The estimate of insured losses from Sandy comes in around $20 billion—but the total aid package proposed is three times that amount. Roughly $28 billion of the request is marked for future disaster-mitigation projects.
Some Head Start centers may need repairs from hurricane damage, but handing the program $100 million—as the Sandy aid package would—is a large expenditure that deserves more scrutiny.
Other questionable items in the package, which have received wide media coverage, include money for fisheries in Alaska, free money for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and repairs to the Smithsonian. Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen adds that “there is the truly audacious $17 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, an embarrassingly transparent slush fund.”