Saturday, April 6

A billion dollars missing from some gummint program?

After hurricane Katrina seven years ago, the government gave a billion dollars to residents of New Orleans to--as Diane Sawyer puts it--elevate their homes or otherwise reinforce them to reduce damage from the *next* hurricane.  The average grant or gift was $30,000.

And I know y'all will be shocked--shocked--to hear that according to ABC News, most of the homeowners simply pocketed this "free" money and spent it on something else.

This is why the Founders--the men who drafted, debated and ratified our Constitution--did not give the federal government the power to spend money in that way.  And for the first 150 years of our republic that prohibition was honored.

But eventually, power-hungry or merely deluded and shortsighted presidents--with the support of a majority of congresswhores of the same bent--began ignoring that restriction.  Oh, but they had the best of intentions.  And every dollar they "appropriated" from the treasury (i.e. from the taxpayer) was intended to ease the suffering of someone somewhere.

And it's usually said to be "for the children," so who could complain?

Problem is, where do you draw the line?  If congress can give a billion to ease the misfortune of one group, why not to another, and then another?

Indeed, what would prevent congress from giving a billion dollars to, say, Egyptian farmers who'd suffered crop failure after a drought?  Or a mere $100 billion to give "free" breakfast and lunch to schoolkids in politically-favored areas?

And of course the answer is:  Once that door is opened even a tiny bit, all restraints are off.

Oh, and that $700 million that vanished into the pockets of New Orleans residents instead of being used to "elevate" their homes?  Chump change--considering that the same federal government has passed bills appropriating $51 Billion taxpayer dollars to give to voters in the New York area hit by hurricane Sandy.

Just curious:  I pay a huge amount every year for homeowner's insurance.  My mortgage requires that I do that, and it seems to be a pretty sound idea.  So did the residents of NYC and surroundings just not have such insurance?  And if they didn't, should taxpayers be forced to bail them out?

Rhetorical question, of course, since you already have.  Courtesy of a congress and president who ignore the Constitution.  As did their far too many of their predecessors.

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