Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) paid about 170,000 claims for flood damage, most on primary residences. Congress increased its borrowing authority to nearly $21 billion, but NFIP's annual premium revenues of $2 billion are probably insufficient to repay. This General Accountability Office (GAO) report evaluates the claim adjustment process.
Thanks to: beSpacific: GAO Recommends More Oversight for National Flood Insurance Program (Dec. 15, 2006).
Grist features the origins of U.S. government subsidies for ethanol fuels and their benefits to Acher Daniels Midland (ADM) and its former CEO Dwayne Andreas (the man who provided the $25,000 for the Watergate 'plumbers'). Includes links to the 1995 Cato Institute study of Carter administration support to ADM, as well as this year's study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Biofuels - At What Cost? (Oct. 25, 2006).
The latter estimates federal support for ethanol to total between $5.5 billion and $7.3 billion each year, and the benefits to ADM which (according to the article) contols about 1/3 of the ethanol market.
The article suggests that the federal government could do more to fight greenhouse gases (GHG) if it used the money to buy carbon offsets. Of course, that's not the administration's goal in supporting ADM and ethanol, is it?