To what extent the federal government should (or can) help the victims of natural disasters is a subject of vigorous debate. Not all the appropriations in the Sandy bill were outright ludicrous in substance: It’s prudent (and becoming more so) for coastal towns to have protection against floods; it’s important that the NOAA is able to forecast impending weather events. On the other hand, the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has ballooned, and some research indicates that the federal government can be an ineffective or even counterproductive actor in the wake of emergencies. But how much money to devote to FEMA or the Army Corps of Engineers is a matter that ought to be decided through the standard budgetary process. A disaster-relief bill should include funds for . . . disaster relief. That happens to be what Texas politicians are asking for.