Just because FEMA’s follies haven’t been front and center in the news lately doesn’t mean they aren’t still screwing the American taxpayer royally…
WASHINGTON (AP) – The government doled out as much as $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, getting hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and even a divorce lawyer, congressional investigators have found.
Prison inmates, a supposed victim who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address, and a person who spent 70 days at a Hawaiian hotel all were able to wrongly get taxpayer help, according to evidence that gives a new black eye to the nation’s disaster relief agency.
Federal investigators even informed Congress that one man apparently used FEMA assistance money for a sex change operation.
Agents from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, went undercover to expose the ease of receiving disaster expense checks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The GAO concluded that as much as 16 percent of the billions of dollars in FEMA help to individuals after the two hurricanes was unwarranted.
If your reaction was anything other than, “well, DUH!,” then clearly you haven’t been paying attention. To FEMA’s credit, they didn’t what the American public demanded – throw money at the problem – it’s just that they did so in a way only a government bureaucracy can, horribly inefficiently.