If it happened to them it could happen to any of us....
Rep. Baker's plan would make it possible for homeowners to avoid foreclosure, get at least 60 percent of their equity back and have resources to use toward a new home. This is not a government giveaway. The government bonds used for the buyouts would be repaid by the sale of property to developers, who would have to put the land back into use. It is a practical, targeted solution to an immense problem.
There seems to be some sentiment that South Louisiana has gotten enough government help and that people here should have expected flooding. That ignores a crucial fact: the federal government's Army Corps of Engineers told us that our levees would keep us dry.
Families who settled inside the flood plain knew to expect occasional street flooding during a rainstorm. But they had no expectation that canal floodwalls would buckle and fill their homes with 8 or 10 feet of water for weeks on end.
If 180,000 families in greater New Orleans are left with worthless homes and no way to get rid of them, everyone else in this country who lives in a vulnerable spot should be worried. And that means that most of them should be worried.
More than half of Americans live along the 19,924 miles of coastline in this country. How many millions more live in river valleys, on fault lines or in Tornado Alley?
Yes, there are risks in living near water. But New Orleanians believed that those risks had been minimized. We should not be written off simply for choosing to make this place our home.