And so it's a -- my attitude is this: New Orleans, better days are ahead. It's sometimes hard for people to see progress when you live in a community all the time.
First, I do want to thank our fellow citizens for their generosity when it comes to helping New Orleans and the Gulf Coast rebuild. The citizens of this country thus far have paid out $114 billion in tax revenues, their money, to help the folks down here.
Of the $114 billion spent so far -- in resources, allocated -- about 80 percent of the funds have been dispersed or available. And, of course, Don and I will try to work through the bureaucracy in Washington, just like folks down here are trying to work through the bureaucracy to make sure that there are adequate plans for the money.
And so we're working through this kind of collaborative effort of federal, state and local folks working together to make sure the taxpayers' money is spent wisely on priorities.
But there's been a commitment and a strong commitment. A lot of people down here probably wondered whether or not those of us in the federal government not from Louisiana would pay attention to Louisiana or Mississippi.
In other words, it's one thing to come and give a speech in Jackson Square; it's another thing to keep paying attention to whether or not progress is being made.
And I hope people understand we do. We're still paying attention. We understand.
Better days are ahead, we're still paying attention, we understand, $114 billion spent so far... who or what is he paying attention to? Certainly not the facts.
As he says, it's one thing to give a speech in Jackson Square. It's entirely another to make good on your promises. Instead, he has once again lowered the bar, reducing the federal government's role to "paying attention to whether or not progress is being made." Even at that, the Bush administration can't seem to live up to its own lowered expectations.
Thankfully, we will only have to endure one more Katrina Anniversary speech by President Bush. Indeed, there may be better days ahead.