Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tuesday, I wondered how much of the $29B Katrina relief package was actual relief. In yesterday's news we found that in addition to the $1.6B to schools (actually I was wrong, only some of that went elsewhere, some of it went to damaged schools in the region), the $29B included $2.9B to the Corps of Engineers for storm and flood repair. Worthwhile projects, but not exactly relief. It also included $4.4B "for Defense Department expenses and facility damage", that's somehow going to be counted as Katrina relief money that went to La. and Miss. I still haven't haven't been able to find a complete breakdown of the $29B (I also had computer problems yesterday, so I might have missed it), but I found this (on da po'blog):

Most of the hurricane aid — $24 billion — has already been authorized by Congress as part of a federal Disaster Relief Fund. The money now will be diverted from the fund, overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and sent directly to Gulf Coast states and victims.

In other words, most of the $29B came out of the $62B that had already been appropriated. Here's a prediction: when congress reconvenes, we'll hear Republican congressmen and conservative commentators say, "First we gave them $62B, then we gave them $29B more." Three months later, the T/P will set the record straight. Of course,it won't do so in a front page story; hell, it won't even get addressed on the editorial page. Instead, the editors will let Jarvis DeBerry discuss it in an op-ed piece.

It really is quite frustrating to figure out what's "under the covers" w/ the relief $.

Was that first $62b it? The whole shebang? It's a lot of money, obviously, but like you and da po' boy, I'd really like to know how that breaks down.

Also - some of that money must be the funds earmarked for Texas schools, etc.?

I'm glad you guys are on this, because I can't follow all the dribbles and drabbles of info. to make it come together into anything comprehensive. Sigh...
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