Gulf Coast Enterprise Zone

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As unseemly as it is for officials to be assigning blame (invariably to other officials) before the rescues are even complete, it is happening anyway. We will have plenty of time to sort it all out, but the charges are flying early. The observer should keep in mind that in this debacle there are probably many officials whose only defense will be a good offense, and they intend to get the game going early. It is by no means a foolproof approach, but our sympathies should be with those officials who are doing what they ought to be doing now (trying to rescue people) and our sympathies ought not to be with those want to get the blame game going early. This is not to sidestep the need for appropriate, toothed accountability. In due course. But the best way to get that accountability in due time is to refuse to allow the issue to be politicized now.

In the early returns, it appears to me that there are two things that the various levels of government can do after the rescue operation is complete. The first is to redesign and rebuild the levee system to be able to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. The second thing the federal government should do — if it is really serious about rebuilding this region of the country — is to make a list of the devastated areas by zip code. Once the list is complete, the federal government should grant full and complete federal tax-exemption for five years to all businesses and individuals located in those zip code areas. And just watch what happens.

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