The Disaster President -- NATION

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As the fourth anniversary of September 11 approached, Americans were increasingly disquieted by the costly quagmire in Iraq, rising gas prices and an economy that benefits only CEOs. Then the destruction visited upon the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, and the grossly negligent government response to the flooding that followed, exposed the full scope of George W. Bush's misrule. The failures were so outrageous they roused even our embedded media from its slumbers. But the incompetence revealed by the response to the hurricane is deep-rooted, and can be traced to the twenty-five-year project, begun in the Reagan era, of discrediting government, 'starving the beast' of resources and exalting private markets and faith-based charities. Tax cuts for the wealthy and Congressional corruption have drained government of the imagination and resources to address human needs. Katrina has brutally exposed Americans to the costs of this folly.

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