should do X, no matter how forcefully stated, even by current legislators, must always give way to the possibility that doing X would result in a smaller total of republican house and senate seats.

Posted by: paul314 | August 3, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Damn Ezra, I don't know....what did your buddies on Journolist tell you to say?

Posted by: luca_20009 | August 3, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

there are conservative intellectuals? I thought we were all rednecks and racists?

I thought we hated all teachers, firemen, policemen, first responders, kittens etc, etc.

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 3, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I used to find Reihan's denial about the *actual* positions of the conservative movement to be sad, but honestly now it just ticks me off. He's too smart to really believe such things for this long, in the face of such an enormous amount of contradictory reality.

I'm sure he genuinely wishes conservatives had reasonable consensus on all manner of things, but asserting it doesn't make it so, and further, it misinforms low average readers when he says it. His denial has crossed over into dishonesty, imo.

Posted by: roquelaure_79 | August 3, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Who (other than Klein) says "you wouldn’t want states budgeting for once-every-80-years economic storms"? Is it unfair to expect businesses and consumers to pay based on 100-year flood predictions? We do that! Or to expect businesses and consumers to pay based on 500-year climate predictions? Some want to do that!

To quote another portion of Reihan Salam's response, "While it MIGHT be unfair to expect states to reform their budgets in light of the global economic environment, it’s not clear to me that fairness is the relevant criterion for determining how we should proceed. A better question to ask, in my view, is whether state budgets are well-suited to meeting the economic challenges U.S. households will face in the next few decades. That is at the heart of the case for aggressive structural reform."

Posted by: rmgregory | August 3, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Does the amount of proposed relief really help states with un-sensible long term budget plans? The bill that may or may not pass the Senate has $26 billion, but Illinois has a $13 billion gap. Any money that could conceivable be allocated plugs gaps due to the recession and does nothing anyway for the failure of state politics. Thus, evaluation of sensibility (by who? how) is not worth the effort.

Of course, you could get broad Republican consensus for aid to the states if you couple that with Democrats admitting they were wrong! If the President admits he was wrong about the stimulus and redirects future spending to state aid and deficit reductions, he'll get lots of Republican support. If you can get Democratic governors to admit they can't govern their
state and beg the tea party for help, Republicans would be happy to assist in any way they can.

Posted by: windshouter | August 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

No visionbrkr, its only the luminaries like, Palin, Beck, Hannity, and several members of the republican congressional delegation that deride science, academics, etc.

Are you denying that republicans have been pushing an anti science, anti intellectual, anti academic, faux populist, ideology at least since U of Chicago professor Obama came into office or at least upped the emphasis on this?

Evolution and climate change are the two biggest bogey men to the right's anti science jihadis, but I am sure there are others....

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse


you see you don't catch my snark but I get yours (luminaries, ahaaa!) why is that?

Sure there are far out in outer space right wing Republicans just like there are far out in space Democrats.

Maybe the far right's wackos are just more out in public view because the right has the MSM under lock and key?

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 3, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The only consensus on the right is that anything proposed by the Democrats is by definition bad and must be obstructed and opposed.

Posted by: StevenDS | August 3, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I am not going to click the link, because I think Salam has proven himself to be a liar time and time again, and he is such an intellectual lightweight that he thinks the Daily Show is a news organization and he believes Mark Levin should be allowed to lie because he truly believes his own lies, but does Salam even attempt to name names?

Posted by: flounder2 | August 3, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@Visionbrkr: "I thought we hated all teachers, firemen, policemen, first responders, kittens etc, etc."

I do hate kittens. I also believe the world if flat. Just to be different.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 3, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there's a consensus among Republicans that it would be totally awesome if they were back in power, so they'll deny states funding if they can plausibly blame Democrats for it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 3, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I'd give Chris Christie whatever he says he needs.

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 3, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

further on Christie:

Its nice to see a politician that actually KEEPS his promises. This is change I never thought I'd see in NJ and I'm glad I do.

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 3, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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