Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

William Fisher: Paying For Katrina

Paying For Katrina


By William Fisher

Advertising gurus Gerald Rafshoon and Doug Bailey, who were on opposing sides during the Jimmy Carter-Gerald Ford campaign in 1976, have come up with a pretty good alternative to financing Katrina reconstruction with taxpayer money.

They propose a 90-day moratorium on fundraising by political parties and members of Congress. That would free up more than enough money to pay for
Katrina.

Here's another:

Instead of closing 22 major military bases and 'realigning' 33 others, we should keep those facilities open so that no one has to flee to anything like the New Orleans Astrodome or the Convention Center ever again.

Think about it: Military bases have barracks and apartments, with beds, blankets, drinking water and plumbing that works. They have medical facilities with doctors and nurses, lawyers, PXs, even supermarkets. They have trucks and cars and ships and helicopters and airplanes. And they are located all over the country, within easy reach of just about any site of a natural disaster.

The Base Realignment and Closing Commission (BRAC) says doing away with these assets will save the taxpayers $4.2 billion a year.

But there's another way to save that money, and a lot more: Stop the unconscionable waste at the Department of Defense.

So vast is the Pentagon's waste, fraud and abuse that the government's accountants tell us every year that the place simply cannot be audited. If Donald Rumsfeld ran Wal-Mart that way, he'd have been fired long ago.

Just think of it: The DOD, whose profligate and dysfunctional systems allowed it to buy toilet seats for $640 each, is now unable to account for more than a trillion - that's trillion with a 'T' -- dollars in financial transactions. That's in addition to the dozens of tanks, missiles and planes that have simply 'gone missing'.

Congress gave our military $10 billion for Iraq Reconstruction. A good chunk of that money has simply vanished - it's been lost. And there is virtually no reconstruction to show for it.

And, in one more of a long litany of incompetence and malfeasance, the General Accountability Office (GAO) informed us recently that millions of dollars worth of new equipment was being sold as 'surplus' for pennies on the dollar. That equipment included Kevlar flak jackets needed by the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, so of course the Pentagon ordered more.

If President Bush is looking for 'offsets' to pay for Katrina, he shouldn't be thinking about cutting back on Medicaid, No Child Left Behind, Social Security, and other programs that directly benefit those most devastated by Katrina.

He should take a look at the 'offsets' already in the Pentagon's appropriations - if he can find them.

And if, by some miracle, he succeeds there where all others have failed, he should start rummaging through the pork barrel that was used to deliver the Highway and Transportation Bill to the White House for him to sign. The one with the millions earmarked for Alaska to build that bridge to nowhere.

*************

Please click on the link below.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BILL FISHER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Ian Powell: Rescuing Simpson From Simpson

(Originally published at The Democracy Project ) Will the health reforms proposed for the Labour Government make the system better or worse? Health commentator Ian Powell (formerly the Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical ... More>>

Missions To Mars: Mapping, Probing And Plundering The Red Planet

In the first month of 2020, Forbes was all excitement about fresh opportunities for plunder and conquest. Titled “2020: The Year We Will Conquer Mars”, the contribution by astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter was less interested in the physics than the conquest. ... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: Coup Leader Grabs Absolute Power At Dawn

BANGKOK, Thailand -- By seizing power, Myanmar's new coup leader Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has protected his murky financial investments and the military's domination, but some of his incoming international ... More>>

Jennifer S. Hunt: Trump Evades Conviction Again As Republicans Opt For Self-Preservation

By Jennifer S. Hunt Lecturer in Security Studies, Australian National University Twice-impeached former US President Donald Trump has evaded conviction once more. On the fourth day of the impeachment trial, the Senate verdict is in . Voting guilty: ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Let The Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel And The Palestinian Territories

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating. Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness. The United States, whose legal and political ... More>>

The Conversation: How To Cut Emissions From Transport: Ban Fossil Fuel Cars, Electrify Transport And Get People Walking And Cycling

By Robert McLachlan Professor in Applied Mathematics, Massey University The Climate Change Commission’s draft advice on how to decarbonise New Zealand’s economy is refreshing, particularly as it calls on the government to start phasing out fossil ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog