Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Just curious, has any media outlet published a breakdown of that $29B Katrina relief package? Specifically how much of the $29B in relief spending is actually going to relief? We know that that $1.6B is going to other states to reimburse school systems for the added costs of taking in evacuees. That's certainly warranted, but it's not relief. Does it include the $8B in business tax credits? Does it include the $3B for levee repairs?

This might seem trivial, but with congress begrudging Louisiana and Mississippi every penny, it's important. When congress reconvenes next year, some GOP lawmakers will almost certainly claim that they passed a $29B aid bill on top of a $62B aid bill, despite the fact that most of the $62B was returned. Congressional leaders can't be allowed to claim that they given more aid than they have or it will make it extremely difficult to get more aid. Tax credits might encourage long range development, but they're not immediate aid. More importantly, if flood protection money is counted in with reconstruction money, Louisiana's aid request will always look outrageous.

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