In part one of our Hurricane Sandy Pork Bill we left off at the $44 million allocation for NOAA airplane repairs. I doubt any of the victims of Sandy give a rats .. well.. you know ..about the hurricane airplanes.
So if it doesn’t help the recovery effort, then why is it in the bill at all? Its simple…its pork.
A million here and a million there we get to The Dept of Defense. They get $88.3 million for repairs as the result of Sandy (beginning Chapter 3 pg.11)
Gotta love some of the wording in the legislation – “for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Sandy:”
What exactly are ‘necessary expenses’ and who determines that?
Now we get to the meat of the issue; The Corps of Engineers.
They want $5.35 Billion for Sandy repairs. There’s not much point in arguing the merits, or lack there of, of all of the expenditures here, but there are a few things worth mentioning.
1. $50 Million to “For an additional amount for ‘‘Investigations’’ to expedite studies of flood and storm damage reduction related natural disasters,”
Now boys and girls $50 million for studies is laughable. If you have a mental picture of a family with no house, no car, etc, please tell me how you can rationalize a $50 million expenditure for ‘studies’?
Once again I ask – How did you arrive at that number, and who did it?
There is even a stipulation: “Provided, That using $29,500,000 of the funds provided herein, the Secretary shall expedite and complete ongoing flood and storm damage reduction studies in areas that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the North Atlantic Division of the U.S.“
So $29.5 Million is earmarked for flood and storm damage reduction studies. With the treasure trove of studies already conducted and paid for relating to storm and flood damage across the country how could we possibly need more studies?
$50 Million for studies sounds like paybacks to institutions for their support of certain candidates – prove me wrong!
This bill places FEMA under the umbrella of the Dept of Homeland Security, why I have no idea, but we find 3 bullet points in the summary sheet one of which we will take a closer look at.
“An increase of $9.7 billion in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) borrowing authority (FEMA is expected to exhaust current borrowing authority by January 7, 2013)”
Here is a perfect example of a government run insurance company and a couple of fun facts:
1. You have to buy flood insurance from the government.
2. NFIP collects total annual premiums of $1.8 billion (entire U.S.).
3. NFIP holds $527 Billion worth of insured properties (entire U.S.).
4. The payout for Katrina alone was $16 Billion.
5. “The second largest fiscal liability of the U.S. government, behind social security, is the National Flood Insurance Program.”
And they are already broke. That’s what the $9.7 Billion is for and what the House will vote on; they have no money to pay out.
There is a long list of other pork projects included in this bill.
Even if half of this money was legitimately needed, there should be scrutiny and accountability to go along with it, but there won’t be.
Katrina was a perfect example; before the hurricane devastated New Orleans the Federal government allocated funding to sure-up the levy system around New Orleans, the money was re-directed by the state and local officials to repair locks and other projects.
Katrina came, the levies failed, the rest is history.
In a rush to help money was given away to victims by the truck load, very soon it was discovered the “victims” were living better than ever, with more money than ever, and fraud was the name of the game.
Years later, those who received money they were not entitled to were given a free-pass by President Obama – If you made less than $90,000 a year just keep the money.
Why would we expect anything different this time around?
Pork packing a bill is nothing less than a sign of laziness on the part of our Legislators. Instead of doing the work and individually addressing legislation as it should be, they take the lazy way out.
Let’s start with $20 Billion that will cover the funds needed by NFIP, the requested monies by the Corps of Engineers, the emergency repairs, with funds left over.