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Give Rain Forest Funds to Victims

Neill Goltz

Iowa City Press-Citizen

September 26, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

The estimated reconstruction cost of Hurricane Katrina is now at some $200 billion for the Gulf Coast and New Orleans or, in the president's words, "whatever it takes."

He plans to fund it with spending cuts from existing programs, rather than with a repeal of tax cuts. (Like with Iraq, there's no need for the wealthiest among us to share the sacrifice.)

The city of Bozeman, Montana, is looking at the possibility of giving up its $4 million for a downtown parking garage allocated in the recent pork-laden Federal Highway Bill. At the same time, Rep. Don Young (R., Alaska), chair of the House Transportation Committee -- and for whom the bridge will be named -- refuses to put off the $223 million "bridge to nowhere" as a source of funds for the Gulf Coast. (This planned bridge is bigger than the Golden Gate and will serve some 50 people, previously happy to have only boat access to their island.)

Shouldn't Iowa, in an act of national solidarity, follow Bozeman's lead and voluntarily move its allocation for the unnecessary and bizarre Coralville rain forest to help pay for the reconstruction on a current basis, rather than charging it on the president's credit card?

We could inspire the country.

Neill Goltz