September 19, 2007

Allow Someone Else to Whine

I did the whining in this previous post.

Let an independent research group whine this time:
In February 2006, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration estimated Louisiana had 204,737 housing units with major and severe damage. This week's GulfGov report finds that Louisiana had 67 percent of the damaged units that are now eligible for CDBG money, but the state got only 62 percent of the block grant money.

By contrast, Mississippi's 61,386 housing units with major and severe damage represented 20 percent of FEMA and SBA estimates of storm damage -- but that state got a full third of the federal CDBG aid.


In all, 305,109 housing units suffered major and severe damage in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. If the Florida damage, mostly caused by Hurricane Wilma, is taken out of the equation, Louisiana's share of the damage jumps to 73 percent, but its share of the money increases only one percentage point, to 63 percent.

The picture becomes even more lopsided when severe damage -- units that are considered destroyed -- is given more weight. Counting the Wilma figures, Louisiana had 85 percent of all the destroyed units and Mississippi had just 12 percent.
And Louisiana had to lobby hard to get the second appropriation of CDBGs which added $4.2 billion to Louisiana’s total. And it is still not enough to fully fund our home assistance program.

This related quote by Donald Powell is interesting:
"Tell me exactly what you need, and I'm happy to sit down and listen, but the evidence has to be based upon the need, not a comparison," Powell said last month in reaction to complaints from Louisiana officials about the distribution of aid.
The need is there, and the comparison is evidence of an injustice. Either Mississippi got more than it needed, or Louisiana still needs more.

I don’t think Mississippi got more than it needed.

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