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Filler: $60 billion for Sandy relief is good, but the recovery is just getting started
Our first reaction to the announcement Friday evening that President Barack Obama is going to ask Congress for a $60 billion supplemental appropriation to cover the devastation of superstorm Sandy?
We hope it’s enough. It's less than what we asked for.
We hope we, meaning New York in general and Long Island in particular, get enough of it.
This is a reasonable worry, since the cash must also cover New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as NYC.
And we hope they know that if it isn’t enough, we’ll be back asking for more.
The total cost of rebuilding has been estimated at $80 billion, but some of that may be covered by private insurers and existing federal programs, like the National Flood Insurance Program. So how much we need in the supplemental is unclear.
It’s also difficult to know how much we need because the damage hasn’t entirely been accounted for yet, and the plans to build better, more hardened structures and infrastructure haven’t been drawn up and priced out yet.
So the $60 billion looks like a good start. We appreciate Obama’s help, and hope Congress won’t obstruct the money on the basis of politics, or deficit reduction.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut pour a lot more money into the federal coffers, year after year after year, than they get back. They do so mostly without complaint. This time around we need some help, and we deserve it.