That Great Sucking Sound


The Wall Street Journal looks at the federal spending on disaster relief down New Orleans way:

Within 10 days of Hurricane Katrina's slamming of the Gulf Coast, President Bush and Congress rushed with rare speed to provide an unprecedented $62.3 billion in disaster aid—twice the annual budget of the entire Homeland Security Department. White House budget director Joshua Bolten predicted the money would last only "a few weeks."

Six weeks later, the government has spent or signed contracts totaling $16.2 billion, about a quarter of the money. […]

Despite FEMA's unspent balance, the White House and Congress already are considering a third emergency appropriations bill of about $20 billion.