Friday, April 14, 2006

Political Engineering 101

The LRA's housing program was heavily criticized by the BGR for its plan for revitalizing homes in south Louisiana.

The Road Home program allocates disaster recovery funds for southeast Louisiana under two scenarios.

The baseline scenario assumes federal funding is limited to the $6.2 billion community development block grants already authorized by Congress. A more optimistic scenario adds the additional $4.2 billion of funding under consideration in Congress.

The $4.6 billion of the initial allocation would be dedicated to various housing initiatives, BGR reports, with the balance available for infrastructure and economic development. All supplemental authorization would be devoted to housing.

Unlike Mississippi’s recovery program, which focused on compensating homeowners for their losses, Louisiana’s program directs the lion’s share of recovery resources to low-income housing, BGR claims. Under the baseline scenario, most of the middle class is excluded from participation in the disaster recovery program.
This begs the question, what did the middle-class do to be left out of the rebuilding process? Their sin should be obvious. Polls show little support among the white middle class in this state to re-elect our current governor, Kathleen "Drew a" Blanco, while support among blacks remains strong.

Is this a way of punishing opponents and rewarding supporters? Given the way politics in this state works, don't be supprised if it is.

The BGR's summary may back me up on this.
"The LRA should go back to the drawing board to create a program that uses the federal disaster relief funds for the intended purpose: providing those who have suffered major damage with the means to rebuild their property and lives. Leaving out the middle class, while transferring scarce funds to developers, is unfair and poor public policy."

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