Banking On Disaster
Ah. There's nothing like government redistribution of wealth.
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
That's an awful lot of our money, frittered away by charlatans. Good-hearted liberals often say their problems with libertarianism are rooted in the seemingly callous way that libertarians treat those in need. If libertarians had power, the U.S. would revert to a Calcutta-like state with starving children begging in doorways and diseased limbs rotting off in the street.
As a Christian libertarian, I stand by the claim that individuals and private charities are better-equipped to deal with the business of charity. And this story is a prime example of why I believe that. Churches all over the country collected money and sent volunteers down to affected areas to repair the damage. Churches all over the country found housing and employment for those displaced by the hurricane. Real people with real needs met real people who could, would and did help. Non-religious charities have done the same type of thing.
The government, on the other hand, appears to believe that problems can be solved by blindly throwing money at them, as though disaster relief is some sort of giant parade. If a few people who don't need the goodies thrown from Uncle Sam's big bag of money, then so what? The Government (or so the thinking appears) has more money than they need. We've succeeded in creating a perception of the Federal Government as an entity entirely seperate from the citizens who fund it. Stealing from the Federal Government isn't as bad a crime, so the thinking goes, because they've got it. And my life is hard and I deserve a little joy so why not pass some love my way, in the form of football tickets? Of course, they're really stealing from me and you. I don't know about you readers out there, but I am not likely to spend 70 days in Hawaii any time soon. Isn't it time we found a way to keep more of the money we work for? Isn't it time we invested in better ways to take care of the real needs, without wasting cash on real greed?
UPDATE: Sarah Moore is all over this, too.
UPDATE II:So is John H. of Salem's Lots.