August 29, 2007

$116 Billion

That’s the number I expect to hear today.

It has already been thrown about by the media:
$116 billion in recovery dollars have been earmarked for the Gulf region, almost $60 billion of it to Louisiana alone.
Of the $116 billion appropriated by Congress to Gulf Coast recovery, $34 billion has been earmarked for long-term rebuilding.
Then there is another number I’ve seen, too:
In the two years since Hurricane Katrina, the federal government has provided more than $114 billion in aid.
As I said at the beginning of the briefing, the federal government has provided $114 billion to the region, of which $96 billion has been disbursed or is available to the states. [via oyster]
Then there is the real number which, surprisingly, at least one person in the media is using:
Overall, Congress appropriated $94.6 billion for hurricane restoration.
In a former blogging life, this number was my obsession. Back then, it appeared in the form of “$110 billion.” That number was around $22 billion too much.

The new number adds $6 billion more, but is still $22 billion too much.

My break down of money Congress has allocated to the Gulf Coast recovery:
* September 2, 2005 – $10.5 billion in a disaster relief bill

* September 8, 2005 – $51.8 billion in a disaster relief bill

* December 31, 2005 – $5 billion in a spending bill (along with $24 billion diverted from already authorized funds, but not new money)

*June 15, 2006 – $19.8 billion in a spending bill

*May 24, 2007 – $6.3 billion in a spending bill
Unless I missed a major appropriation bill somewhere (and please point that out to me if I have), that adds up to around $94 billion dollars.

The WRDA bill has more appropriations authorizations in it, but it hasn’t been passed yet and Bush has threatened to veto it anyway.

So, they are still counting the $22 billion (or $23 billion – the numbers are real fuzzy when everyone starts rounding off) paid out in flood insurance claims.

In the past, I have argued that this money is not recovery money. It is money due to the people who paid to have that coverage. I am sticking to that:
You can count on your claim being paid in the event of a flood loss because NFIP flood insurance is backed by the Federal government.
That’s all.

[ADDED] The official line:
The Federal Government Has Provided More Than $114 Billion In Resources – $127 Billion Including Tax Relief – To The Gulf Region.


oludumare said...

awesome breakdown. now how can we get a list of how each one of those 94 billion dollars has been/will be spent? and publish it in every available media outlet?

Tim said...

Thanks for your insisting upon details. The MSM really falls flat on its face on this one. They just repeat the lie without even thinking they should check. I have referred many a fellow taxpayer to your site to learn what is really going on.