beastliness

I certainly hope Hurricane Gustav inflicts only minimal damage on New Orleans and the Gulf States. But if it doesn’t, I hope people recognize that if the storm’s damage is as devastating as Katrina’s, we really ought to question the extent to which efforts to mitigate the damage of massive hurricanes have been thwarted by the policies of this conservative, “starve the beast” administration. Not only is it philosophically opposed to any major government role in such disasters, the volume of resources deployed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the overburdening of the National Guard whose duties it would be to assist in such situations, together reduce the administration’s abilities to help even were it inclined to throw its full resources behind solving such problems. A Republican spokesman was still playing the “New Orleans and Louisiana were dysfunctional” card in a New York Times article today, even though the context of his remarks was to acknowledge that that’s why people expected the federal government to step in. Of course, if states and local governments are dysfunctional, that’s in part because their federal funding is a long cycle of having been choked off, monies formerly being distributed to them being ultimately rediverted to wealthy individuals paying lower taxes.)

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