Friday, April 21, 2006

What Would You Do?

FEMA wants $4.7 back from Hurricane victims.
Now, I don't riff often, and this is not in any way a political rant, but if you, like me, have even the smallest sense of humanity, you can see the painful irony in this.

The role of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is "to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident." - FEMA Mission Statement. Funds have been set aside for catastrophes such as what decimated the Gulf Coast. Medical treatment, food, clothing, shelter, etc. are to be provided as well as reasonably possible.

Apparently it also includes demanding repayment for these services.

Not to succumb to knee-jerk feelings of outrage, I thought, well, there must be a reason. And there is: according to FEMA some had duplicated or just plain made up social security numbers to cash in on the handouts. Remember those $2000 ATM debit cards? Well, in addition to winding up being spent on things other than relief supplies, some got two. Three. Who knows?

And who cares, right? These people are in need. No one can deny that. But I dunno, it's like when some homeless guy who's down on his luck feeds me this line about their kids being sick, and I found out later that I'm being had. Not that dude doesn't need the money; that's not the point. No one likes being taken for a fool.

But on the flip side, FEMA admits some of these extra benefits are the result of internal error. Which is not surprising, given the agency's track record. Sooooo...

This is a tough call. My call would be to just let it go. Given that the federal money is spent on all kinds of things I don't want to even know about, I'd say this is a time to take the loss for the greater good.

Thoughts?

For the video report, click here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Meepers said...

Absolute power = absolute corruption.
Really, what's a few measly millions doled out to poor people in need, in comparison to the massive amounts of dough spent on demolishing other (oil-rich) countries? ahem. Not political, natch.

April 23, 2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger the sightspeed guy said...

Kinda sad, I know. One guy on MySpace pretty much nailed it when he wrote: If mismanagement here in the real world leads to being fired, why do we not hold our government agencies accountable when they screw up? What incentive do they even have for doing a good job if they have no threat of losing it?

April 26, 2006 10:40 AM  

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