In general, it’s a good idea for the administration not to expand existing entitlements for Katrina victims and to rely on once-only measures. In so far as they are doing that, good for them. Once you create an entitlement, it lives for ever. But this strikes me as bizarre:

Instead of offering $10,000 [rental housing] vouchers, FEMA is paying an average of $16,000 for each trailer in the new parks it is contemplating. Even many Republicans wonder why the government would want to build trailer parks when many evacuees are now living in communities with plenty of vacant, privately owned apartments.

We have a unique chance to fight poverty by dispersing some of New Orleans’ underclass across the country in places with empty rental markets. Instead, the Bush administration is creating trailer-ghettoes that cost more. Newt Gingrich is right to be livid. Isn’t this a no-brainer?


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