The Corner

Emergency Spending

In something of a metaphor for the larger moment we find ourselves in, the federal government has declared a state of emergency in DC for the Obama inauguration, in order to be able to draw on essentially unlimited federal funds to cover the immense cost of the festivities. Does the word “emergency” mean anything in particular anymore, except a license to spend tax dollars?

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.


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