New Orleans, The Liberal Utopia

by Techniguy - 09-17-2005

New Orleans demonstrates the results of 60 years of liberalism and Democrat leadership. This is the utopia they have created since given a free hand to run things in their city, the liberal way. Hasn't the Democratic Party been promising to help poor blacks out of poverty? They've had 60 years to prove it in Louisiana but what are we seeing now? The worst poverty welfare state in the country. It seem more likely that they are keeping them poor with Government dependency and entitlements. Still the promises keep coming. "Someday we're going to help you out of poverty if you just keep voting for us". They've been saying it for sixty years and practicing their socialism in New Orleans for as long, and now we see first hand the results. Corruption, crime, poverty, lack of personal responsibility, and the inability of public officials to do their job, evacuate the city, repair the levees, in fact the entire city superstructure collapsed with no leadership and very little sense of civic duty on the part of civil employees who deserted their posts when they were needed the most.

It seems the generally accepted attitude in New Orleans is "what can I get from the government?", not "what can I do to help my community?" as was practiced in Mississippi. Few showed any initiative to help themselves but instead expected and demanded others come to their aid. They have been told for decades by Democrats and civil rights advocates that they are victims of society, so now they accept it and act as victims who think they are owed something by society. Two hundred years ago slavery was abolished and slaves were set free. If the former slaves of that time understood that freedom also means accepting personal responsibility for your own lives, that lesson seems to have been lost in New Orleans. Instead of belonging to slave owners, today they belong to the government and expect to be taken care of in the same way that the slaves were, but at taxpayers' expense and without working in the fields. Given food, given housing, given healthcare, given everything they need and for what? What do they give back to society in return?

In statements made Before the Sub-committee on Human Resources Of the Ways and Means Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow for Domestic Policy Studies with The Heritage Foundation stated the following in January 2005:

"The erosion of marriage during the past four decades has had large-scale negative effects on both children and adults: It lies at the heart of many of the social problems with which the government currently grapples. Nearly 80 percent of long term child poverty occurs in broken or never-married families. Each year government spends over $200 billion on means-tested aid to families with children; three quarters of this aid flows to single parent families. Children raised without a father in the home are more likely to experience: emotional and behavioral problems, school failure; drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and incarceration. The beneficial effects of marriage on individuals and society are beyond reasonable dispute, and there is a broad and growing consensus that government policy should promote rather than discourage healthy marriage."

Rector also states:

"welfare programs do penalize marriage and reward single parenthood because of the inherent design of all means-tested programs. In a means-tested program, benefits are reduced as non-welfare income rises. Thus, under any means-tested system, a mother will receive greater benefits if she remains single than she would if she were married to a working husband. Welfare not only serves as a substitute for a husband, but it actually penalizes marriage because a low-income couple will experience a significant drop in combined income if they marry.

For example: A typical single mother on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families receives a combined welfare package of various means-tested aid benefits worth about $14,000 per year. Suppose the father of her children has a low-wage job paying $16,000 per year. If the mother and father remain unmarried, they will have a combined income of $30,000 ($14,000 from welfare and $16,000 from earnings). However, if the couple marries, the father’s earnings will be counted against the mother’s welfare eligibility. Welfare benefits will be eliminated (or cut dramatically), and the couple’s combined income will fall substantially. Thus, means-tested welfare programs do not penalize marriage per se but, instead, implicitly penalize marriage to an employed man with earnings. The practical effect is to significantly discourage marriage among low-income couples."

"The government spends over $150 billion in subsidies to single parents each year. Much of this expenditure would have been avoided if the mothers were married to the fathers of their children. To insist that the government has an obligation to support single parents—and to mitigate the damage that results from the erosion of marriage—but should do nothing to strengthen marriage itself is myopic. It is like arguing that the government should pay to sustain polio victims in iron lung machines but should not pay for the vaccine to prevent polio in the first place."

The reason I include this here is to show how liberal promotion and acceptance of single parenthood and government dependency is destroying the family unit and values and driving subscribers of liberalism into poverty with the help of socialist government bureaucratic policies. It is liberalism and Democrat control of Louisiana that is directly responsible for the deplorable conditions in New Orleans, and the failure of low income residents to take responsibility for themselves in evacuating the city when they were told to by the Mayor. Mayor Nagin also failed in his responsibility to enforce his evacuation orders. These failures were a major factor in the difficulties encountered by FEMA and other rescue workers in that their job was ten times larger than it would have been in most any other city.

In any other city with responsible public officials, the levees would never have given way. New Orleans blames the Federal Government for cuts in spending on levee improvement programs but that is just another lie from people trying to avoid blame for their own corruption. The fact is that grants to Louisiana for levee construction and improvements have steadily increased during the Bush Administration, but it is not the Whitehouse that allocates the funding, it is the job of Congress. Here is the basis for their false claims of budget cuts. The city and state requests for levee improvements each year, enough money to correct the problems with the levees plus build and subsidize casinos and whorehouses. Congress cuts out the money for the casinos and whorehouses and funds the levee project. Those are the cuts they refer to and that is what they are talking about when they say “budget cuts”. The money then comes down to the state which is then diverted from the levee projects to the casinos and whorehouses and when Katrina came, the levees gave way, which city and state officials knew was going to happen, they only hoped it wouldn‘t be on their watch. The failures and corruption of the Democrat leadership in Louisiana is directly responsible for the second disaster, the flood.

Now, FEMA and rescue groups have a task 100 times larger than anything they were prepared for so it's not hard to understand that there were problems getting aid to everyone effected by Katrina. In Mississippi you couldn’t find a FEMA agent or supplies because it all had to be sent to New Orleans which wasn’t even in the direct path of the hurricane. Was there anything the President could have done better? Sure there was. He could have violated the law and invaded Louisiana with federal troops to rescue them from the results of their liberalism and corruption a day or two earlier, and without the consent of Governor Blanco. He made the mistake of respecting their state sovereignty and trusting their governments to show some leadership and carry out their responsibility instead of sweeping them aside and taking over as some believe he should have done. Liberals in New Orleans have had over 40 years to create their liberal utopia, now we can all see the results of their efforts and accomplishments.

Now, the polluted and toxic water that collected in New Orleans is being pumped out and into Lake Pontchatrain where it finds it way to the Gulf of Mexico through open waterways. When I first saw this immense pumping operations dumping that dirty and polluted, yellow/brown water into the canals leading to the lake, and saw reports of fish jumping out of the water to escape the irritants, I wondered where was PETA, Green Peace, "Save the Fish", and all the liberal activist groups protesting the polluting of the lake and gulf? Lake and gulf fish and shrimp are now contaminated and dying and the fishing industry on the gulf coast is out of business as a result. I wonder if these environmental activist groups would have been so invisible and silent had Halliburton been doing the pumping. Pollution by liberals - good. Pollution by conservatives - bad. I guess we're all getting pretty used to that.

FEMA has been highly criticized for numerous errors and mistakes in the handling of the Katrina disaster, not only in New Orleans, but across the gulf coast. This is not surprising when you consider the scope of this disaster and the recent history of FEMA, which has never had to deal with anything this huge before and compounded by the political and liberal policy failures of New Orleans.

In 1979, President Carter's executive order merged many of the separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Among other agencies, FEMA absorbed: the Federal Insurance Administration, the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, the National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program, the Federal Preparedness Agency of the General Services Administration and the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration activities from HUD. Civil defense responsibilities were also transferred to the new agency from the Defense Department's Defense Civil Preparedness Agency.

In January 1994, FEMA was here in the Los Angeles area and performed magnificently after the Northridge earthquake. I had two friends who volunteered to work with FEMA in that disaster, there were no problems, errors, or mistakes. The job was done professionally and efficiently. In September 2001, FEMA was in New York in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Again, they performed well and got the job done efficiently, there were no complaints or criticisms of FEMA at that time. The 911 attacks resulted in the creation of the Homeland Security Dept. by Congress. President Bush resisted this added layer of bureaucracy for 3 months but finally signed the bill into law. Homeland Security was designed primarily to deal with future terrorism aimed at our country and to try to prevent further attacks. FEMA remained independent of Homeland Security and continued to report directly to the President.

In March 2003, FEMA became part of the Department of Homeland Security, within the Emergency Planning and Response Directorate under Senate Bill S-930. FEMA also manages the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Flood Insurance Program. This is where the problems began for FEMA. They were no longer a sovereign and independent agency with command and control over their actions and responsibilities, nor did they now have control over their own budget.

After the formation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the official title of the head of FEMA was changed from The Director of FEMA to Under Secretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response. This position includes additional responsibilities beyond FEMA including the oversight of the Department of Energy's Nuclear Incident Response Team, or NIRT. Previously, the Director of FEMA reported directly to the Whitehouse, but now it reports to the next higher level of bureaucracy, the Homeland Security Dept. and has become an ever larger bureaucracy in itself. In a sense, this is a demotion for the Director and the agency. This also diverted the mission of FEMA from dealing with disasters, to the primary mission of Homeland Security; dealing with terrorism. Homeland Security ordered FEMA to devote 75% of their resources and budget to preparing for terrorism instead of natural disasters. After 911, it seems that Congress just forgot that we may still have to deal with Hurricanes and floods.

FEMA became more oriented towards things like nuclear disasters which would not have caused nearly the massive damage as was caused by Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans. In frustration in trying to deal with the higher bureaucracy now between FEMA and the Whitehouse, over 100 disaster response experts quit FEMA leaving a huge leadership gap in the organization. Perhaps this is where the management coordination problems of FEMA to deal with the Katrina Hurricane lie. Michael Brown has taken the fall for the problems but the real fault lies with Congress in mistakenly placing FEMA under Homeland Security. When will anyone in Congress stand up and say "I take responsibility for mistakes that were made here in Congress"? The lesson to be learned here is that big government bureaucracies as promoted by Democrats don't work. Homeland Security should have brought in intelligence and law enforcement agencies to correct the “walls” put up by the Clinton Administration and stopped there.

Now comes the job of cleaning up the mess and rebuilding the city of New Orleans, as well as Gulfport, Biloxi, and other areas devastated by Katrina. All I ever hear about is the rebuilding of New Orleans, but nothing about the others, I wonder why. So far, $62 billion has been approved for the rebuilding of New Orleans but estimates of up to $200 billion or more are expected down the road. Who's going to pay for this and how? The answer, of course is, we are, the taxpayers. In typical liberal thinking, the taxpayers will pick up the bill and responsibility for the failures of Louisiana Democrats. President Bush says we can do this without raising taxes and I agree, only not necessarily in the same method that the president has in mind unless he is willing to change his policies and practices when it comes to wasteful government spending. Maybe this will be the issue that forces his hand on an issue that has seriously angered conservatives during his administration.

A good place to start would be to cut out the $25 billion in pork spending in the recently passed Highway Bill. Another would be to cut most of the $83 billion in special interest spending in the Farm Bill in addition to the billions upon billions of taxpayers' money thrown down the drain in other pork barrel spending attached to other bills including the Defense Bill. Every time a spending bill comes up in congress, senators see it as a windfall opportunity to steal money from the taxpayers to finance their special interest pet projects.

And what's going to happen to our money when billions and billions are given to Louisiana officials to rebuild with while the corruption that is now known to exist there has not been addressed? This is going to be the most massive construction project since Iraq and should be done by proven and accountable contractors. If Halliburton can rebuild a country, they can certainly rebuild a city and do it far more efficiently than corrupt city and state officials in Louisiana can. They can also do it with a local labor force and contracts to local subcontractors to provide jobs in the devastated area. Louisiana and New Orleans government officials cannot be trusted with this project or the money to fund it, and shouldn‘t be. They should not be rewarded for allowing this disaster to happen any more than illegal aliens should be rewarded with citizenship and other government benefits for breaking into our country.  This is the kind of project that should go to Halliburton, a company that specializes in this kind of thing and who will be accountable to the American taxpayers for the expenses and money grants.

The Dept. of Health and Human Resources currently receives 34% of the entire United States budget each year, the largest share of our tax dollars of any agency or Department including the Defense Department. In the current budget they get a staggering $730 billion dollars for services that are not even authorized by the Constitution as being a legitimate federal government expense. $200 billion of that goes directly to welfare payments annually. Coincidentally, $200 billion is just what experts are estimating as the ultimate cost of rebuilding New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Welfare should never have been allowed to become a career and way of life for recipients but it has. There is one thing that welfare and minimum wage laws have in common. They both attempt to provide minimal financial support for citizens. But when welfare payments amount to nearly the same as minimum wages, it's just easier for some to choose welfare rather than work. Once in the system, they learn from others how to scam the system for more money, one way is by having babies out of wedlock as was previously discussed. We, as Americans, can no longer afford to support these abuses and deterioration of moral values and shouldn't have to pay for it. In most cases, the abusers are the products of generations of abusers so it's not just they who are responsible for the abuse, their families also share that responsibility.

We have another problem in this country, that of illegal aliens taking away low paying jobs from Americans. President Bush and others have stated that these invaders from Mexico are doing the jobs that Americans don't want to do and thus are needed here. That's just BS. If welfare benefits were cut in half, and illegals were removed from the work force, there would be plenty of people available to take those jobs and they would be forced to do so simply to survive, just as it used to be before freeloading on the taxpayers became acceptable and popular in this country. We have made it too easy for people not to work and compensated for it with illegal alien labor who take money out of our country and send it to Mexico. Isn't it time to get those lazy welfare cases off their posteriors and put them to work now? They could start with the rebuilding of their own city. Getting them off the welfare rolls would easily free up $100 billion dollars a year from the Federal budget that could be used to finance the rebuilding of the "welfare state". I know many of them are now thinking that as soon as the taxpayers rebuild their city, they will go back to nice new homes and resume their liberal, parasite lives again with the attitude that we owe it to them. Then the whole cycle starts all over again until there is another Katrina and the same liberal lack of responsibility is once again displayed for all to see, and pay for. Are we going to let our President and Congress allow this to happen? Probably, unless we can convince them to put America back in the United States and hold people responsible for their own lives instead of the taxpayers.

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