Obama Criticizes Bush’s Response to Katrina on New White House Website
Out with the old and in with the new! Following Obama’s inauguration, change is already underway. From halting tribunals at Guantanamo Bay to accelerating the drawdown of troops in Iraq, Obama is wasting no time as the United States’ 44th president.
The “new era of responsibility” expressed in Obama’s Inaugural Speech extends to the past, particularly criticizing George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina on the new White House website.
President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.
President Obama swiftly responded to Hurricane Katrina. Citing the Bush Administration’s “unconscionable ineptitude” in responding to Hurricane Katrina, then-Senator Obama introduced legislation requiring disaster planners to take into account the specific needs of low-income hurricane victims. Obama visited thousands of Hurricane survivors in the Houston Convention Center and later took three more trips to the region. He worked with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to introduce legislation to address the immediate income, employment, business, and housing needs of Gulf Coast communities.
President Barack Obama will partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.
Broken promises, catastrophic failures, unconscionable ineptitude…yep, that pretty much sums up the last eight years under George W. Bush. Of course, Bush still defends his response to Katrina:
The truth of the matter is the response was pretty darn quick if you think about the fact that the Coast Guard and a lot of brave kids were pulling 30,000 people off of roofs as soon as the storm passed, as soon as they found people on those roofs.
There is no doubt the Coast Guard acted bravely, but New Orleans’ population is currently 72% that of pre-Katrina. In fact according to a new report, the city still has a long way to go before it can sustain its pre-Katrina population:
• Rents across New Orleans are 46% higher today than pre-Katrina. This year, a two-bedroom apartment in the city rents for an average of $990, up from $676 in 2005.
• There are 65,000 blighted properties or empty lots throughout the New Orleans area.
• The New Orleans area added 8,000 jobs in the past 12 months, less than a fourth of the number added in the previous time period.
The time has come to help the people of New Orleans. The time has come for the US government to take responsibility for the devastating effects of this natural disaster. The time has come for Obama to be our leader.