To put this into perspective:
Making matters worse is the pork-laden nature of the request, including such favorites as the project which Sen. Mary Landrieu intervened with which potentially took money away from flood protection for New Orleans and the boondoggle, unnecessary Industrial Canal lock. (Worse, it seems that one of the contributors to the flooding was having the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet channel open, where opponents of the lock’s rebuilding have argued that the Port of New Orleans has deliberately kept the channel open as a bargaining chip for the lock’s rebuilding. The proposal neglects to mandate this closure.)
In addition, $50 billion of it would being the form of open-ended grants, while $13 billion would go to roads (does that have anything to do with the fact that, over 15 years later, the state still hasn’t finished most road projects it promised to do with a special gasoline tax? Nice, confidence-inspiring track record.) And more extraneous requests are in there – and this does not include the extra social benefits already being paid out by the federal government to displaced people.
And who would control the disbursement of this money? It seems the nine-person panel would have a Louisiana majority.
So, let’s get this straight. Louisiana, from some of her federal officials through some state officials all they way down to city and other local governments, countenanced negligence from benign to irresponsible in ensuring proper flood protection and in dealing with hurricanes. And now these same people have formulated a plan wanting the country to pay an incredible sum of money to the state controlled by people from the state to deal with the aftereffects and, apparently, Louisiana’s past inability to utilize our resources efficiently in other areas?
The rest of the country is going to look at this and think we’re still stuck on stupid. A little realism, where we look less like unreformed junkies asking for fix because of problems in part we helped to create in our own lives, would be in order in such a request. Remember, after all, the golden rule.