Your Government At Work

Have you been following the story about the poisoned water supply in Flint, Michigan? This is yet another Katrina Incident. People are going to suffer, although lead poisoning takes years to take full effect. The damage is irreparable. We have known the danger of lead for decades and most have believed that removing it from gasoline and paint had put it behind us.

91_nThe parallels with Katrina are astounding. This is a poor, mostly black community. Everyone in government knew about the risk for a long time and simply chose to do nothing. The EPA, for example, knew full details last April but dithered bureaucratically. The actual choice to divert the water supply to the contaminated Flint River was made at the state level to save money. To save money!! And of course now it most certainly won’t do that. It is true that all this began with state and local screw ups, but once again the EPA shows its incompetent leadership.

Why this isn’t a major topic in the Presidential contest, especially for the Democratic candidates, is a mystery to me. Both Clinton and Sanders have belatedly condemned this failure of government but far too mildly for my taste. Heads should roll, and I am not so sure I mean that figuratively.