After their free market dreams didn't quite work out in post-Saddam Iraq, conservatives are turning to the Gulf as the newest laboratory for half-baked Heritage Foundation policy proposals. Grover Norquist may have been the first prominent conservative to try to pass off the Gulf as a rationale for more tax cuts, but he's hardly the only one.
The latest offender is the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which published an agonizingly naive editorial today advocating a flat tax for the Gulf:
Why not allow the Gulf to operate as a laboratory for a flat tax, with an 18% rate and no taxes whatsoever on capital investment for businesses -- small and large? And if this works for New Orleans, as it has for so many of the former economically ravaged nations of East Europe, then make it the law of the land.
...Congressman Bobby Jindal, who represents a large slice of New Orleans and whose own home has been nearly destroyed, warns that now is not the time for a bidding war of spending between the two parties. Rather, he says, "We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to let the free market policies that we know will work for New Orleans flourish." And if it works there, why not everywhere? (my emphasis)
Note Jindal's metaphysical certainty about "the free market policies that we know will work for New Orleans" -- a perfect expression of the faith-based economic policy that has taken over the Republican Party.