February 14 2006
Katrina: Hurricane of Fraud
Amid the months and months and months of finger-wagging by liberal pundits about how the chintzy Bush administration wasn't doing enough for the victims of Hurricane Katrina (even though we dished out some $85 billion in aid), it was interesting the read the following report from CNN:
"The two audits found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received aid under [the Fedeal Emergency Management Agency's] emergency cash assistance program -- which included the $2,000 debit cards given to evacuees -- were based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers, or false addresses and names.
"Separately, the Justice Department said Monday that federal prosecutors have filed fraud, theft and other charges against 212 people accused of scams related to Gulf Coast hurricanes. Forty people have pleaded guilty so far, the latest report by the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force said. Many defendants were accused of trying to obtain emergency aid, typically a $2,000 debit card, issued to hurricane victims by FEMA and the American Red Cross."
Nine hundred thousand out of 2.5 million--that's more than one-third. So when you see those newspaper photos of Katrina victims whining about how the Bush administration ought to give them more money, remember that one out every three of those folks has already chiseled us taxpayers out of quite a bit of our hard-earned money.