Hurricane Harvey has exposed the weakness of the three shibboleths that have been the guiding political philosophy for two generations of Republicans. Those three shaky imperatives are that 1) lowering taxes is always a good idea, 2) government programs can always be cut and 3) economic growth must always be given priority over environmental concerns.
Until the hurricane hit, House Republicans were all set to chop $876 million from the disaster relief budget for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That reduction would not produce a savings for taxpayers since the expectation was that the money would go toward buying President Trump’s border wall — the wall that Mexico, no matter what Trump claims, will never pay for. Now, reality has set in and the GOP congressmen realize there is a reason government needs to set money aside for disaster relief: Disasters always happen.