September 4, 2005

Katrina: Budgets Are Moral Documents

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 6:41 am

From the Washington Monthly:

Mitigation budgets for New Orleans were slashed even though it was known to be one of the top three risks in the country. FEMA was deliberately downsized as part of the Bush administration’s conservative agenda to reduce the role of government. After DHS was created, FEMA’s preparation and planning functions were taken away.

Actions have consequences. No one could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year, but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational competence.

Ideologies have consequences. Decisions on government spending, and taxation, are moral decisions, and they have consequences. The consequences can’t be “spun”, or dealt with by a day of photo opps.

The Bush administration dramatically cut taxes while increasing spending on the Iraq War. Bush promised to cut the deficit in half in four years, while Congress funds a project to build a bridge to nowhere.

Meanwhile, the levees in New Orleans were neglected.

What other New Orleans are out there waiting to happen?

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