- As the federal government takeover of New Orleans continues
and the helpless masses beg the state for refuge and assurance, the media
is ignoring the key fact that it was the federal government itself that
lowered the guard in cutting off key funding to protect Louisiana from
- The New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
bore the brunt of a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding for
fiscal year 2006.
- The Bush administration has been cutting funding for
federal disaster relief funds since 2001 while doubling funding in other
areas to pump up the biggest growth in government for decades, easily outstripping
that of Bill Clinton.
- A report from the Best of New Orleans news website outlines
- "...Among emergency specialists, 'mitigation' --
the measures taken in advance to minimize the damage caused by natural
disasters -- is a crucial part of the strategy to save lives and cut recovery
costs. But since 2001, key federal disaster mitigation programs, developed
over many years, have been slashed and tossed aside. FEMA's Project Impact,
a model mitigation program created by the Clinton administration, has been
canceled outright. Federal funding of post-disaster mitigation efforts
designed to protect people and property from the next disaster has been
cut in half. Communities across the country must now compete for pre-disaster
- The Bush administration's move to merge FEMA with Homeland
Security meant that the two had to compete for funding. Straightforward
projects that would have massively reduced the devastation we are now seeing,
such as raising houses, were cast aside in favor of anti-terrorism measures.
- And since the Bush administration has become renowned
for its open border policies, the argument that the money was directed
towards the real threats facing America is a hollow excuse.
- Much of the Netherlands lies below sea level and after
the 1953 flood which killed 1,800 people, the Dutch launched a major flood
prevention program called the Delta Plan. Engineers fortified dykes and
bolstered other water defenses against a future disaster and there hasn't
been one since.
- Had a similar project been in place for New Orleans and
had Bush not cut the funding, the misery and turmoil being visited on that
area would have been avoided.