Argument: Rebuilding New Orleans is not too costly for America

Issue Report: Rebuilding New Orleans


Save Big – Some even use the argument that the U.S. government cannot afford to strengthen the New Orleans levees beyond a Category 3. This is simply not true. Monetary issues have never stopped the U.S. government, or the American people, from pursuing a course that they know to be right.

  • From 1948 to 1951, the U.S. spent $13 billion on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe. That is equivalent to $100 billion in 2005 dollars.
  • In the FY2006 federal budget that President Bush submitted to Congress, requests were made for $8.2 billion for core development assistance to other countries.
  • In addition, the President requested $3.2 billion to fight HIV/AIDS overseas and $3 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account.
  • Up to June 30, 2005, the federal government was spending $5.9 billion a month in Iraq alone!

This is not to say that any of these causes are undeserving of the funds they are receiving or received in the past; indeed many of them are very worthwhile. However, they do provide some perspective into how much money the government spends on foreign ventures. They also expose the immaturity of the argument that we cannot afford to spend the necessary money to upgrade the levee system design in New Orleans.

The United States cannot afford to lose a city as valuable as New Orleans. If New Orleans Levees are not rebuilt properly, then the long-term effects will be disastrous for American culture and the U.S. economy.