But this is a long trip, and the reason why is I want to remind people throughout our neighborhood that America cares about them.President Bush during his recent trip to New Orleans:
And so I've come back to New Orleans, Louisiana, to remind people that the federal government still knows you exist, still knows you have issues, and wants to work with your leadership to address those issues.Bush on aid to Latin America:
I don't know if you know this or not, but since I've been the President, our bilateral aid to Latin America has increased from $800 million to $1.6 billion. And the reason I say that is the American taxpayer has been very generous about providing aid in our neighborhood, and most of that aid is social justice money -- in other words, it's money for education and health.This next quote is not so current, but I remember hearing the talking point about the generous taxpayer before:
And yet, we don't get much credit for it.
White House aides suggest that this criticism is unfair, noting that millions of dollars have been spent on school vouchers and on helping homeowners rebuild their property.Emphasises mine.
“The city of New Orleans will see their schools come back stronger, and in fact there will be an explosion of charter schools that can help the region come back quickly,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. “Of course, we would have liked to do more in many areas, but the president believes the American taxpayer has been generous.”
Hurricane aid is not the same as foreign aid. And, despite my rants, the Gulf Coast is still part of America.
While the American public has been generous with its own money in charitable donations, we on the Gulf Coast are taxpayers too. We have paid into the account that we are now attempting to withdraw from. We are not asking for charity from the federal government. We are asking for what we are due as Americans.
Please, Mr. President, stop talking about us like we are another country. Unless, of course, you are willing to grant us sovereignty and we can use our bountiful natural resources and our position at the mouth of the Mississippi River for our own people’s benefit and not to enrich a nation of 300,000,000 generous taxpayers.