Tuesday, January 30, 2007

110 Billion Reasons to Bang My Head

Bush on not mentioning the Gulf Coast in the State of the Union speech:
Well, I gave a speech that I thought was necessary to give. On the other hand, I had been talking a lot about Katrina and about the fact that I worked with the Congress to get about $110 billion sent down to both Mississippi and Louisiana to help them on their reconstruction efforts.
Did he say Congress sent $110 billion dollars to the Gulf Coast for reconstruction?

Government Accountability Office, is that right (pdf)?
About $88 billion has been appropriated to 23 different federal agencies through four emergency supplemental appropriations acts.
The GAO even includes a graphic showing which agencies the $88 billion, not $110 billion, has gone to.

Of course, we here at Da Po’ Institute of First Grade Math have also been counting how much federal money has been coming to the Gulf Coast. Our report concludes similar findings to the GAO’s:
* 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
DPIFGM’s total: About $87.1 billion has been appropriated by Congress for hurricane response and recovery.

In the past, the President has counted the borrowing limit of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is currently $20.8 billion. DPIFGM doesn’t count that for previously stated reasons, previously stated thusly:
I didn’t know that paying out flood insurance claims was optional.
Even if we did count flood insurance payments, we still would not count the entire $20.8 billion. That’s just the limit. Around $16 billion has actually been “sent down to both Mississippi and Louisiana” in flood insurance payments for Katrina and Rita.

But, as I said, DPIFGM doesn’t count flood insurance payments as reconstruction money.


E.J. said...

Once again, excellent work. Garland should call you next time he was Don Powell and his Excel talking points on the show.

Anonymous said...

Smartass! You'll never work for the press -- you check the facts too much. And banish the thought of a asking followup question.

Anonymous said...

e.j.: Donald who? Oh, you mean the partisan Republican guy with the big Texas accent who only shows up when his monkey boy boss is being criticized?

mominem said...

I wondered where that number came from.

No one in the Government will call him on it, they just want to position themselves to blame someone else. The more money involved the more blame there is.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Lieberman also repeated the $110B figure. And let's forget that even after you take out the $20B, the remaining $90B includes money for things like repairing military bases and reimbursing school districts elsewhere. Does it include go-zone tax credits? The reporting's been so murky, I can't tell. I don't think it does, but Bush claims that tax breaks don't cost the government money.