Show Me (How You Spent) The Money
By: Patti Bankson
If you donâ€™t mind, Iâ€™d like to join the continuing questions about Hurricane Katrina and ensuing events. Why were so many caught unawares? Whoâ€™s to blame for the failures? The federal government? City and state leaders? Maybe. Butâ€¦
When the next hurricane comes our way, go to Home Depot and count the people standing in line to buy plywood at the last minute. Obviously, no one believes theyâ€˜ll be on the receiving end of a disaster. Bad things donâ€™t happen to us, only to others. Consequently, we wait for someone else to come up with a plan, then, we wait for someone else to put that plan into operation. Hmmmâ€¦ maybe the poor and needy arenâ€™t the only ones who depend on a â€œnanny-stateâ€ type of government.
Iâ€™d love to live beachside. But while making that decision, Iâ€™d have to consider the possibility of a hurricane wiping out my home, and what it might cost me. For that reason, I might decide against it. But, I could also look at it this way: why worry about whether a hurricane destroys my house? â€œBig-Daddy-Governmentâ€ will step in and help clean up my messâ€¦ save my bacon. Maybe thatâ€™s why some who live in hurricane and flood prone areas donâ€™t worry about living there in the first place; then choose to stay and rebuild.
Surprising? Not really. But, imagine my surprise when I heard 20/20â€™s (Give Me A Break) John Stossel say that in an interview on a Fox News program. The man who wanted us to â€œgive him a breakâ€ when exposing the governmentâ€™s stupidity, is obviously quite happy to use that same government if it benefits him. When he planned to build an oceanfront home, his father asked, â€œAre you nuts? Youâ€™re going to build on the edge of an ocean?â€ His answer? â€œI canâ€™t lose; the government rewards me for taking that kind of risk.â€ He admitted that his thinking was, â€œif my house gets washed away, FEMA will give me $250,000. And if I re-build it, and it gets washed away again, Iâ€™m going to get another quarter-million.â€
Whoâ€™s to blame for that kind of government stupidity? Letâ€™s start with the people who created FEMA, and decide how it should operate – the people who immediately say we should pour money into just about anything, disaster or not â€“ theyâ€™re the people weâ€™ve put into the Senate and House of Representatives. (Ooops! Once again, weâ€™re part of the responsibility picture!!) Make no mistake, I believe the poor and needy should be helped in times of emergency, but Iâ€™d like ALL our leaders to get a few things straight: the millions and billions of dollars theyâ€™re playing with, and handing out so freely, isnâ€™t Monopoly money, and it isnâ€™t theirs, eitherâ€¦ itâ€™s OURS. Thatâ€™s why I want them to see to it that the money goes where itâ€™s meant to go, that itâ€™s not wasted or used fraudulently. I want them to be held responsible and accountable for every last dime!
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Patti Bankson 2005
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