Sunday, October 02, 2005

Spend in Haste, Repent at Leisure

Why am I not surprised? The amount of money that is being wasted without helping anyone is mindboggling. The American taxpayer usually pays their taxes assuming that it covers their health and welfare. They hear about defense spending and the economy, but what they care about is "is it going to help me out when I need it?" Somehow I don't think this is what they meant.

Housing Promises Made to Evacuees Have Fallen Short: "In search of temporary housing immediately after the hurricane, FEMA officials went on a $1.5 billion spending spree, buying out entire dealerships of recreational vehicles and signing contracts for more than $500 million with one manufacturer of mobile homes. But the plan to create 'cities' of 500 to 600 RVs across the South has run into major logistical and political problems.

In FEMA lots in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, several thousand trailers stand empty, waiting for the agency to navigate land leases, zoning laws, local opposition and policy questions.

'We have 12,000 mobile homes with no place to put them,' said Rosemarie Hunter, a FEMA spokeswoman in Baton Rouge.

To date, only 1,396 trailers in Louisiana house displaced people. About 1,100 are occupied by workers engaged in New Orleans's recovery effort, and 173 house families left homeless by the storm.

Policymakers say that warehousing tens of thousands of people in trailer park communities until New Orleans and other cities are rebuilt could lead to the creation of dysfunctional 'FEMAvilles,' as residents of past encampments have called them. Democrats go further, warning that they may become known as 'Bushvilles,' just as Depression-era shantytowns were called 'Hoovervilles.""

The voucher program sounds like a good idea except for one thing. Have you actually tried to rent an apartment in a strange town, with no job and a poor or nonexistent credit history? This is a disaster on a scale the US has never personally known. We need alternative solutions. Think outside the box. You already have to have money in order for the vouchers to be of any use.

This is just a temporary solution. It may not be pretty but it is a starting point. I grew up in base housing, it wasn't bad. Enlisted housing almost always had 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. For the amount of money that has been wasted so far, closed bases could be reopened with housing, shopping and rudimentary entertainment.

Jobs, what will they do for employment? Well, this is just a little idea but here goes. How about resettling some of them outside of the closed steel mills and auto plants, retool them quickly (we are Americans we did it in WWII), and start pumping out some armor and bullets for our undersupplied military dying for lack of protection! Jeez Louise! For four years we've been in some type of shooting gallery and we haven't mobilized our unemployed economy to support the troops? Who's in charge here?

The qualifications to run for office are not the ones needed to run the office. It is about more than photo ops, grand speeches, royal parties and generating largesse to your contributors. It is always nice to help out your friends (when I recommend someone I am pretty sure they can do it) but your job is to run the country according to the needs of the people. Not always their wishes (this administration has no problem going against the flow), but it is your job to leave the country in better condition than you found it. If it means that it's hard work, then you work hard. We have had 10 presidents in my lifetime and Twig is a little older and had one in the family. How can he not understand the job description? Donn't they have one with cartoons? My Pet Presidency.

This is a situation that is going to continue to spiral out of control. Instead of looking at the country and it's problems as a whole, people are trapped in trying to solve one problem at a time, never looking to see the other parts of the puzzle. In honor of Einstein couldn't we come up with a Unified Theory? We have several problems existing at the same point in time, something physics isn't really fond of, all of which have the potential to destroy what our parents worked so hard for.

We need a thousand points of light to unite into a beacon for a kinder, gentler America and point the way to a golden future. A safe harbor in the storm for all Americans and return us to that time when the world looked to us for help and not scorn.

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