The rebuilding costs of the tattered gulf coast could easily reach $200 billion in the short run and $300 billion down the road.
Pretzeldent Dubyuh, to boost his sagging poll numbers, has promised the federal government will bear most of the burden. "Whatever it costs," he said last week, but he offered no specifics for the rebuilding or oversight -- or for paying the piper.
Is this a chance to do the right thing -- or another chance to enrich the already rich once again, at taxpayers' expense, while squeezing the life out of entitlements and programs benefiting the middle class and poor?
If you're happy with how your tax dollars are being spent in Iraq, you're gonna love the brand spanking "new" New Orleans.
And don't worry about the expenditures and who's overseeing their distrubition (the same people wholly responsible for Iraq and at least partially responsible for New Orleans): what's a billion here and a billion there, spread among friends?
I'm not holding my breath for a "Mission Accomplished" banner stretched across the Louisiana Superdome any time soon, are you? But rest assured the corks are popping behind the closed doors of certain board rooms.
Pat and Liz, at BlondeSense, reminded us today of the Iraq experience:
- January 31, 2005, CNN: Audit: U.S. lost track of $9 billion in Iraq funds
- September 18, 2005, LA Times: Many dollars, few details
- September 19, 2005, The Independent: What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn?
- September 19, 2005, Juan Cole (UM professor): One to two billion dollars missing at Ministry of Defense