Sunday, September 18, 2005

Huh!? No Place Left to Cut...

The Washington Times reports, “House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget”. Who is he kidding? Congress has spent money like a drunken sailor and now DeLay says there is no place left to cut? How about starting with that outrageous pork filled transportation bill?

Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans' choice to borrow money and add to this year's expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn't seem possible.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good." I would hate to see what it would be like if the Democrats had been running the show during this time. 11 years ago the Republicans made a “Contract with America”, which was like every thing politicains promise. Empty. We elected Republicans to stop the hemorrhaging of money from Washington.

American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene said federal spending already was "spiraling out of control" before Katrina, and conservatives are "increasingly losing faith in the president and the Republican leadership in Congress." "Excluding military and homeland security, American taxpayers have witnessed the largest spending increase under any preceding president and Congress since the Great Depression," he said.

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), said if Mr. DeLay wants to know where to cut, "there are plenty of places to reduce." His group soon will release a list of $2 trillion in suggested spending cuts over the next five years, and he said Congress also could cut the estimated $20 billion to $25 billion in pet projects that make their way into must-pass spending bills each year.

I doubt they will listen to either of these groups because Congress is drunk with power. The last 5 years have been very hard on the American budget in so many ways. 9/11, Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 4 terrible hurricanes in Florida in 1 month and now New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We need Congress to control the spending and act in a responsible manner and not make outrageous claims…

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina's Aftermath...

What has happened as a result of hurricane Katrina is beyond what anyone had anticipated. The loss of life and property is tragic and it will take years to recover. What is also terrible are all the people screaming that the Federal government failed to do their job. The governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans have been pointing the finger at everyone but themselves. For the Congressional Black Caucus to even hint that the administration delayed in getting help to New Orleans because the victims stranded there are black is beyond ridiculous. Just shut up, please!

Why didn’t the city of New Orleans have and implement an emergency plan? Why did 205 school buses and 384 city buses sit idle? Why didn’t these buses get moved to higher ground before the storm in the event they would be needed? Now almost 600 buses now sit underwater and unavailable for evacuation of victims. Conservatively if they had been available and were loaded with 50 people each, that would be almost 3000 people that could be moved for each trip. They probably could have been loaded with 100 or more.

Why didn’t the New Orleans police and fire departments have backup locations to gather? We all heard there was no communication or command structure of these essential organizations, so nothing was being done. This is a city that has been sinking for years and the chance of a levee breaking, or being breeched by a shipping accident or terrorist attack, had always been there yet the state and city had no plan in the event it did.

Why has Governor Blanco still not declared the state to be a state of emergency? Why didn’t she have the Louisiana National Guard standing by before the storm hit? Or call them up afterwards? Why did she turn down the request for a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans? She refuses to turn it over to the federal government and then screams how they abandoned them.

We have known for years that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. The Army Corps of engineers has been working on protecting New Orleans from flooding for 40 years and had managed to construct a system that experts felt would protect the city from a Category 3 storm. But as storm prediction became more sophisticated, the Corps came to the realization that the levees it constructed might not be high enough to counter "the big one." Funding for such a project had not yet been approved in 2003. If it had, they say it would take 30 years to complete the project. It’s time to think long and hard about rebuilding New Orleans in its current location.

Yes, there have been some things that didn’t go well with the rescue operations, but I would not have wanted to be in any other country than the United States to have to go through such an event. They always tell people to have enough supplies and medicine to last 3 to 5 days for hurricanes. The reason for that is because it may take that long for help to arrive. Why then did all the people complaining think in a few hours everything would be all right again? Because the race vultures have to find a scapegoat to blame for their own failings…