Beware Harvey-related damage estimates, especially from government

Pratt on Texas“The nearly $8 billion proposed by the White House for Hurricane Harvey relief would be only a “down payment” on the total expected $180 billion bill, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

“This is where the long haul begins,” Abbott told Fox News during an appearance. “This is where we come to the part where Congress plays a role.”

Some feds have estimated over $200 billion in damage, Governor Abbott has estimated about a quarter less. My guess, and it is speculation based on experience and knowledge of how local disaster estimates get inflated, is that the damage dollar amount is likely half the highest estimates. There are entire segments of the public sector, federal, state, and local that thrive on huge numbers because you can hide an enormous amount of pork within such.

There are entire segments of the public sector, federal, state, and local that thrive on huge numbers because you can hide an enormous amount of pork within such.

Have damage to a local boondoggle light-rail system? Couple an expansion of that system to disaster funds under the idea of a longer, broader system being a proven need for mass evacuations. The ways of justifying recovery dollars for new and bigger projects is limited only by the number of projects officials can think of.

While thousands will have their lives upended and their businesses lost, hundreds, if not more, others will make big bucks off of disaster recovery and I’m not talking about delivering direct services such as cleanup or rebuilding in which case profits are legitimate.

Just remember that no one in the taxpayer funded world wants to “let a crises go to waste” no matter in which political party’s primary they choose to vote.

What do you think?...

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