Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More Galling Actions from the US Government

Much ado is (rightfully) being made of the "natural disaster" of Katrina (and let's get one thing straight - hurricanes aren't "natural disasters" - they're part of nature; Katrina was a HUMAN disaster, particularly from the perspective of governmental response. But that's another blog...) and the fact that New Orleans and parts of Mississippi STILL have yet to even begin to recover or get cleaned up and rebuilt.

A few weeks ago, Erik commented that, it shouldn't be possible, but the government still finds ways to appal us. In a new addition to that department....the government pledged about 110 billion dollars to Katrina recovery. Sounds good, right? Well, if you've seen recent photos of New Orleans and the Gulf coast, you may ask, "um...there have been some improvements, but wasn't there supposed to be a more complete recovery?" Well, in a report on CNN this morning, they reported that, of that 110 billion dollars, 85 billion of it IMMEDIATELY went to FEMA, and ultimately, only 4 billion of it has gone to funds to actually help homeowners who were affected. Of that four billion, homeowners WILL receive (but have not yet receieved) checks for 150,000 dollars.

So, just to recap: an agency that's proven itself completely inept, particularly given the fact that it's been subsumed into larger organs of the governmental bureaucracy under the Homeland Security department (remember when Republicans were anti-big government?) gets almost all of the emergency money, while the people actually affected have yet to get any aid from the state, and when they do, it probably won't match the cost of repairs and rebuilding.

Does anybody in Washington believe the (apparently old-fashioned) notion that states are supposed to HELP their citizens, and not just strike fear into their hearts while culling their tax money for war crimes?