The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Paying for Katrina the regressive way

The GOP has unveiled a plan to pay for Katrina, and although there are some good ideas in there, virtually none seem to be actual sources of money-- instead, they're decisions to not spend tens of billions on future projects. Nice sentiment, but it's like me telling my landlord not to worry about my rent, because I'm going to delay that trip to Europe next summer....

At the top of a partial list of the potential cuts being circulated on Tuesday were previously suggested ideas like delaying the start of the new Medicare prescription drug coverage for one year to save $31 billion and eliminating $25 billion in projects from the newly enacted transportation measure.

The list also proposed eliminating the Moon-Mars initiative that NASA announced on Monday, for $44 billion in savings; ending support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $4 billion; cutting taxpayer payments for the national political conventions and the presidential election campaign fund, $600 million; and charging federal employees for parking, $1.54 billion.

I'm all for ditching the notorious pork in the recent transportation bill, and NASA's desire to go back to the moon is utterly pointless. It won't provide any new scientific knowledge, and won't get us any closer to a trip to Mars-- which is also pretty pointless, if not impossible at this point. Besides, the rovers have proven to be an incredible success, and given us as much data as a manned mission could. And at a fraction of the price.

Other than that, we've got the usual GOP desire to leave the working man and the elderly to their own devices. And no, they're not even suggesting that some of the Bush tax cuts be rescinded-- even temporarily.