Mark Steyn writes in The National Review Online, A Tale of Two Crisis, 11/2/12.
He appeared in New Jersey wearing a bomber jacket rather than a suit to demonstrate that when the going gets tough the tough get out a monogrammed Air Force One bomber jacket.
In a county entirely untouched by Sandy, my office manager had no electricity for a week. Not because of an “emergency” but because of a decrepit and vulnerable above-the-ground electrical-distribution system that ought to be a national embarrassment to any developed society.
f you’re saying, “Whoa, that sounds expensive,” well, our government is more expensive than any government in history — and we have nothing to show for it. Imagine if Obama’s 2009 stimulus had been spent burying every electric pole on the Eastern Seaboard. Instead, just that one Obama bill spent a little shy of a trillion dollars, and no one can point to a single thing it built. “A big storm requires Big Government,” pronounced the New York Times. But Washington is so big-hearted with Big Government it spends $188 million an hour that it doesn’t have — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Ramadan. And yet, mysteriously, multi-trillion-dollar Big Government Obama-style can’t doanything except sluice food stamps to the dependent class, lavish benefits and early retirement packages to the bureaucrats that service them, and so-called government “investment” to approved Obama cronies.
So you can have Big Government bigger (or, anyway, more expensive) than any government’s ever been, and the lights still go out in 17 states — because your president spent 6 trillion bucks and all the country got was a lousy Air Force One bomber jacket for him to wear while posing for a Twitpic answering the phone with his concerned expression.
Even in those few parts of the Northeast that can legitimately claim to have been clobbered by Sandy, Big Government made it worse. Last week, Nanny Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, rivaled his own personal best for worst mayoral performance since that snowstorm a couple of years back. This is a man who spends his days micro-managing the amount of soda New Yorkers are allowed to have in their beverage containers rather than, say, the amount of ocean New Yorkers are allowed to have in their subway system — just as, in the previous crisis, the municipal titan who can regulate the salt out of your cheeseburger proved utterly incapable of regulating any salt onto Sixth Avenue. Imagine if this preening buffoon had expended as much executive energy on flood protection for the electrical grid and transit system as he does on approved quantities of carbonated beverages. But that’s leadership 21-century-style: When the going gets tough, the tough ban transfats.
Victor Davis Hanson made a similar observation in The Bloomberg Syndrome in January 20, 2011.
Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East, or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services, or regional insolvency.
The real work of government is just too boring for most news agencies to cover. The would rather debate the merits of banning sodas than prepare for emergencies, and they would rather spend billions on untried super risky green energy “investments” than to fund a stable power grid. Mayors who pose for national attention should focus on the real duties their job requires.