Every now and then, Cato Institute senior fellow Randal O’Toole returns to his public land policy roots. Today he plays a familiar riff on firefighting spending.
Twenty years ago, one could have imagined a congressional coalition of Blue Dog Democrats and sensible Republicans working together to come up with a new fire policy. No longer. The Blue Dogs are almost extinct, now numbering only 15 members and “sensible Republican” is an oxymoron. Which leaves the legislative arena to western senators of both parties who want the CNN air show to continue, welcome the federal dollars spent in their states, and are scared to death of offending heroic firefighters (they remember that Conrad Burns lost his Montana seat after dissing a firefighting crew).