Sunday, October 09, 2005

Louisiana Pork Festival

From Veronique de Rugy:
According to Senator Mary Landrieu (D, LA), author of the Louisiana bill, "Louisiana will be rebuilt by Louisianans. New Orleans will be rebuilt by New Orleans. And the Southern Louisiana will be rebuilt under the leadership of the people who call it home."
The problem is that the Senator expects the federal government to pick up 100 percent of the bill. Louisiana lawmakers are asking for $250 billion in federal aid, which amounts to more than $50,000 per resident of the state.

If that isn't bad enough, here are some of the specific requests:
* $35,000,000 for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board
* $8,000,000 for direct financial assistance to alligator farmers
* $12,000,000 for the restoration of wildlife management areas
* $25,490,073 to complete the Sugarcane Research Laboratory
* $120,000,000 for a laboratory, facilities and equipment at the Southern Regional Research Center
* $28,300,000 for the restoration and rehabilitation of forest lands
* $34,193,591 to support the research and education activities of the Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
* $19,000,000 for the acquisition of first-responder mobile communications, deployable cellular towers and for equipment necessary for public Internet access in a 100-block area of downtown New Orleans using wireless-fidelity technology.
* $250,000,000 for assistance to firefighters
* $100,000,000 for early intervention, prevention, and disorder treatment for children who are 0 to 5 years of age
* $100,000,000 for early intervention, prevention, and disorder treatment for school age children.
* $100,000,000 for substance abuse assessment, early intervention, prevention, and treatment.
* $600,000,000 for early childhood education
* $20 million for the establishment of development plans for development districts in the State of Louisiana
* $160 million to implement the 2005 recommendations of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission related to the Federal city development in Algiers, Louisiana
* $7 billion for rebuilding evacuation and energy supply routes on top of $5 billion for expansion of road and transit capacity.
* $150 million for a small business loans fund and tax breaks on top of $50 billion in block grants.

But Sen. Landrieu and her delegation also asked for lost sales revenues for many commercial entities. Never mind that all such loses could have been covered by private sector business continuity insurance if the owners had the discipline to think ahead. For instance:

* $27 million for lost timber sales revenues from the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area
* $250,000 for dairy cattle losses of dairy producers
* $11 million for livestock losses
* $1,000 per head of cattle without any limitation on the maximum amount of payments that a producer may receive
* $5 million for dairy spoilage losses
* $5 million for a livestock compensation program to make payments for livestock-related losses
Unbelievable.