Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New Orleans Levees

You must read this article by David Sarota on the tax and spending cuts of the Bush administration and their impact on the events in New Orleans.

For example, consider Mike Parker a well established conservative Republican and no enemy to tax cuts. The Bush administration appointed him to head the Army Corps of Engineers on June 7, 2001. But when Bush's spending plans, with deep cuts to the New Orleans levees and Hurricane preparedness along the Gulf coast came out, he had to disagree. Finally

When Parker headed to Capitol Hill for annual budget hearings in February 2002, he couldn't hide the truth. Under questioning, he admitted that “there will be a negative impact” if the President’s budget cuts were allowed to go forward. The White House fired Parker within a matter of days.

The payment, in this administration of trying to help the people of this country, and for telling the truth.

Or consider this as late as 2005,
Meanwhile, as the Financial Times reported, the president proposed a budget that “called for a $71.2 million reduction in federal funding for hurricane and flood prevention projects in the New Orleans district, the largest such cut ever proposed.” In addition, “the administration wanted to shelve a study aimed at determining ways to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.” This, in the face of a March 2005 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers that warned 3,500 dams were at risk of failing unless the government spent $10 billion to fix them.

Yes hindsight is 20/20, and a study funded in 2005 would not have saved lives in August of that year, but still the short-sightedness and utter foolishness of an administration that would be diverting funds from such a project in order to get men killed in Iraq and provide yet more funds to the extremely wealthy is inexcusable.

But the main conclusion I draw from this article is that the hall mark of this administration is to divert national resources from where they are needed to where they are useless, or very nearly so. When the administration came to office a major threat came from Al Qaeda and the Administration was focused elsewhere, Iraq, North Korea, and Iran. Even after taking out Afghanistan they were focused on Iraq when that was no threat at all. They have been focused on tax cuts when that was of little or no benefit and they ignored the nations infrastructure when hundreds and thousands of lives depended upon that. As long as the current group of leaders, and I do mean of the Republican party, is in power, this nation will continue to waste its resources and stay vulnerable to foreign attack and to natural disaster.

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