Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Report: Billions in Katrina aid missing

Posted by Charles II on August 23, 2007

Jeffrey Buchanan and Chris Kromm on AlterNet:

When pressed on the slow pace of recovery in the Gulf Coast, President Bush insists the federal government has fulfilled its promise to rebuild the region. The proof, he says, is in the big check the federal government signed to underwrite the recovery – allegedly more than $116 billion. But residents of the still-devastated Gulf Coast are left wondering whether the check bounced.

“$116 billion is not a useful number,” says Stanley Czerwinski of the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm.

For starters, most federal money – about two-thirds – was quickly spent for short-term needs like debris removal and Coast Guard rescue. …

Although it’s tricky to unravel the maze of federal reports, our best estimate of agency data is that only $35 billion has been appropriated for long-term rebuilding.

Even worse, less than 42 percent of the money set aside has even been spent, much less gotten to those most in need….

Included in the $116 billion figure is $3.5 billion in tax breaks to jump-start business in Gulf Opportunity Zones – “GO Zones” – across 91 parishes and counties in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. But many of the breaks have been of questionable benefit to Katrina survivors, like a $1 million deal to build 10 luxury condos next to the University of Alabama football stadium – four hours from the Gulf Coast.

Federal contracts for rebuilding and recovery have also been marked by scandal, fraud and abuse. An August 2006 study by the office of Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., identified 19 contracts worth $8.75 billion that experienced “significant overcharges, wasteful spending or mismanagement.”

6 Responses to “Report: Billions in Katrina aid missing”

  1. MEC said

    I bet $100 that they’d find the billions in missing Katrina aid in the same place they’d find the billions in missing Iraq funds.

  2. Mary said

    This is worst than sad it’s pathetic. And we have to pay taxes. Nearly 2 years has passed and my community looks like Katrina just hit yesterday. This is why the poor & middle class peoples from New Orleans couldn’t get the proper help they deserved. Heaven help them.

  3. Eli said

    Just goes to show what defeatists you Democrats are. Where you see tragedy, Republicans see OPPORTUNITY!

    In fact, they’re so enterprising, sometimes they’ll even *manufacture* a tragedy just to make sure those opportunities keep flowing.

  4. Charles said

    Mary, what do you think of Global Green, the organization that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been working with? Also, do you have any comments about Common Ground, Acorn, or other organizations working in New Orleans?

  5. whig said

    What Eli said. Every disaster is an opportunity for profit!

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