“Stay the course, we need to protect Iraq,” he keeps saying.
It is worth noting, at this time of tragedy in the face of hurricane Katrina, that this is the same man and the same Republican administration that slashed the Army Corp of Engineer’s budget in Louisiana by nearly 75 million dollars this year. This is also the same man who sent the National Guard, which is supposed to protect the American homeland in a crisis like this, to a foreign land to protect foreigners– a clear misuse of the military.
This is “the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district”, one Corps official said. I’ve been here over 30 years and I’ve never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. I think part of the problem is it’s not so much the reduction, it’s the drastic reduction in one fiscal year. It’s the immediacy of the reduction that I think is the hardest thing to adapt to.
The function of the Army Corps of Engineers was to solve the very problem that has caused this disaster, namely the levee protecting New Orleans was outdated and not high enough, it needed to be raised and patched up, but to George Bush and the Republican Party, 8 hours of additional time to wage war in Iraq is well worth the tradeoff of thousands of dead Americans.
But we have seen this all before. Throughout the President’s term, domestic spending priorities such as: roads, schools, science, energy, the environment, even social security are all on the chopping block while Iraq spending is out of control and not even subject to scrutiny by Congress –less the Congressional member scrutinizing the expense be called a traitor and supporter of the enemy.
Had the National Guard been available and the Corps’ budget not slashed untold thousands of Americans would not be dead today. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Every 8 hours that passes another city in America will have another 75 million slashed from its future, its children’s future, and the future needs of its people.
While our country rots from neglect due to the lack of appropriate priorities from our leaders, all this administration can say is: stay the course in Iraq, keep giving us a blank check to stay there as long as we wish, don’t ask any questions because it will help the terrorists.
The threat from terror is real, but the threat from shortsighted leaders with misguided and destructive priorities is just as real. Its high time we as Americans start putting leaders into office whose priority is to use OUR tax dollars to protect and strengthen THIS country.