Saturday, September 17, 2005

Susie's grab bag - 3 of 3 (she catches all the good stuff)

Bush now says he wants to rebuild New Orleans with federal dollars. But for four and a half years, he has embarrassed even fellow Republicans by his annual proposals to slash Community Development Block grants. He talks now of federal accounts of up to $5,000 for job training, education and child care expenses for evacuees. Yet before Katrina, he has proposed to slash job training programs, adult literacy programs and let his own No Child Left Behind program go underfunded by billions of dollars a year. Nearly every state in the nation is either suing the government or complaining about having to follow unfunded mandates.

Bush says he will now create a Gulf Opportunity Zone to stimulate business, ‘’including minority-owned enterprises.” But he also suspended the Davis-Bacon act for Katrina rebuilding, meaning that contractors need not pay the prevailing wage for laborers. Bush says he wants to ‘’help lower-income citizens in the hurricane region build new and better lives.” But between relaxing wage rules for the CEOs and heading a Republican Party that has for eight years blocked a rise in the $5.15 federal minimum wage, Bush’s plan to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will squeeze yet more pulp out of the poor.

Bush proclaimed that we are about to witness ‘’one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen.” For that to happen, he will have to become everything he has not been for his first four and a half years. That is only possible if he does things like drop his tax cut program or end the needless war in Iraq.

Bush says Katrina was cruel and wasteful. He was right in a way he did not intend. Katrina laid bare the cruel waste of so much of his presidency.

here. Susie's link here.


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