Saturday, September 03, 2005

Less Government, Big Problems

What had ensued over the past week has underlined why a platform of "less government" spells out disaster for all of us in the long term. If we had the proper funding for FEMA and for overhauling the levee system in New Orleans then much of this trgedy could have been avoided. In one of the Bush tax cuts, in an effort to reduce the presence of government in the lives of the people, money for overhauling the levees and highways in New Orleans was cut. This was in spite of the fact that analysts warned that a catastrophe like Katrina could devastate the city. The consolidation of FEMA and other emergency response agencies into the Department of Homeland Security (DoHS) caused a major reduction in staff and in programs. The Clinton administration enacted a special emergency response program for FEMA right before the end of the Clinton administration. That program was cut and dismantled when FEMA was absorbed into the DoHS.

Bottom line people is this. If you want things like levees, roads, emergency response agencies, hospitals, bridges, national parks, etc. then we all have to pay for it. Because we get taxed for these things is not the government meddling in our lives but instead providing services for us ALL to use and take advantage of. Furthermore all of the aforementioned things do not spy on us in our own homes, they do not keep records of what books we check out of our local libraries, and they do not encourage our fellow citizens to spy on one another. They are completely opposite of the kind of legislation that the Patriot Act puts forth and that the Bush administration wants so much to push through congress. How they can say that they want to reduce the presence of government in the lives of people when they would rather have us pay for programs that spy on us versus providing basic infastructure to protect our cities? In the end we're all going to have to pay more for the repair of the devastation in New Orleans than if we had just paid our taxes to maintain or improve the levee system so that it could have been less devastating.

The role of government is to enforce the law and improve society. Not to interfere in our lives but rather to make them easier.


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