Friday, August 31, 2007

Has the Federal Government done enough in New Orleans?

I hear many people say no; but when pressed for details, few seem to know what actually has been done so far, or how much has been spent- just not enough.
So how much have we spent to date? Quite a bit, actually, according to the Washington Times : “The flow of federal dollars to the Gulf Coast two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the region already exceeds what the U.S. spent on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. President Bush and Congress have committed more than $127 billion in resources and tax relief for the region — significantly more than inflation-adjusted $107.6 billion directed to 16 countries in Europe between 1947 and 1951.” Thank goodness Ray Nagin wasn’t president of France back then!


Jamie Goodwin said...

I think what is frustrating to a lot of people is how the money has been spent.

While I support the efforts to clean up the french quarter in order to regain tourism dollars, those dollars also do not seem to be going to people to rebuild either.

The sad truth is that much of New Orleans may never be rebuilt. So many have moved out and moved on. My wish though was that those individuals who are determined to stay would receive more help then they are now.

Either way, like much of American polictics there is no easy answers. It does little good wringing ones hands and saying "The government hasn't helped enough!" and it does little good to say "The government has done more then enough". From my persepctive niether points are true. There has been a great deal of help offered by the national govenment AND there are many people who still need a great deal more.

Will said...

We should have just written each family a big check--half a million or so--and then let the market decide. Let the folks decide whether it's worth rebuilding. Government down there is as corrupt as it is in Baghdad. Probably no more efficient, either. And it makes no sense to rebuild a city that's below sea level.

Joel Monka said...

Will, yours is the most sensible suggestion I've seen yet- which is probably why it wasn't done.