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Follow the money.... FEMA hurricane cards bought jewelry, erotica

Started by Woolly Bugger, June 14, 2006, 10:12:23 AM

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Woolly Bugger

Waddayaexpect? maybe they'd go buy some Tolstoy?


Quote

A $200 bottle of champagne from Hooters and $300 worth of "Girls Gone Wild" videos were among items bought with debit cards handed out by FEMA to help hurricane victims, auditors probing $1 billion in potential waste and fraud have found.

The cards -- given to people displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- also bought diamond jewelry and a vacation in the Dominican Republic, according to the Government Accountability Office audit.

The GAO uncovered records showing that $1,000 from a FEMA debit card went to a Houston divorce lawyer; $600 was spent in a strip club and $400 was spent on "adult erotica products," all of which auditors concluded were "not necessary to satisfy legitimate disaster needs."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/14/fema.audit/index.html
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

badankles

that just irks me to no end.  i'm sure there are people out there that really need it and here are some jerks wasting it away for themselves.   o-o  >:(

what can you do, right?  damn if you do, damn if you don't.   :P

when's a newbie no longer a newbie...

tw5270

I heard a radio report claiming that one man got a sex change paid for by FEMA...


phg

That's how they use their food stamps, why should this be any different?

Mixed in with the "deserving poor" there is always a goodly quantity of "undeserving poor" who are "poor" by choice.  Separating the two has never been possible.  The problem goes back as far as there is any record of charity.  You can't help one group without beeing taken advantage of by the other. o-o


troutphisher

One way to stop this would be to right codes into the magnetic strip on the cards.
The codes would be tied into the bar code identification and price system used by almost all retailers today.

The codes would be written to void out unnecessary purchases like booze and vacations. And if they person tried to use the card for such, the cashier or sales person could confiscate the card and or report the action through a intra-net to authorities.

This probably won't eliminate the problem, but would make it harder to get away with and might even slow it down some, so the real folks who need help aren't penalized by the jack asses.

Just a thought.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Al

Quote from: troutphisher on June 14, 2006, 12:52:24 PM

One way to stop this would be to right codes into the magnetic strip on the cards.
The codes would be tied into the bar code identification and price system used by almost all retailers today.

The codes would be written to void out unnecessary purchases like booze and vacations. And if they person tried to use the card for such, the cashier or sales person could confiscate the card and or report the action through a intra-net to authorities.

This probably won't eliminate the problem, but would make it harder to get away with and might even slow it down some, so the real folks who need help aren't penalized by the jack asses.

Just a thought.

Now you re talking about tracking folks and their life style. That sounds like big brother to lots of folks and whenever it is tried the usual suspects and their followers raise such a stink that it never gets off the ground. Case in point, the "Real ID" drivers license system that is suppose to be phased in by 2008. I am betting it will never happen.

troutphisher


I am talking about tracking purchases not people. We hold our elected officials accountable, why not apply the same rules to welfare recipients. I have no problem tracking them if it means a more efficient system. Many more people would benefit, than be hurt by it. It's a trade off.

But your right, I could see the ACLU all over this one! Maybe if they were stake holders, they would see things in a different light.

In any event, I think whats really needed is accountability and tracking is one way to collect the data and culprits.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

phg

You do have to be careful, but the idea isn't as farfetched as it sounds.  Today's food stamps look just like a credit card.  When the recipient goes to pay, they first hand the cashier the card.  The card is swiped, elgible purchases are charged against it, and the the cashier announces the balance, which the recipient has to pay for in cash (cigarretts, magazines, many beverages, some prepared foods, etc.)  Of course that cash probably comes out of their welfare check so it makes little difference to the taxpayers, but yes, the card can be programmed to accept only a prefefined set of products.

Of course, that still doesn't address the problem of purchasing luxury items instead of utility items.  For instance, you can often get a pair of Nike shoes on sale for $35, but you can also buy their top-of-the-line shoes for a lot more!  Given the amount of time FEMA had to respond and the flack they were taking for not responding fast enough, I don't think they had time to work through these technical issues.

Of course, they could be working on it now....


FT

At the time it was brought up to restrict the cards but it would have taken some time to do and FEMA was under a lot of pressure to do something.  If I remember right, the RedCross was doing the same thing and the talking heads were asking in TV why FEMA could do the same.

Unfortuniately what was waisted by FEMA in Katrina and Rita is nothing compaired to what has been wasted in the name of Homeland Security. 

Charter Member Shenandoah Valley Irregulars

badankles

Quote from: troutphisher on June 14, 2006, 13:40:18 PM

...But your right, I could see the ACLU all over this one! Maybe if they were stake holders, they would see things in a different light...

don't get me started on the ACLU...  o-o >:(
when's a newbie no longer a newbie...

runcible



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