First, the money was divided
among the five Gulf Coast states and covers damage from
Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which hit south Florida. The LRA
figures that Louisiana’s share of that was about $59
billion, but even that is misleading.
About $18 billion came in the form of disaster relief,
which includes the kind of post-crisis assistance —
health care, evacuee assistance, business loans — the
federal government routinely extends in a major crisis. An
additional $14.7 billion was in payouts from the National
Flood Insurance Program, for which Louisiana policyholders
had paid premiums.
By the LRA’s calculations, the state has received
$26.4 billion in genuine federal help, including money to
rebuild levees, homes, schools and community infrastructure.
According to the article Louisiana alone “sustained upwards of $100 billion in losses” from the ’05 hurricanes.
Bush has not met the needs of Louisiana but his touting of the $110 billion figure continues to obfuscate that fact. It’s a heckuva PR job and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. Unfortunately, thus far they have.