Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bush Promises New Orleans Better Levees

I'd say that this is too little, too late. From Yahoo News:

President Bush pledged on Thursday to rebuild New Orleans' shattered levee system taller and stronger than before Hurricane Katrina struck, requesting an additional $1.5 billion to buttress the system that failed and left the city flooded.

"The federal government is committed to building the best levee system known in the world," said Donald Powell, the top federal official for reconstruction.

Officials dodged the question of whether the levees would be built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, using broader language instead to promise that the city's citizens would be safe and the new levees would exceed anything New Orleans had ever seen.

Katrina, a Category 4 storm, surged through the city's levees at numerous points after it hit on Aug. 29, killing 1,300 people in the Gulf region. Louisiana officials have said bringing the levees to Category 5 level is crucial for persuading people to move back.

You know what bugs me here? Over the past five years, the federal government could have strengthened those levees at any time, but they didn't. Instead, we get big corporate and individual tax cuts benefiting the rich elites. The government knew the levees wouldn't survive a Cat 5 storm, and yet they decided to do nothing about it. Tax cuts for the rich was a more important agenda to the Bush White House than spending government money on some boring earthen dams. Well, Katrina hits New Orleans and kills 1300 lower-class people, and now the Bush White House decides to do something about it.

One more interesting speculation. I wonder what the racial breakdown is among those 1,300 dead?


Eli said...

Once again, the Bush administration springs into action to prevent tragedies that have already occurred. Bra-vo.

Dawn said...

Did you catch Oliphants cartoon today?

Eric A Hopp said...

What did you expect from the Republicans and the Bush White House? It is about taking care of their rich, corporate elites at the expense of the rest of America. When something like Katrina happens, the Republicans then realize that their welfare ties to the rich are exposed, opening the possibility that they would be taken out of power by the American voter's wrath. So, the Republicans throw a few scraps of public works projects to pacify the American voters. How much do you want to bet that this new funding of repairing levees will be cut after the midterm elections?