Katrina Relief Six Months Later

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Katrina Relief Six Months Later
    by Congressman Ron Paul

    February 20, 2006

    The Senate concluded hearings last week on the federal mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and the findings were troubling. In short, the federal government wasted literally billions of dollars responding to the disaster, dollars that did little to help Katrina victims at all.

    The grotesque amounts of waste, mismanagement, and outright fraud involving those funds are staggering.

    FEMA spent millions on unusable temporary housing that did not meet FEMA’s own regulations for placement in flood zones. $2000 debit cards were issued to nonexistent people; some cards were used for everything from tattoos to bail bonds. Emergency relief checks were issued to nearly one million bogus applicants. Some evacuees were housed in $400 per night hotel suites. The list goes on and on.

    These abuses were inevitable, unfortunately. They are the direct result of a top-down, centralized, bureaucratic system that wrongly assumes Washington planners always know best, that every issue and problem should be addressed at the federal level. But clearly Washington officials were in no position to know what was needed in the gulf coast in the aftermath of a hurricane.

    Congress reacted to Katrina in typical Washington-knows-best fashion. It immediately appropriated over $60 billion with no planning or debate, mostly to show that government was “doing something.” Political grandstanding masqueraded as compassion. As with all rapid government expenditures, the money was spent badly. Every member of Congress must have known that throwing $50 billion at FEMA, the very agency that failed so badly to prepare for Katrina, would not turn out well.

    All federal aid for Katrina should have been distributed as directly as possible to local communities, rather than through wasteful middlemen like FEMA and Homeland Security. Considering the demonstrated ineptitude of government at both the federal and state level in this disaster, the people affected by the hurricane and subsequent flood no doubt would have been better off if relief money simply was sent directly to them or to community organizations dedicated to clean-up and reconstruction.

    The best way to rebuild New Orleans is to provide entrepreneurial incentives for people and businesses willing to do the hard work involved. I voted for several bills last fall that provide some measure of tax relief for Katrina victims, but more could be done. Imagine the revitalization that would occur if Congress declared New Orleans a federal tax-free zone for 5 or 10 years.

    It’s not compassionate simply to throw money at a problem, especially when that money is wasted and does not help the very people who need it most. It’s not compassionate for politicians to spend money that doesn’t belong to them. It’s not compassionate to instill false hope that Washington can solve every problem and respond to every emergency. It’s certainly not compassionate to create huge deficits that hurt poor people the most through inflation, as government prints more and more money to pay its bills.

    - www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2006/tst022006.htm
     
  2. Filmproducer

    Filmproducer
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    It is sickening the way Washington handles disaster relief. Katrina aside, there are still people trying to recover from the 2004 hurricane season in Florida. the funny thing is FEMA awarded $100's of thousands of dollars of aid to Miami residents for wind damage, when the maximum sustained winds were only about 50 mph. Others in hard hit areas are now finding they have to repay FEMA, or they were not eligible for aid in the first place. I mean people whose houses literally blew away.

    I can only imagine what Katrina victims are going through. Washington has a habit of only making things worse.
     
  3. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/curtis.gif>

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    20,258
    Likes Received:
    4
    And that's exactly why nobody should rely on them.
     
  4. Brother James

    Brother James
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    0
    God bless Ron Paul.
     
  5. Filmproducer

    Filmproducer
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Agreed, although that is not practical. Some people have no choice, but to rely on them when disaster strikes. Why else do you think thousands of people flocked to the Superdome and the Convention Center in NO. They had no choice. Just as cities and states have no choice but to turn to the federal government when disaster strikes. The problem is Washington then tells these communites what is the best course of action instead of the other way around.
     
  6. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/curtis.gif>

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    20,258
    Likes Received:
    4
    And I hope I'm never that reliant on my government.
     

Share This Page

Loading...