In an attempt to reach out to the tragic victims of Katrina, President George W. Bush reassured residents of New Orleans that they will be exempted from estate and capital gains taxes for 2005. In a proposal to the House of Representatives and a nod to his real constituents Bush reassured, "At a time like this, with the numbers of dead and dying rising every single day, this is one of the most important things that I can do." Administration sources point out that family members of the deceased will not have to worry about taxes on estates exceeding $1 million in value for the year of 2005. This could add up to a reduction of 2% of gross income this year for some New Orleans residents. Bush gave no word as to whether this exemption will be available to New Orleans residents after 2005. "Furthermore, what the residents of New Orleans also need is to be able to keep the profits from their investments and real estate sales in order to fund necessary improvements to their property" Bush added.
Critics say that the vast majority of New Orleans residents are poor and do not have to worry about estate or capital gains taxes anyway. They maintain that what is needed now are food, water and lodging, and then for jobs and money to rebuild what they have lost. Administration officials counter that the tax breaks should provide this money, and that people can choose to spend the money they save on taxes as they choose.
The federal response to this disaster merely shows that "government is not the answer" Bush said. "Do you really want the federal government to build your levee system, or wouldn't you rather be able to do it yourself?" Bush reasoned. "This is the ownership society, and people should be able to own their own levees."
In related comments, Bush also pledged that the National Guard is on the way back from Iraq and soon will be able to ensure that gay marriages will not take place while rescue efforts continue" Bush said. Bush was referring to the fact that some victims, with water rising up to their necks and fearing impending death held impromptu wedding ceremonies so that unmarried couples could spend eternity together. We are consistent here. I know what I was elected to do. Gay marriages now and gay marriages after this tragedy will not be tolerated. Bush was firm, "It doesn't matter whether you are stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family or are rushing to marry your gay lover before you die -- it's all criminal activity."