The Washington Post has a front page analysis of the progress, or lack thereof, in rebuilding the region hit by hurricane Katrina.
What the article demonstrates is the glaring problem of unrealistic expectations.
Nearly five months after Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, President Bush’s lofty promises to rebuild the Gulf Coast have been frustrated by bureaucratic failures and competing priorities, a review of events since the hurricane shows.
First, five months isn’t very much time in the context of a project of such magnitude, much too early to evaluate overall success or failure in the rebuilding effort. Of course there should be ongoing evaluation of the progress and adjustments need to be made as problems are found, and of course everyone would like the whole region to be back to normal yesterday, but people need to be realistic.
Second, anyone who is surprised to find the federal government beset by waste, inefficiency, and bureacratic fumbling must have recently arrived from another planet. And they certainly can’t lay all that at the feet of President Bush. You go to a massive regional cleanup operation with the federal bureacracy you have, not the one you’d like to have. This is big government in action, or inaction. If the federal government were more focused on its core constitutional responsibilities, rather than trying to run every aspect of society from Washington D.C., they would likely be more effective in those core responsibilities.