Wednesday, August 31, 2005

All Roads Lead to Bush

It seems that once again another disaster has struck. Certainly Katrina was not of George Bush's doing. But passing tax cuts for people like Paris Hilton while cutting funding for flood relief projects for New Orleans can be laid squarely at the White House door step. In his zeal for removing the "affliction" of taxes from those who can most afford to pay their share - those who earn 5, 6, 10 or more times what I as a teacher make annually - Bush and his Federal Budget cut the funding of the very projects that could have prevented much of the disaster in New Orleans. A disaster that happened after the city survived a near miss from Katrina:
Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.


The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project -- $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million -- was not enough to start any new jobs.

Bush's war has now come home to roost. Not only has it cost this country our respect in the world and nearly 2,000 of our service men an women, but now it's cost New Orleans everything. The Big Easy is under water, and Paris Hilton's tax bill is lower today thanks to directly to Bush's deception that led us into an ill-advised and costly war.

We won the cold war by nearly bankrupting the USSR. Will we bankrupt our country with tax cuts for the most affluent while the poor drown? If Paris Hilton lost a home to Katrina, I'm sure her Bush-tax cut help her relocate to one of her half-dozen other homes in drier locations. What of the people who lost everything? Will their $400 refund check help them now that their humble New Orleans home is under 20 feet of water thanks to a levie project that had it's funding cut to pay for Paris' relocation?

Was this the noble cause our men and women died for?