Skip to comments.Mary Landrieu: It's Never Enough
Posted on 10/11/2005 7:47:24 AM PDT by Neville72
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) was unhappy last Friday night. After sparring with Senate Republicans, including her counterpart from Louisiana, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), she didnt get what she wanted $15 billion in hurricane-related loans to her state without any strings attached. No matter how much she gets for her state, its never enough.
Now, dont get me wrong, she did get some money -- $750 million to be exact. But the recipients are going to have to pay it back, and thats not what Landrieu wanted. She felt that given everything Louisianans have gone through, these loans should have been totally forgivable, meaning that if the recipients didnt want to reimburse Americas taxpayers, they didnt have to.
Doesnt that make it a grant and not a loan, or am I parsing words?
Regardless, its not like there hasnt been a significant amount of money already approved by Congress and the President to go to this regions recovery efforts, unless you dont consider $62 billion (thats billion with a b) significant. And, given that this represents more than three times the amount of federal income taxes collected from Louisiana residents and businesses in 2004, this is certainly not chump change.
But, thats not enough for Landrieu and others in her delegation. For instance, according to the Los Angeles Times, across the hall in the House, Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said of this decision:
I will go back home, look my local leaders in the eyes and tell them to take the money and run. Spend it, and don't pay it back!"
Thats the spirit, Charlie. And what was Landrieus opinion? Well, in the press release posted at her website, Landrieu made some pretty hypocritical statements:
We now have a third-rate FEMA operating, a second class levee system, and now to pour salt on the wound, a tightfisted lending policy applied only to us.
Yet, her press release goes on to say,
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that between 1974 and 1995, 20 of 52 community disaster loans given had been partially or completely forgiven, with only 13 loans having been fully repaid.
As such, not only isnt this a policy applied only to [Louisianans], but by Landrieus own admission, 62 percent of the community disaster loans given between 1974 and 1995 were not automatically forgiven.
Of course, the existence of fuzzy math shouldnt surprise anyone familiar with Louisiana politics, especially since Landrieu was elected. In fact, since she became senator in 1997, Louisiana has significantly trailed the rest of the nation in its growth of federal income taxes paid, while leading most states in the growth of federal funds received.
As illustrated by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, federal income taxes collected from residents and businesses in Louisiana have only increased by 11 percent in the period from 1997 through 2003. Yet, at the same time, federal receipts for the entire nation grew by 23 percent, meaning that Louisianas contribution to the federal government since Landrieu was elected is growing at a 52 percent slower rate than the rest of the country.
Unfortunately, what Landrieus state takes from federal coffers has by no means experienced such a slow rate of growth. On the contrary, during this same period, Louisianas take of federal funds has increased by 44 percent, or an astounding four times the rate of growth in its federal income taxes collected. At the same time, federal spending for the entire country only increased by 38 percent.
Taking this further, before Landrieu was elected, the average person in Louisiana received $992 more in funds and/or services from the federal government than was paid in federal income taxes by the state per capita. That number exploded to $2,691 in 2003 an outlandish 171 percent increase. As a result, Louisianans have gone from receiving $1.28 per capita in federal funds for every dollar of federal income taxes they paid before Landrieu was elected to a 2003 level of $1.47 a 15 percent increase.
This should have made every American shudder when a tearful Mary Landrieu on This Week a month ago touring the wreckage of New Orleans on board a helicopter with ABCs George Stephanopoulos said about her citys levees:
The president could have funded it. He cut it out of the budget. Is that the most pitiful sight that you have ever seen in your life? Look at that. It's so sad, George.
Forgive me, but whats really pitiful is that since Landrieu became senator, her states share of federal spending has increased at a faster rate than the rest of the nations. Maybe most important, in the first three years under President Bush, her states take increased by $5.6 billion, or 22 percent, while its contributions to the nations tax base actually declined by $2 billion.
Given this, the problem isnt how much funds Louisiana has gotten from the federal government since Bush was elected. Instead, its how poorly Landrieu and the rest of Louisianas elected officials have allocated such funds.
I guess this explains why she doesnt want anyone to have to pay back these loans that Congress just voted to give her state. Now thats sad.
Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and contributing writer to the Free Market Project and contributing editor for the Media Research Centers NewsBusters.org. Noel welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to live in a hole surrounded by the ocean, a major river and a large lake.... Pay it back... or... skip it and move to higher ground!!
Well Mary, maybe if your state and local governments were not a bunch of damn thieves, this would not happen.
I'd rather "forgive"
these loans than all the money
we routinely give
to third-world hell holes
knowing they won't repay it . . .
These folks are "neighbors!"
We are glad to help, but we aren't going to give you a blank check without safeguards that the money goes where its supposed to. We did that already and we see it didn't work. Sorry Mary but mother nature opened the windows to the cesspool you helped create. We'll let adults fix it not your cronies. Now do something useful for your state and shut up.
Mary grew up in a political family in Louisiana and reall thinks the whole world operates as crooked as Louisiana. She is a good looking stupid thief elected by a crooked electorate in a third world state.
"If you want to live in a hole surrounded by the ocean, a major river and a large lake.... Pay it back... or... skip it and move to higher ground!!"
You obviously are a person of few words. Never have I seen so much said in so little space with so few words. Good show!!
UNBELIEVABLE.....The gimme kids don't give up, do they????
Tell me where in the Constitution people are guaranteed money grants from the Government in times of disaster. How about an American living overseas who pays all his taxes, votes. Would I be given money if my house is destroyed by a typhoon or earthquake? I doubt it. My point is where do you draw the line?
That's the answer to trying to satisfy an entitlement-hungry Demonrat. There's never enough. Just the wrong way to go.
Can't. It's in the genes, like terminal idiocy.
Every dollar "given" to La. and N. O. is from someone else's pocket, yours or mine. Those dollars are taxed from people and businesses.
We who gave should expect some responsibility as to how La. and N. O. use the dollars and we have the right to oversee that use. Especially, when past actions down there showed theft and silly spending. We know most of our dollars never will be repaid, we would appreciate a nod that some might as the hands reach to grab our dollars.
Yesterday 11 people were arrested for fraud in getting FEMA funds claimed for La. losses. All those arrested were black and lived in Brevard County - Cocoa Beach, Fl. The SO is looking to make more arrests.
And governor Haley Barbour says it's too much.
Louisiana - America's Banana Republic.
I agree with you.
I just pointed out our cash
(drawn from our taxes)
routinely goes to
all sorts of overseas crap
(like the PLO !)
and we're not repaid
(or, worse, the money is used
against us somehow).
Since we do those things
(and the Feds will not stop it)
I won't get worked up
at citizens here
expecting "handouts" also.
It sucks, but that's life.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.