"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Your Tax Dollars at Work

AP reports that the GAO has found that a huge amount of the federal tax money spent for victims of last year's hurricanes was misspent, or as we normal people say, stolen:

Houston divorce lawyer Mark Lipkin says he can't recall anyone paying for his services with a FEMA debit card, but congressional investigators say one of his clients did just that.

The $1,000 payment was just one example cited in an audit that concluded that up to $1.4 billion -- perhaps as much as 16 percent of the billions of dollars in assistance expended after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- was spent for bogus reasons.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also was hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and a sex change operation, the audit found. 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 get taxpayer help, according to evidence that gives a new black eye to the nation's disaster relief agency.

Some of the thievery was amazingly frivolous and appalling, according to the audit, the
AP story reported:

* 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.

If you are at all surprised at this, I can direct you to some oceanfront land in Alabama you can have for a bargain price.

3 comments:

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

I was quite pleased that only 16 percent was misspent. Very efficient!

Matt Huisman said...

Efficient indeed. Of course, those are the amateurs - just wait until the reconstruction starts(?) - then you'll see the real pros go to work.

Devang said...

sigh... still waiting.