Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Last month, a bipartisan group of Congresspeople, in a rare display of doing what we elected them to do, turned the heat up on the Bush administration over the fact that so many Katrina recovery contracts had gone to large corporations in the usual Bush no-bid way. As a result, the contracts were re-bid.
Pity such a group wasn't around after September 11. The New York Daily News has put together a report on where the September 11 recovery money went, and--surprise, surprise--much of it, though pledged to small businesses, went instead to large international corporations.
Among the companies getting the hundreds of millions of dollars handed out by the federal government was a stock brokerage firm that had closed over a month before the attacks took place. The company, which applied for a grant, received $150,000, and its sister corporation received over $50,000. 4U Services, a technology consulting firm, received so many grants and loans that the total amount of relief was $640 million.
Empire State Development Corp., a company with no experience in providing disaster relief, created five grant programs and two loan programs, and the money flowed.