16 March 2006

GAO: Millions Wasted in Award of Katrina Contracts--and Louisiana Can't be Trusted

This is the kind of thing that really infuriates me. One of the main reasons given that the feds were very hesitant to send to much money to Louisiana was the fear that it would not be spent wisely. Then you go and read stuff like this..............


We all know that our political history here in Louisiana is a bit "colorful" to say the least. Have our elected officials at every level wasted and misused funds? Absolutely. Should we have to account for every dollar given to us from the federal government. Absolutely. Why? Because that money belongs to the citizens of the United States and if any other state ever needs any help and its our money that gets sent to them that is what we would want. Oversight is fine. We all agree. Transparency is the only way. But, those in Washington have to be held to the same high standards.

The reports of waste in the wake of Katrina are astounding. I'm sure this article is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine the good that could have been done with the millions that were spent on things that weren't needed. Trailers that will never be used. Cots that will never be used. Trailer loads of ice that were left to melt. Bloated blue roof contracts. (Govt. paid like $2000 each and the actual work was subcontracted out for 175 bucks each). FEMA trailers that will cost us (the taxpayers) $36,000 each for 18 months of use. We have all seen these trailers. Don't you think that you could do better for 36 grand. 36 GRAND!! Per Trailer!! We could have just give each qualifying applicant 20 grand, saved millions and we wouldn't still have thousands of people begging for trailers.

How about this.......we don't have to pay taxes until they show that the money won't be wasted and it will be spent on what we want them to spend it on. What's good for the goose is good for the gander right?

It makes me wonder if our federal goverment will ever be able to adequately handle a situation like ours. Maybe, because of the nature of our governmental system, it isn't possible for them to do much better. Hell, I don't know. At least the GAO is looking at these things and somebody is reading the reports.

UPDATE: The "Agency Management of Contractors Responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita" GAO Report (as a PDF) can be viewed here.


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