Louisiana is sucking hard on that Federal money teat: Louisiana Goes After Federal Billions.
Louisiana’s congressional delegation has requested $40 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 10 times the annual Corps budget for the entire nation, or 16 times the amount the Corps has said it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane. [emphasis mine]
With the infamous corruption known in the Big Easy, most of this money will not make it into the projects, but the pockets of politicians.
Corps funding is only part of what Louisiana wants. The 440-page bill also includes $50 billion in open-ended grants for storm-ravaged communities and $13 billion for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, along with mortgage assistance, health care, substance abuse treatment and other services for hurricane victims. It also includes hefty payments to hospitals, ports, banks, shipbuilders, fishermen and schools, as well as $8 million for alligator farms, $35 million for seafood industry marketing, and $25 million for a sugar-cane research laboratory that had not been completed before Katrina.
In other words, anything lobbyists can dream up and politicians can get into law.
It is sickening, and a classic example for how a dependent mindset works. I don’t hear about Mississippi and Alabama, hit just as hard, asking for outrageous amounts of Federal dollars. They plan on doing it themselves, as self-reliant Americans do.
It is disappointing to see such “gimmie gimmie” politicians, and citizens who are trained not to help themselves.
They will get their money, there is little that can be done to stop it. No one will oppose it because they don’t want to be labeled as “insensitive.” And the money will, like so many other Federal programs, squandered and frittered away uselessly.
Not to mention the citizens and environmentalists will resist the reconstruction of the levees to Cat 5 standards. The environmentalists will oppose the construction to “protect” the Square-Tailed Mud Darter (whatever that is) and the citizens don’t want all of the construction noise. How do I know this? This kind of stuff has already been done. The levee that broke due to a barge ramming it, had money and construction all lined up, but was resisted by the environmentalists and citizens.
No reason for them to change now.