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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

CFFR Database Shows New Orleans Was Awash in $6 Billion of Federal Aid Before Hurricane Katrina

Anybody who says New Orleans was a city Uncle Sam forgot hasn't looked at the numbers lately. Do a couple of mouse clicks on the U.S. Census Bureau's Consolidated Federal Funds Report and you can pull up a comprehensive listing of all federal spending in Orleans Parish, nearly $6 billion of it in 2003, that most recent available year.

Included in that $6 billion are: $1.1 billion in retirement and disability payments to individuals; $994 million in other direct payments to individuals; $1.3 billion in block grants; $1.7 billion in procurement contract spending, $792 million in salaries and wages and $71 million in other direct payments.

The total includes $1.4 billion in defense spending and $4.5 billion in non-defense spending.

There is also more than $10 billion in federal flood insurance.

You can get an incredible amount of detail about every specific spending program that goes into the total federal spending in New Orleans. Here are the steps:

Go here, select "2003" and "Geography" and click "submit"
Select "Louisiana" under State and "Yes" under County, then click "submit"
Click "Orleans Census Parish" under County and click "submit"
Dig in!

UPDATE:

Do not miss this 1993 piece by Glenn Garvin in "Reason" detailing the bureaucratic waste and fraud inspired by the measly $8 billion in federal aid following Hurricane Andrew in Florida. W is certainly putting an expensive new twist on the "Like Father, Like Son" maxim.

HT: Trevor Bothwell, Democracy Project.