Pound Wise, Penny Foolish
I am not so foolish as to think that if that money had been available all the hurricane preparedness projects would have been completed and there would have been no loss of life or property; such projects are generally massive and take time, as well as money, to complete; there's always the danger that while you're preparing for disaster the disaster will strike. But if Katrina had petered out, and there'd been that time (and more--hurricane season isn't over) to finish the various projects...saving $71.2 million, compared to the billions and billions that are going to go into rebuilding New Orleans and Biloxi, makes no sense at all.
Ivins goes on to observe that this administration appears to be moving further away from policy based on science, expertise and experience and further toward policy based on ideology. I believe in the importance of faith, I believe that (metaphorically) faith can move mountains. But when I have to build a bridge, get my tonsils out, or chart the human genome, I want science, expertise and experience, the more the better. I believe in science and technology and the power of the human mind to come up with solutions to human problems--if God hadn't wanted us to solve problems, would we have the brains we do?