"SOTU: The Bush Administration Continues To Bungle Katrina Reconstruction"
Bush said: “A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency – and stays at it until they are back on their feet.”
FACT — KATRINA RECONSTRUCTION HAS BEEN SLOW AND BUNGLED: “[I]n certain respects, little has changed” in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, according to the Wall Street Journal. Only one-fifth of the city’s original population has resettled. “The Crescent City largely has shriveled to ‘the sliver by the river,’ as residents now call the thin ribbon of neighborhoods near the Mississippi River that didn’t flood,” and “neighborhoods still are abandoned wastelands of uninhabitable homes and sidewalks piled with moldy garbage.” [WSJ, 1/13/06; AP, 1/12/06]
FACT — ADMINISTRATION REJECTED RECONSTRUCTION PLAN: The White House rejected a Louisiana reconstruction plan — the “most broadly supported plan for rebuilding communities,” and instead backed $6.2 billion in block grants that Congress provided last year, which Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) called “unacceptable.” [Times-Picayune, 1/25/06; New York Times, 1/30/06]
FACT — KATRINA RECONSTRUCTION FUNDING HAS BEEN TAINTED BY POLITICS: The $29 billion in aid passed last month was tainted by politics: the package “gave Mississippi about five times as much per household in housing aid as Louisiana received,” a “testimony to the clout” of Bush’s political ally, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R). [New York Times, 1/5/06]