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Let's pay for our mistakes

Conservative theorists sometimes use the concept of a "moral hazard" to support arguments against helping governments, corporations and people recover financially from their mistakes. The idea is that if people do not bear the financial responsibility for their actions, others will be less careful in the future.

Recently, an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman explained that the New Orleans levees were only built to withstand a Category 3 hurricane because their cost/benefit analysis showed that building to that standard was the optimum solution. Now that we are living with the consequences of that decision, shouldn't we be willing to increase our taxes to deal with the results?

Similarly, now that we know that the Iraq war is not going to pay for itself, shouldn't we be willing to sacrifice enough to at least pay for it?

David Jorgensen

Salt Lake City