New Deal Numerology: Storm Watch

Nov 1, 2012Tim Price

This week's numbers: $50 billion; 6 million; 3; 73%; $878 million

$50 billion... is a disastrous number. That’s how much Hurricane Sandy is projected to cost due to property damage and lost economic activity. Rather than asking the federal government to get lost, local officials are begging it to make room under its umbrella.

6 million... is a darkened number. That’s how many households and businesses on the East Coast are still without power. Maybe it’s time we all stop depending on utility handouts and take individual responsibility with human-sized hamster wheels.

3... is a submerged number. That’s how many feet oceans are expected to rise this century, adding to the kinds of destructive surges created by Sandy. Scientists blame global warming, but conservatives aren’t ruling out alternate explanations, like Atlantean sabotage.

73%... is a responsive number. That’s how many voters say they approve of the federal government’s response to the hurricane. It seems like it’s much easier for Americans to stomach a big government bailout when it actually involves buckets of water.

$878 million... is an endangered number. That’s how much funding FEMA stands to lose from sequestration if policymakers don’t strike a deal to prevent cuts. Hopefully Congress isn't so jealous of natural disasters that it has to create some of its own.

Tim Price is Deputy Editor of Next New Deal. Follow him on Twitter @txprice.

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