Louisiana's eroding coastline is nothing newsworthy for South Louisiana residents who've been hearing the threats for decades, but a recent blog from Rolling Stone highlights the irony behind Louisiana's 'demand' for federal assistance to elevate infrastructure along the Gulf coast.

In a March 19 blog, Jared Bernstein references a Washington Post article about the elevation efforts of Highway 1, the sinking stretch of road along our coast that stands between the oil and gas hub of Port Fourchon and the rest of the country that uses Fourchon's oil and gas resources.

According to The Post, many in Louisiana are asking the feds to help financially with elevation efforts for the critical highway, which would add two miles to the road, but federal officials will not contribute funding "unless the state pledges to complete the road:"
This morning’s Washington Post described a situation in the state of Louisiana where a global trend—climate change—is leading to a situation — rising sea levels — that YOYO (you’re-on-your-own) economics can’t solve.

Officials in a state with an aggressive tax-cutting governor … one who consistently inveighs against government spending, are "demanding" the Feds send money.

The tactic here is to inveigh against spending cuts against anything that sounds silly to people … until you actually need federal help. Then demand it.

But what if isn’t there? Virtually all of the federal budget cuts legislated in the last year or so — and there’s been about $2 trillion of them – have come from what’s called the discretionary side of the budget, the non-entitlement part that's appropriated each year to fund the agencies and yes, to provide "grants-in-aid" to states.

Future divers, exploring the modern-day Atlantis that used to be coastal America, will marvel at our method of dealing with rising sea levels: Put the highways on stilts so we could continue to transport the fossil fuels that were causing the sea levels to rise.  That is, until we ran out of stilt money.
Read the full column here.

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