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The Northerner

The Issue: The aftermath of Katrina

Gabe Cronon

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According to the Washington Post, on Sept. 15 in New Orleans, President George W. Bush said, “When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I as president am responsible for the problem and for the solution.”

It seems as if he is sincere in saying these words. Doesn’t it comfort you, doesn’t it reconfirm your beliefs that this president has the best interests of the nation at hand? It certainly does NOT for me.

I, like many millions of Americans, listened to 26 minutes of highly orchestrated and carefully scripted words. President Bush delivered the speech in a brilliantly manufactured image. The St. Louis Cathedral lit up in a calming hue of blue; the statue of Andrew Jackson polished and clean, perfectly manicured palms and clean, green grass.

Why could you not see the damage that was strewn around him? Because this president and his administration don’t want you to. They want you to see composure and order. This is where the president continues to fail us. Several days, even weeks after the hurricane hit land the president rides into town on a scheduled, heavily detailed, publicity stunt. He gives a hefty speech full of religion and lacking in vital information.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless and without medication, lost in cities across the nation. His solutions are vague as to how they will be funded; much like the No Child Left Behind Act.

He offers lottery style handouts of free federal land to people whom have nothing. They of course must fund the building of their homes on their own – with what? They have nothing: no job, no hometown, no guarantee of a bed every night. They are wearing clothes donated to them. How are they going to secure a mortgage? And with so many people displaced, Habitat for Humanity can only build so many homes. It seems like someone else has been left behind by this president.

Taxes need to be raised to cover expenses of this tragedy. The federal budget is already over-burdened by the other crisis that the White House has created: the war in Iraq.

Why should the wealthy continue to receive tax cuts as poverty rises and an entire region is in ruins? Where will all this money come from?

The president did not release any figures on total number of dollars because he does not know them. That is the problem with this plan; no one knows what is really going on or how to implement it. The only checks and balances this president is concerned of are the checks issued to Halliburton to rebuild the gulf and the balances of the wealthiest checkbooks.

When will this administration learn that creating elaborate and carefully phrased events is not acting? Taking action is doing something about the problem, not giving a speech at night, on the grass, with a church and a statue.

This administration is used to that though, no need to act when you have dead presidents and religion behind you.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
The Issue: The aftermath of Katrina