Thursday, 20 October 2005

Porkbusters go down in flames

As they say, heh.

Or to put it another way, one man’s pork is another man’s necessary infrastructure project. After all, the good people of New Orleans could get along just dandy with a repaired 4-lane I-10 Lake Pontchartrain bridge for years to come (especially when you consider that the depopulation of the city is going to make a widened span unnecessary for the forseeable future, Mayor Nagin’s revitalization fantasies aside)... Katrina alone shouldn’t bump them to the head of the line for a fancy new 6-lane span. And, surely, a real “porkbuster” would favor letting the FHWA bureaucracy, not Congress, decide where the money would best be spent. Let’s see how many votes that Coburn amendment would get; my bet is pretty close to zero.

Incidentally, my lack of sympathy also goes for using emergency rebuilding funds to pay for decades-old wishlist items and “new urbanism” tripe on the Gulf Coast instead of sticking to the essentials.


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I agree, there are more pressing needs now. There’s going to be a big fight between the insurance companies and residents over the flooding, with the residents arguing, with some plausibility, that the flooding was a proximate cause of the wind, and therefore should be covered by insurance. I don’t know if it’ll work, but it’ll be tried.

Besides, with regard to improvements, there will be a massive improvement to the infrastructure of the Coast if they simply replace everything. It will be newer and, in the case of business equipment, probably vastly improved. That’s just with the replacement of existing things and no wish list.


Come on, now, that’s just for the other amendment. The actual Coburn amendment is up for a vote later, and I expect it’ll get twice as many votes! All the way up to… 26. Sure it has no chance, but it’s still a moral victory, right? Right? Anybody?

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