Why does it take a disaster to make government run the way it should ordinarily run? Here was President Obama speaking on October 30:
And so my instructions to the federal agency has been, do not figure out why we can't do something; I want you to figure out how we do something. I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There's no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they need -- where they're needed as quickly as possible. So I want to repeat -- my message to the federal government: No bureaucracy, no red tape.
What if President Obama had issued the instruction "No bureaucracy, no red tape" in his inaugural address, or to Congress as they were writing the ObamaCare law or the Dodd-Frank financial "reform" law? He didn't, of course. But in the aftermath of a natural disaster, all of a sudden the need to avoid bureaucracy and red tape becomes admirably obvious to the president. Is the need for a smoothly functioning government any less urgent the rest of the time?
The same goes for New York City, where Mayor Bloomberg announced October 30:
To help people get around, I have signed an Executive Order that permits cab drivers to pick up multiple passengers, even if a passenger is already in the cab. It will also allow livery and black cars to pick up passengers off the street anywhere in the city.
Great idea, but why does it take a 100-year hurricane to get the mayor to allow taxi and livery-car drivers to do what they should be able to do whenever they or passengers want to? Imagine how much easier it would be to find a taxi or taxi-like ride in a heavy rain or snowstorm or on New Year's Eve or during rush hour or at other high-demand times if the post-hurricane rules applied all the time.