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Fox Wonders if "Bailing Out Storm Victims" is "Too Generous"

Reported by Melanie - September 8, 2005

In the 21 months I've monitored Fox News, I have never seen a Fox program devoted to dissecting how much money the United States is spending on the war on Iraq. As a matter of fact, I don't recall there being any discussion about it whatsoever other than in vague terms, like "that's something that's out there." Yet today (September 8, 2005), ten days after Hurricane Katrina, Your World was devoted to questioning whether we should bail out the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Neil Cavuto began the discussion by introducing his first guest, Donald Trump. Cavuto wondered "about the "monumental task of rebuilding the Gulf," and said, "who better to ask than this guy?" Trump thought we should rebuild (and he said he recently solidified plans to build a casino in New Orleans). He said, "You can't just let a great city like New Orleans go." It's "had a certain spirit for this country."

Next came Fox's Dagen McDowell with a report about the amount of money previous hurricanes have cost. The segment was titled "Adding it Up," and McDowell ended by saying that the final bill for Katrina, "could hit $200 billion, by some early estimates. That works out to be nearly $2,000 for every household in the country. Course, can Uncle Sam afford this?" McDowell tossed back to Cavuto who headed to a break with, "And, when it comes to bailing out storm victims, this may sound a bit crass, but are we then being too generous here? After all, we have to foot this bill. Can we?"

Next came John Berthoud of the National Taxpayers Union who Cavuto introduced by reminding viewers that the Senate approved an additional $50 billion in aid today. Cavuto remarked, "This money does not come out of thin air, as you know, so is it time to raise taxes to pay for it?" Berthoud said, "Raising taxes now is going to be a serious mistake, it's going to hurt the economy, and Washington is not hurting for dollars. For every dollar Washington had ten years ago, today they have $1.58."

Next came Representative Scott Garrett (R-NJ) who voted against the $50 billion aid bill. Garrett said hurricane victims are getting "$63,000 per person, every man, woman and child, a quarter of a million dollars per family in just about a ten week period." He said some people, "want to have a level of accountability when those dollars are spent."

A bit later Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made an appearance. Cavuto told him about Garrett's concern about accountability. Grassley said, "our people dispensing it are going to do the best possible job they can to make sure the money is spent wisely and only meets the needs of people that have the immediate need because of the hurricane."

Cavuto's final guest was a woman arranging a job fair. After her interview, Cavuto headed to a break saying, "Keeping track of all these dollars, after this." After the break, Cavuto gave his Common Sense "editorial," titled Keeping an Eye on Uncle Sam, in which he said,

Let's make sure areas that need rebuilding are rebuilt, that levees that need re-strengthening get re-strengthened and that folks who need food and sustenance during this very long transition period get food and sustenance during this very long transition period.

Measure it. Monitor it. Count it. Make sure of it.

We give until it hurts in this country. Let's make sure we're not hurting all of us in this country. And let's make sure our hearts aren't bigger than our heads.

Comment: I believe Fox News forecasts the thinking of the Bush administration -- the victims of Hurricane Katrina are about to get screwed as are we all, again.

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