NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 18, 2005

A month after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's congressional delegation has presented Washington with a request for $250 billion in federal reconstruction funds for Louisiana alone. That's more than $50,000 per person in the state. And since the entire country will foot the bill, it will cost $1,900 per American household, say Newt Gingrich, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Veronique de Rugy, a research scholar at the institute.

Moreover, the Louisiana lawmakers have stuffed the 440-page bill with numerous items that have nothing to do with hurricane relief, say Gingrich and Rugy. This pork barrel spending includes:

  • $120 million for a laboratory facilities and equipment at the Southern Regional Research Center.
  • $35 million for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.
  • $8 million for direct financial assistance to alligator farmers.
  • $25.5 million to complete the Sugarcane Research Laboratory.
  • $12 million for the restoration of wildlife management areas.
  • $28 million for the restoration and rehabilitation of forestlands.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has written a bill that waves normal cost-sharing requirements and shifts the entire cost to the federal government. In other words, Landrieu is expecting federal taxpayers to foot 100 percent of the bill, say Gingrich and Rugy.

Rebuilding New Orleans should be done in an efficient manner, free of politics and pork-barrel spending, say Gingrich and Rugy.

Source: Newt Gingrich and Veronique de Rugy, "Pork, pelicans and Louisiana," Washington Times, October 18, 2005.


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