The New York Times is leading the shameless Bush and Republican bashing with respect to the response to Hurricane Katrina. One of its themes is that Congress didn’t pay enough attention to flood control in the Gulf. But Donald Luskin reminds us of this bit of wisdom (among others collected by EU Rota) from the Times’ editorial page earlier this year:
Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America’s rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other water-related projects — this at a time when President Bush is asking for major cuts in Medicaid and other important domestic programs. Among these projects is a $2.7 billion boondoggle on the Mississippi River that has twice flunked inspection by the National Academy of Sciences.
The Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs accuse the corps of routinely inflating the economic benefits of its projects. And environmentalists blame it for turning free-flowing rivers into lifeless canals and destroying millions of acres of wetlands — usually in the name of flood control and navigation but mostly to satisfy Congress’s appetite for pork.
This is a bad piece of legislation.
Via NRO’s Media Blog.