I’m still amazed at how oblivious to logic some politicians can be. Throw in fiscal recklessness and it’s a plan for future disaster. Consider:
President Bush, in his first visit to New Orleans since two reports criticized the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, today urged Congress to approve a $4.2 billion initiative to help Louisiana residents who lost their homes in the Aug. 29 storm.
“We’ve all been working together to figure out how to come up with a housing plan that will restore the confidence of the people in this important part of our country,” Bush said. “In order to make sure that housing plan meets its goals, Congress should make sure that the $4.2 billion I requested goes to the state of Louisiana.”
It’s important to ask whether it’s justified to “restore the confidence of the people” in Louisiana through transfer payments from the rest of the country. I don’t choose to live in an area that sees hurricane activity every year, yet I’m expected to pay my share so that families in Louisiana can live happily on the Gulf Coast, without the financial risk equal to their clear exposure. Under his scenario, President Bush should know that any confidence increase in the Gulf region is zero-sum for the United States.
Need further proof why? Behold:
Speaking in front of a broken levee in New Orleans’ hardest-hit Lower Ninth Ward, Bush spoke of a plan that would make as much as $150,000 available to each homeowner.
Since we’re stuck bailing out an irresponsible system, isn’t it reasonable to expect that we’ll rebuild the region’s defenses before we fund other rebuilding? Hurricane season isn’t that far off.