The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More trouble for FEMA

The GAO reports that the beleaguered agency may have handed out as much as $1.4 billion dollars to people who weren't victims of Katrina.

Prison inmates, a supposed victim who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address, and a person who spent 70 days at a Hawaiian hotel all were able to wrongly get taxpayer help, according to evidence that gives a new black eye to the nation's disaster relief agency.

Federal investigators even informed Congress that one man apparently used FEMA assistance money for a sex change operation.

Although that last item is probably the most embarrassing on the list, there are plenty of others:

*an all-inclusive, one-week Caribbean vacation in the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.

*five season tickets to New Orleans Saints professional football games.

*adult erotica products in Houston and "Girls Gone Wild" videos in Santa Monica, Calif.

*Dom Perignon champagne and other alcoholic beverages in San Antonio.

*a divorce lawyer's services in Houston

Thanks to Mil Apodos for the link. Should I even bother mentioning that this is about a tenth of the money misappropriated in Iraq? If they've managed to pinpoint so many specifics here, why isn't the government chasing after so much more dough lost to war profiteering?

UPDATE: I think Ed Schultz just answered my question on his show. The government and the administration is perfectly capable of accounting for both examples of defrauding taxpayers-- but the FEMA story is the only one that benefits their view that social programs are only there to be destroyed. Once again it's ideology trumping accountability under Republican rule.