ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL?
Military operations through the streets of New Orleans look like a war zone. George W. Bush is now saying he feels the pain of the poor and dislocated in the city. He says he will rebuild. But I can't help but wonder - how in the world is Bush going to pay to rebuild New Orleans? Last I heard the U.S. federal budget was in massive debt. We are spending nearly $6 billion a month on the war in Iraq. Halliburton and Bechtel are getting rich off the Iraq war. Now Bush says he wants Halliburton to rebuild New Orleans. Where will the money come from? Does this mean, as my mother always used to say, we are going to rob Peter to pay Paul? Will we cut Medicare and Medicaid, cut education funding, finish off the welfare programs, cut food stamps, and the like? At the same time Bush is talking about totally killing the estate tax on the rich and making the previous tax cuts, that largely benefited the rich, permanent. How can Bush do that and rebuild New Orleans at the same time? Something has to give. Someone has to give. Is Bush going to raise taxes on the rich or bring the troops home from Iraq? Is all this talk about rebuilding New Orleans just more political posturing?