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  • rivvir rivvir Sep 8, 2005 4:28 PM Flag

    Back to the main, pt dieux

    Does this mean we should blame Bush for the fact that New Orleans is underwater? No, but it means we can blame Bush when a Class 3 or Class 2 hurricane puts New Orleans under. At this point, it is a matter of making a bad situation worse, of failing to observe the First Rule of Holes (when you're in one, stop digging).

    Had a storm the size of Katrina just had the grace to hold off for a while, it's quite likely no one would even remember what the Bush administration did two months ago. The national press corps has the attention span of a gnat, and trying to get anyone in Washington to remember longer than a year ago is like asking them what happened in Iznik, Turkey, in A.D. 325.

    Just plain political bad luck that, in June, Bush took his little ax and chopped $71.2 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, a 44 percent reduction. As was reported in New Orleans CityBusiness at the time, that meant "major hurricane and flood projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now."
    The commander of the Corps' New Orleans district also immediately instituted a hiring freeze and cancelled the annual Corps picnic.

    Our friends at the Center for American Progress note the Office of Technology Assessment used to produce forward-thinking plans such as "Floods: A National Policy Concern" and "A Framework for Flood Hazards Management." Unfortunately, the office was targeted by Newt Gingrich and the Republican right, and gutted years ago.

    In fact, there is now a government-wide movement away from basing policy on science, expertise and professionalism, and in favor of choices based on ideology. If you're wondering what the ideological position on flood management might be, look at the pictures of New Orleans -- it seems to consist of gutting the programs that do anything.

    Unfortunately, the war in Iraq is directly related to the devastation left by the hurricane. About 35 percent of Louisiana's National Guard is now serving in Iraq, where four out of every 10 soldiers are guardsmen. Recruiting for the Guard is also down significantly because people are afraid of being sent to Iraq if they join, leaving the Guard even more short-handed.

    The Louisiana National Guard also notes that dozens of its high-water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators have also been sent abroad. (I hate to be picky, but why do they need high-water vehicles in Iraq?)

    This, in turn, goes back to the original policy decision to go into Iraq without enough soldiers and the subsequent failure to admit that mistake and to rectify it by instituting a draft.

    The levees of New Orleans, two of which are now broken and flooding the city, were also victims of Iraq war spending. Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, said on June 8, 2004, "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq."

    This, friends, is why we need to pay attention to government policies, not political personalities, and to know whereon we vote. It is about our lives.

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    • diode soft tissue laser FDA aproved today.........
      billions $ worth worldwide ...imo

    • I'm afraid you fail to remember your constitution or history.

      Reagan proposed tax and spending cuts. The Democratic controlled Congress passed the tax cuts, but no the spending cuts.

      Under Bush I, Bush agreed to a tax increase when the Democratic controlled Congress threatened to shut the government down. This lead to a recession a drop in the growth of receipts and Clinton's election.

      The House of Representatives changed hands in 1994 in the Gingrich revolution and four years later the budget was balanced.

      Bush I spent the first 3 years of his term battling the Clinton recession, but you'll notice that receipts are once again growing.

      This is a handy little calculator that will give you the inflation rate between any two dates:

      The following link gives the taxes collected:

      from these we find:

      Reagan: 01/80 to 01/88: 48.7%, Receipts 76%

      Bush I: 01/88 to 01/92: 19%, Receipts +10%

      Clinton: 01/92 to 01/00: 22%, Receipts +85%, almost all of that once the republicans took control

      Bush II: 01/00 to 01/06: 13%, Receipts flat

      The above table uses estimates; this site gives the latest numbers:

      Bill you may think that, "The idea of cutting taxes to gain receipts is the dumbest thing I have ever heard." But the facts indicate otherwise. Taxation is NOT a zero sum game.

    • "The Big Dig" is good.


      The Big Dig is second only to The Big Easy in the need for pumps. Of course the Big Dig is only 3 years old and we are slowly finding out that most of the concrete for the slurry walls was actually library paste.

      Hence the similar names?

    • But don, if you've ever voted in a local, state or national election you've voted for a "spender."
      Spending to do good is the is the very essence of politics. How could you spend a political lifetime on the public dole without doing good?
      Like, "The Big Dig" is good and was paid for in liberal Boston by the liberals in California.
      Ain't America grand?

    • <FU>

    • <<The idea of cutting taxes to gain receipts is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. >>

      The idea is that the whole notion of deficits and tax revenues is not a zero-zum game, because the government essentially taxes economic activity in it's various stages, so when the economy booms, tax revenues boom as well. Economy booms in the 90's, tax revenues up; economy busts in 2000, tax revenues down. It's really not that hard to understand.

      That said, I will say in agreement with you that I think GW spends too damn much. It's a drain on the economy and helps no one except the government and government contractors.

      Like I've been saying in vain for years now (voice crying in the wilderness) GW Bush is a fiscal liberal. He has never vetoed a spending bill, ever. And that is IMO his #1 failure of leadership. The idea is to cut taxes and cut pork (abundant, awesomely wasteful programs to benefit the few and the richest among us, plus ineffective programs) seal the borders whil we're at it.

      But he's been busy exportng democracy I guess...


    • ned by your ignorance. Inflation and interest rates averaged about 9 percent under Reagan annually. Under Carter they were only temporary as result of the oil embargos from mid-east getting back at us because of the yom kipper war.

      In 1980 the debt was 930 billion, in 1988 the debt was 2602 billion. To add Bush in 1993, the debt was 4411 bliion. Without this added debt into the economy, there would be no increases in tax revenues with tax cuts. During the reagan/bush years the debt quadrupled, and reciepts only doubled!

      During the Clinton years. The debt didnt even go up 50 percent, while receipts doubled.

      When the budget was almost balanced, in 2000.
      Receipts were 2053.8 billion, in 2002 receipts dropped to 1860 billion . Even in 2003 they dropped even further to 1836 billion.

      The idea of cutting taxes to gain receipts is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

    • My last pickup truck I bought new 3 years ago for $9,600. Someone's been watching too much CNN and reading too many Yahoo "news" message boards.

    • Bill writes, "When Reagan took office cars were $2000. When he left office cars were $10000."

      500% increase in 5 years? I must have missed that.

      I'm afraid you need to do a little research. No wonder you're post seem so confused. LOL!

      Bill writes, "In sumary if you cut taxes and don't increase the deficit you will not get increased revenues. Man is the educational system horrible in this country."

      This is a FALSE statemnet. Both Reagan and Bush II have and did.

      Again, you need to do a little research. No wonder you're post seem so confused. LOL!

    • ** BTW, did you know that revenuse were higher every year that Reagan and Bush were president, in spite of the rate drops? Inflation again? I think not.

      When Reagan took office cars were $2000. When he left office cars were $10000. When Bush left office cars were $15000. When you have increased deficets, more money is floating around. It will eventually end up as someones added income. Thus, taxes will increase.

      Name someone who increased revenues at the same time there was no deficit. The only reason revenues increased under Reagan and Bush was that the extra deficits weaken the currency so much (inflation).

      Warren Buffet spends just as much money under Clinton era as the Bush era. However, taxing him an extra 5 percent could take that burden off most people, such as gasoline taxes. Assuming Bush and company actaully understand how to balance a budget. Which is highly doubtful. They can't cut the federal budget without upsetting their campaign contributors and voters.

      In sumary if you cut taxes and don't increase the deficit you will not get increased revenues. Man is the educational system horrible in this country.

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