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Washington's Katrina Fiasco To Cost Taxpayers Millions

It's hard to fault Washington, DC's city leaders for offering the DC Armory as a temporary home for Hurricane Katrina victims, it's just that their execution failed so miserably.

City leaders sent a caravan of 10 buses toward New Orleans last week with hopes of loading up evacuees to bring back to DC. That trip netted one displaced Cajun, and left the members of the caravan dispirited, and city leaders red-faced. Washington wasn't the only area that sent busses that arrived too late to pickup any evacuees, but they had embedded reporters on the busses so it got a lot of local media coverage. Recovering a bit from the bus fiasco, the city managed to snare nearly 300 evacuees from the affected areas by air evacuation.

Washington, DC's hospitality comes at a price though. The Washington Post reports that District plans to bill FEMA $6 million dollars for it's trouble.

As the District continued to put up more than 200 hurricane survivors at the armory and federal officials said they would reimburse the city for the estimated $6 million cost of the relief operation, people showed up in droves to offer housing and to connect directly with the storm victims.
That's over $20,000 per person that the city expects to be reimbursed. The District sheltered and fed these folks for just a few days, yet is getting in line to reap a large federal reimbursement. It hardly looks so generous when a price tag to federal taxpayers is attached.

Washington probably isn't the only city planning on submitting a pork laden bill to FEMA; they're just dumb enough to brag about it to the Post...


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Comments (8)

The government of Washingto... (Below threshold)
Joel Franklin:

The government of Washington, DC is a branch of the federal government. So is FEMA. I'm not sure it matter which branch winds up footing the bill.

But I thought that the Fed ... (Below threshold)
Banned4Logic:

But I thought that the Fed was doing nothing to help the victims? Sadly though, it appears that pockets will be lined far beyond what could be deemed reasonable compensation. What really irks me is that these people will be the FIRST to stand up and say "Look what MY community did for the Katrina victims"...all the while fondling the wad of bills in their pocket. The unfortunate outcome will be that many will bang the drums of compassion and kindness after the fact, and their true motives will never be known. I know many people who on their own accord left their families and jobs and went to serve food, hand out blankets and comfort these poor people. Sadly, I'm sure the greedy looking for "profit" as you stated above will also tout themselves as selfless heroes, but those paying attention will know the truth.

A word for the wise: Those who are tooting their own horn are usually the bottom feeders of the bunch. The quiet and humble who have given selflessly are the true heroes here.

The government of Washi... (Below threshold)

The government of Washington, DC is a branch of the federal government. So is FEMA. I'm not sure it matter which branch winds up footing the bill.


Joel, I understood that the city operated under some financial oversight, etc., but their mayor still controls the delivery of city services and programs, does he not? And having lived in DC for some time, it comes as absolutely no surprise that they would (a) go off on a wild goose chase, and (b) request $6m for their folly.

I couldn't find a good plac... (Below threshold)
Omni:

I couldn't find a good place to put this, but if you're tired of seeing Bush being blamed for everything, you've gotta give it a read:

http://thelearningcurve.blogspot.com/2005/09/raiders-lose-opener-blame-president.html

Fascinating how that $20K f... (Below threshold)

Fascinating how that $20K figure cropped up there. I was watching FoxNews this weekend and they interviewed an evacuee who was (I guess) having trouble of some sort with the debit card program or something.

The interviewer asked what he thought "they" should do, since he was quite adamant that "they" hadn't done enough.

His quote (right before they cut away) was something like "They oughta give every one of us $20,000. They oughta give us what the f**k we deserve. They...[cut]"

My first thought was regarding our present-day culture of entitlement. But reading this post, I can't help but wonder whether that $20K has roots anywhere but in the minds of the evacuees? Anybody know?

Here it is:Mr. Xxxx<... (Below threshold)
Heptacableguy:

Here it is:
Mr. Xxxx
40 acres and a mule, the hell you say!
This dude thinks he "deserves" $40K.
Caution: the expletives are not deleted.
This is just as it was in the live broadcast.
http://www.dhermit.com/upload/images/MrXXX.mov

Anybody know this couple? Something tells me that they are not from New Orleans
and that he just ripped off the Red Cross to the tune of $700.

http://www.dhermit.com/upload/images/MrXXXphoto.jpg

It's actually 30K per perso... (Below threshold)
Radical Centrist:

It's actually 30K per person. If they are going to use that money to shelter and feed them for a year at least, then that figure sounds about right.

Radical Centrist: That's ou... (Below threshold)

Radical Centrist: That's outrageous. I've got a family of 7. Think I'm pulling down $210K a year? Do you really think it takes that much per person for food, shelter, and clothing? I sincerely hope your "sounds about right" line was stated tongue-in-cheek.

Now, 30K per household for an overall expenditure sounds more in line with reality. Lots of folks make do with combined household income far below that (even after all benefits are considered). Consider that $500 per month rent, $400 per month utilities, $200 per week for groceries, and $2000 lump-sum for clothing still leaves nearly $10,000 for "setup costs." That's more than adequate for the average household. It also happens to be just a little less than I made last year. If any of the recipients decided to--oh, I don't know--maybe work over the next year (radical concept, I know), even the $30K per household figure is exhorbitant.

But hey, it ain't their (the politicians') money, right? Why would they care that they're overpaying to cover people. They can always cite their generosity when they're up for re-election.




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