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« Texas... Fight. | WILLisms.com | 09.11.01 »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 166 -- U.S. Corps Of Engineers Funding

Louisiana Had PLENTY Of Funding For Levees-

Before Hurricane Katrina breached a levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic.

Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.

In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

And Mary Landrieu should be ashamed of herself:

...after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations.

Meanwhile (emphasis mine):

Louisiana's politicians have requested much more money for New Orleans hurricane protection than the Bush administration has proposed or Congress has provided. In the last budget bill, Louisiana's delegation requested $27.1 million for shoring up levees around Lake Pontchartrain, the full amount the Corps had declared as its "project capability." Bush suggested $3.9 million, and Congress agreed to spend $5.7 million.

Administration officials also dramatically scaled back a long-term project to restore Louisiana's disappearing coastal marshes, which once provided a measure of natural hurricane protection for New Orleans. They ordered the Corps to stop work on a $14 billion plan, and devise a $2 billion plan instead.

But overall, the Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton administration's for its past five years. Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the chief of the Corps, has said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city, since its levees were designed to protect against a Category 3 storm, and the levees that failed were already completed projects. Strock has also said that the marsh-restoration project would not have done much to diminish Katrina's storm surge, which passed east of the coastal wetlands.

It is simply a canard, an evil, dispicable canard, for people to assert that Bush "cut funding" to the levees, and therefore is somehow responsible for the flooding of New Orleans:

The Senate's latest budget bill for the Corps included 107 Louisiana projects worth $596 million, including $15 million for the Industrial Canal lock

Ridiculous amounts of money. Indeed, Louisiana is pork central:

Louisiana not only leads the nation in overall Corps funding, it places second in new construction -- just behind Florida, home of an $8 billion project to restore the Everglades.

So to those arguing that Louisiana just needed more funding, you all just need to shut your pieholes. Just shut your yappers and keep them that way. You should be ashamed of yourself. There are likely thousands of projects, all over the country today, that are "underfunded." In the event of a future terrorist attack or natural disaster in any number of locations around the country, the recrimination squads will rampage through and immediately declare that a lack of funding (or a "cut" in funding, which is often just a freeze or slowdown in the rate of growth) caused the disaster, or made it worse.

And these jerks, so predictable, will be wrong yet again. But their erroneous meme will have settled in to the national consciousness before sufficient facts are gathered to repudiate the nonsense.


The Washington Post, "Money Flowed to Questionable Projects".


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Men and Women.

Posted by Will Franklin · 11 September 2005 10:42 AM


Harsh language, but valid points and arguments.

Posted by: Steven D. Rivas at September 11, 2005 12:11 PM

There are also people blaming John Brown for the bad response. I don't believe that he comes out clean on this. So if he was a bad choice he was a bad choice.

He is -understandably- the perfect scapegoat to pin the magnitude of this mess on.

I just want to point out that the lib distortion machine and the lib media (which its difficult to tell the difference between) is not going to pass up the chance to shift what should be the majority of the blame over to him from the Democrat dominated government of Louisiana which totally made the lions share of the mistakes of which the catalogue is a very long and damning one.

WHOEVER had his Brown's place, would still have had to deal with Nagin and Blanco's ineptitude and failure to follow their own State. That's the untold story here.

Posted by: Sirc_Valence at September 11, 2005 01:33 PM

I blogged about your post this morning, and tonight the History Channel aired a documentary that made reference to Coast 2050. Problem is that the price tag was/is so high (read "political fantasy") it may as well have been a proposal to furnish an RV for every family living within a few miles of the coast.

Posted by: Hootsbuddy at September 12, 2005 09:36 PM