$51.8-billion in waste, fraud and abuse?
To listen to F. Everyone Sensenbrenner and his defenders, like Owen at Boots and Sabers, you'd think Congress and the President had just air-dropped $51.8-billion in small bills over Louisiana and Mississippi, with no idea what would happen to the money.
Sensenbrenner, on the air with Charlie Sykes (listen here), basically said the money was all going to the Dept. of Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
It's "throwing money at the problem," he said, and a lot will be wasted, pointing to reports of previous mismanagement of money in New Orleans. He talked about "people with sticky fingers siphoning it off."
FEMA, he said "doesn't have a very good track record" of spending taxpayers' money, and local and state governments are "even worse."
So, Sykes asked him, what about people (like me, for example) who say he is uncaring?
"I care that the taxpayers' money is being spent in a prudent manner," he said. He compared his job with being the trustee of a family trust.
So it turns out Sensenbrenner is a caring person. First and foremost, he cares about money.
Heartwarming, isn't it?
Just for the record, the "AP says this is where the money will go:
Of the $51.8 billion Katrina aid package, $1.8 billion goes for Pentagon deployments and repairs of levees and navigation projects. The remaining $50 billion is budgeted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as follows:
- $23.2 billion for housing aid and grants to individuals.
- $11 billion to be passed to other agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers and the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Transportation.
- $7.7 billion to reimburse state and local governments.
- $1.6 billion for 100,000 temporary housing units.
- $4.6 billion for FEMA logistics, search and rescue and emergency supplies.
- $1.3 billion for other needs such as unemployment insurance, damage inspections, counseling and legal aid.
- $650 million for mitigation activities.
© 2005 The Associated Press.