Bush Slashed New Orleans Levee Budget by 80% Last 3 Yrs

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313

[Moved rants from other thread where some felt they were out of place]

This is what happens when the American people elect idiots and ideologues. Make enough bad decisions about allocating resources and eventually the facts on the ground catch up with you.

So we can spend $200 billion to fix a non-existent national security threat in Iraq and 1 1/1000th that amount is too much to spend to forestall an easily foreseen disaster.

Every time the administration faces another self-made fiasco, its apologists trot out the “it was impossible to forsee” excuse.

It was impossible to forsee that the highest security priority before 9/11 should have been terrorism, not national missile defense.

It was impossible to forsee that Iraq had essentially scrapped their WMD programs.

It was impossible to forsee that there would be a widespread insurgency in Iraq, and that Iraq would become a worldwide terrorist recruitment tool.

It was impossible to forsee that cutting levee maintenance funding for New Orleans was a bad idea.

The problem is, in all these cases the most respected experts in all these fields knew the truth, and the current administration was too ideologically blinded to listen to them.

Yes, Bush is not responsible for the hurricane. Gulfport would’ve been laid waste regardless of what the Bush administration did (people who blame global warming for this are likewise idiots). However, Bush did cut levee funds for New Orleans, which is just another example of his boneheaded misallocation of resources. He obviously has no clue as to what would really make the country more secure.

As the death count rises in the coming days, I’d imagine we’ll be hearing a lot more about this. Bush/Rove spin coming in 3, 2, 1…

I think we’ve already seen a trial balloon. The governor of Lousiana is leading a briefing - it’s been going on for over an hour now on the local news feed, watching the stream online. I could have sworn I heard her say that everyone who was stuck there was stuck there because they deliberately ignored warnings and that everyone had access to evacuation. Now, doubtless that’s true for alot of fools but I gotta think alot more just didn’t have cars or were either sick or looking after elderly folks. But if they can hang the blame on the dead people rather than the government officials who failed to fund the necessary, planned, upgrades to the levys or come up with an effective evacuation plan - job done.

It really depends on whether or not “everyone had access to evacuation.” From what I’ve seen, I highly doubt that they did.

Would increased funding prevented this? Anyone got a good link that would back that up?

Did you not read the article about Bush cutting the New Orleans’ Army Corp of Engineers funding request (money they had been accustomed to getting and were using for ongoning projects) the last three years?[/quote]

I wasn’t aware the President now had a line item veto. Live and learn. I guess he just hates Cajuns.

So according to the article, Congress had been tossing money at SELA for a decade, slashed funding the past two years, and were going to attempt raising it back up next year. Which is all moot because nothing was going to happen until 2010 at the earliest.[/quote]

There was 50+ million a year being spent until 2003 by the Corp of Engineers on NO levees. Bush’s budget request–which is determined solely by his administration–cut about 80% of that for 2003, 2004, 2005, over the objections of the LA congressional delegation. The study mentioned in the article was only one example of a project that was derailed by the budget cuts; other maintenance and improval projects were suspended. Congress could have raised the budget but did not (probable because NO votes Democratic) but they wouldn’t have to’ve if the money was included in the budget request.

No way to tell. It may well be that increased funding would not have prevented this.

Whether or not it would have made a difference in this instance, cutting levee funding the last 3 years was clearly a boneheaded thing to do.

No way to tell. It may well be that increased funding would not have prevented this.[/quote]

Agreed. This event was stronger than the levee’s were designed to deal with. Additional funding MIGHT have helped, but what was really needed–and it’s been known for decades–was a complete rebuilding of the system to withstand category 4 and 5. As I said in the other thread, this is NOT a new concept. I lived in New Orleans in the 80’s, and the idea was constantly being floated then.

It was also constantly shot down by politico’s unwilling to spend many millions/billions on a defensive system that probably wouldn’t prove its worth during their terms in office. Instead, they shoveled money into more rewarding pork projects that would get them votes in the next election. Short term thinking, the bane of democracies since the dawn of time…

Sure, like 15 years ago, which is probably how long it would have taken to complete a massive project like this.

So is not buying a lottery ticket that turns out to have a winning combination. :roll:

Again, they’ve had 15 years. Heck, they’ve had 25 or more.

So is not buying a lottery ticket that turns out to have a winning combination. :roll:[/quote]

As I said in the other thread, the chances of New Orleans eventually getting hit by a major hurricane is not 5%, and it’s certainly not anywhere near the astronomically remote odds of winning the lottery. It’s more like 100%–it was just a question of when.

So is not buying a lottery ticket that turns out to have a winning combination. :roll:[/quote]

Inflating an argument beyond the sensical is not winning the argument in any form.

Society itself is a long term bet against short term expenses.

Again, they’ve had 15 years. Heck, they’ve had 25 or more.[/quote]

Right, but we’re not holding “them” accountable (whoever “they” are) we’re just tacking yet another grieviance onto the current administration. Because that’s what we do.

Not me. I blame every single elected official, of any party, who held office in Louisiana or at the federal level and blocked the needed upgrades. I was angry about it in 1988, and said so at various public hearings. I’m madder now.

Well, maybe everyone’s just as culpable. We’ll just have to see how this sorts out once the more immediate business of saving folks and keeping 'em calm as possible is over. I gotta say, though, that if Clinton’s fingerprints were on reducing the budget for a project that ended up in a disaster like this…the chips would fall on him. It’s a matter of proximity. And you also have this, if it ends up looking like it likely will, serving as a symbol of what the money we spent on Iraq or tax cuts could have gone to funding. Now I’m not saying we burn Bush at the stake but I will say that if he looks culpable, even if others are as well, he’ll be the one to take a hit.

I gotta say though, the more I listen to the local station talking about all the volunteer boats out rescuing folks New Orleans is sounding alot more like our own Dunkirk than our tsunami. For all the looting there are alot more folks pulling together and facing some insane situations with serious courage.