And while everyone is busy inventing new superlatives for the fall-out from Hurricane Katrina, let's take a moment to consider those folks -- the poor, the uninsured, those with no health coverage, those completely unprepared for this kind of devastation -- and figure out just how they got that way.
Here's a hint:
Bush Budget: Sacrificing All Else to Tax Cuts
... The President's Tax Cut Still Mainly Benefits the Most Fortunate While Many Working Families Receive Nothing — The President continues to advocate a package of tax cuts that would award almost half of the benefits to the top one percent of the income distribution. Families who pay substantial payroll taxes but no income tax would receive no tax relief from the Bush tax cut...
Medicaid Cuts — Like the February Blueprint, the 2002 April budget cuts Medicaid spending by $606 million in 2002 relative to current law...
The Budget Eliminates the Community Access Program (CAP) for the Uninsured — The April budget eliminates the CAP program entirely. The program allows health care providers such as community health centers and public hospitals that serve those who are under- or un-insured to coordinate and integrate access to health care services for them ....
The Budget Cuts Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) — The budget cuts funding for CDBG, which provides funds for development for low- and moderate-income communities, $516 million (10 percent) below the level needed to maintain current services.
The Budget Cuts Economic Development Assistance Administration (EDA) — The budget cuts funding for EDA, which provide grants to alleviate unemployment and underemployment in distressed communities, $86 million (20 percent) below the level needed to maintain current services.
The Budget Cuts Community Development Financial Institutes (CDFI) Fund — The budget cuts appropriations to the CDFI Fund, which helps finance economic development in distressed communities, $52 million (43 percent) below the level needed to maintain current services.
Oh, and you have to absolutely love this one:
The Budget Cuts Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — The budget cuts funding for FEMA's disaster relief program $258 million (16 percent) below the level needed to maintain current services.
Sometimes, it's not always an act of God. Sometimes, the Republicans lend a helping hand.