Hurricane damages and the national debt
The headline from philly.com boldly proclaimed, "Christie pegs New Jersey's Sandy damage at $29.4 billion." The article went on to explain:
Gov. Christie estimates that Sandy cost New Jersey $29.4 billion in damage and economic losses, from washed-out roadways and waterlogged homes to manning storm shelters.
"This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations, and geographical mapping," Christie said in a statement released Friday evening. "I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure, and the lives of our citizens for the long term."
$29.4 billion is a supertanker load of money, especially when we consider the amount of damage Sandy caused in the space of just a couple of few days. But fear not, Governor, that much money is just a drop in a fifty-five gallon drum when it comes to Federal spending.
Let's look at the rampaging increases in our national debt since the election, according to the US Treasury. On November 14th, 2012 our national debt was $16.244 trillion. Twenty-four hours later the national debt stood at $16.278 trillion. This increase of over $34 billion dollars in a single day could easily pay for the rebuilding of thousands of houses, plus billions more for transportation, electrical and water infrastructure mitigation for the entire state of New Jersey.
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland are hungrily anticipating having all their "Sandy costs" reimbursed for less than weeks' worth of Federal borrowing. No doubt these state's congressional delegations are itching to get paws on all this "free" money. After all the current Administration's unspoken policy assumes our children and grandchildren will inherit this mountain range of debt. Why else would the US Treasury borrow $34 billion dollars a in a single day unless they never actually planned to pay it back?