If the rest of the nation has decided it is too expensive to give the people of New Orleans a chance at renewal, we have to tell them so. We must tell them we spent our rainy-day fund on a costly stalemate in Iraq, that we gave it away in tax cuts for wealthy families and shareholders. We must tell them America is too broke and too weak to rebuild one of its great cities.
When I criticize the federal government – the President, Senators, Representatives – it is not personal. Yes, I do not like the President and his cronies, but I am not attacking these men and women personally. I am attacking their policy decisions. Their decisions hurt America.
A disaster befell the Gulf Coast. New Orleans was especially affected. On a smaller scale, many Americans, all over the country, go through this in their every day lives. Crises are not limited to hurricanes.
But, the Bush administration has made policy decisions that have made the U.S. impotent to respond to tragedy, both at the regional level – that of Katrina – and the personal level – that of the level of a family which has fallen on hard times for whatever reason.
The Bush administration has shaped an America where the laws and law enforcement exist solely to ensure that the rich and powerful keep what they have – their riches and their power.
In the case of New Orleans, which has always been used as a conduit for money rather than a place to keep it, this is never more clear. Oil, cargo, and industry flow through this great city, but the benefits never stick around. The rich and powerful have concluded that they can find another New Orleans to make their millions, and so this one is expendable.
But let’s not call it the "Death of an American City." Let us call it what it is:
The Death of America.