Wednesday, June 14, 2006

$1.4 Billion Went to Fraudulent Aid for Katrina Victims

Gee, who could've possibly seen this coming?

WASHINGTON — The government doled out as much as $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, getting hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and even a divorce lawyer, congressional investigators have 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 wrongly get taxpayer help, according to evidence that gives a new black eye to the nation's disaster relief agency.

Read the rest of the story, but I promise you that you won't be surprised. Just disappointed. I remember reading last year (sorry, no link) that of all the students in public schools receiving free lunch, about 80% were receiving it fraudulently. THe problem with these programs is that people stand there with their hands out to the government, expecting the govt to "get it done" for them, and the govt is relying on people to be decent and honest. There are just too many dishonest and indecent people out there. Most of them in Washington (generalization there, not a comment on current or any particular administration). This is why govt programs are always doomed to failure before they ever start. They rely on two things that are too unreliable. Government/beaurocratic efficiency, and common human decency.