That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families...cutting taxes for small businesses ...strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers...and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.(emphasis mine)
But Democratic leaders in Congress rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history - with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a 'magnetic levitation' line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.' Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, DC.
My guess is that cost him the vote, should he decide to seek the Republican presidential nomination for the 2012 elections, of much of southern Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California, and perhaps Hawaii too.
The towns southeast of Tacoma and Seattle, in Washington, are immediately downflow of Mount Ranier, and would receive the brunt of its mud, at the very least. Many towns in that area lie on existing mudflow. Monitoring the Cascades and other American volcanos protects western American cities as much as monitoring Atlantic weather protects southern and eastern cities.
Science really is important, and it worries me when it's brushed off as "something called 'volcano monitoring'," when it's treated like an elitist hobby. Americans can do it -- but not without good hard science.
(edited to add: Geologist Maria Brumm added the fiscal element: "I wish I'd thought of that.")