Turning Their Backs on NOLA

Lawrence Kudlow has probably written even more pathetic op-eds over at the National Review, but I’m at a lost to remember anything as low as this:

How much money has Uncle Sam spent on New Orleans and the Gulf region since Hurricane Katrina ripped the place apart? I’ll give you the answer because you’ll never guess it. The grand total is $127 billion (including tax relief). That’s right: a monstrous $127 billion. Of course, not a single media story has highlighted this gargantuan government-spending figure. But that number came straight from the White House in a fact sheet subtitled, “The Federal Government Is Fulfilling Its Commitment to Help the People of the Gulf Coast Rebuild.”

Actually, the press has been covering this issue and reports that the other state in the Gulf region is being treated better than Louisiana. But Kudlow can’t even begin to tell you that his statistic includes Mississippi.

Kudlow wants his readers to believe that the fact that Louisiana is still not rebuilt despite the fact that PART of this $127 billion went to the state is a “quintessential failure of that liberal vision. I guess Larry never figured out how much damage was done by Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the Bush Administration to act quickly. No – Kudlow wants to attack the War on Poverty as he endorses the wonders of tax-free enterprise zones. Incidentally, his own source admits that the actual spending is far below this $127 billion:

The Federal Government Has Provided More Than $114 Billion In Resources – $127 Billion Including Tax Relief – To The Gulf Region. Over $96 Billion Of The $114 Billion (84 Percent) Either Has Been Disbursed Or Is Available For States To Draw From.

If the disaster in New Orleans were not so tragic, the stupidity and mendacity of Mr. Kudlow would be comical. But is he pushing so new GOP agenda – which is usually his excuse for lying to his readers? Steven Benen is on this story:

Apparently, on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina ravaging the Gulf Coast, conservatives have decided they’ve grown tired of the topic … That would be the same federal government, of course, that neglected the victims before the storm hit, as the storm hit, after the storm hit, and for the two subsequent years that followed. Indeed, for all the rhetoric we’ve heard, as of this week, “none of the 115 ‘critical priority projects’ identified by city officials” for publicly funded rebuilding efforts “has been completed.” Of the $34 billion “earmarked for long-term rebuilding,” less than half “has made its way through federal checks and balances to reach municipal projects.”

Whoops – a few facts Kudlow forgot to mention! Steve links to comments from Tom Tancredo and John Hawkins. There does seem to be an orchestrated effort to trash the victims of Hurricane Katrina.