Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mr. Bush, Is that $110 Billion in Your Pocket?

Or… not?

The President visits today. Get ready to hear a lot about the $110 billion.

Every article written will say something like this:
The government has dedicated about $110 billion to the Gulf Coast since the 2005 hurricanes, and Bush remains committed to the region, Donald Powell, the federal coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, said.
I am not writing the same post over and over again about the $110 billion number to say that we aren’t getting enough federal funding. I keep mentioning the $110 billion number because it is WRONG. $110 billion is NOT how much money that has been dedicated, appropriated, allocated, sent, or given to the Gulf Coast to rebuild.

Once again, I cite the GAO:
About $88 billion has been appropriated to 23 different federal agencies through four emergency supplemental appropriations acts.
As I have stated before, the President is adding $20.8 billion – the borrowing limit for the National Flood Insurance Program, which pays flood claims to those who have *paid for* flood insurance. And of that money, the whole $20.8 billion has not been paid out.

The NFIP must borrow the money from the U.S. Treasury because it was poorly managed. This is the federal government bailing *itself* out, not the people of the Gulf Coast who paid for flood insurance.

I can hear you saying, “Enough already, po’ boy. The number is not correct. We get it. What’s your point?”

My point is the White House is through with us. They want to wash their hands of this Katrina mess. And they are using their trumped up $110 billion number to do it:
Q Back to Katrina. The President took a lot of flak for not mentioning Katrina in the State of the Union speech. In hindsight, was that a mistake?

MR. SNOW: It's not -- you know what? "In hindsight," I'm just not going to play the "hindsight" game.

Q Well, but, plenty of people thought it meant he was downgrading the issue.

MR. SNOW: Yes, but he wasn't. It's hard to argue that somebody who has put on a push to spend $110 billion on a problem, as ever downgrading it; who gets very regular briefings on it as downgrading it; and somebody who has people report to him directly as downgrading it.

We understand that somebody can take a non-mention in a speech and try to use it for their own political purposes. But the fact is that the President is committed and he's done it. I mean, $110 billion, it speaks for itself.
And it is speaking irony.

[above emphasis mine]


Leigh C. said...

"Is that $110 Billion in Your Pocket?"

...or is he just happy to see us?

Sadly, a penniless eunuch seems to have visited the Big Easy. Hasn't he ever heard of tipping the help?

bayoustjohndavid said...

Is there a way to cut and paste with this commenting format? Or is that the point? I'm sure you've seen this, but the Washington Post article on the visit give the $110B figure, the editorial gives the an $89B figure. I don't understad the second figure, it could be rounding. When I emailed the Post's ombudsman last February when it 85/67, I actually got a response from Spencer Hsu who basically said you could argue either way on whether to cout the $17B in NFIP payments, at the time it was $18B. Halfway right's better than some of the locals are doing.