Another $50 Billion Disaster Waiting to Happen

Connect these dots:

1) FEMA does a bad job, so let’s reward it. Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall:

Fully $50 billion of those recovery and reconstruction funds passed by Congress today are going to FEMA. FEMA is going to administer those funds. That is just friggin’ crazy.

Even if FEMA were still a model government agency, as it was by most accounts in the 1990s, this would still be a really, really bad decision. As the title says, FEMA is an emergency management agency, not a reconstruction agency. It doesn’t have the organizational structure or competence to run the economy of a significant chunk of the United States for the foreseeable future, which is what this amounts to.

The fact that FEMA is stuffed with GOP cronies, and has functioned as a patronage piggy bank for the last few years, may not be irrelevant here either.

2) And then there’s this: in the ultimate in arrogance and destruction of democracy, the GOP allowed only 40 minutes “debate” in the House — and no amendments. It’s unclear if the Democrats were even allowed to see the text of the bill in advance of the vote; Raw Story says that as of yesterday at least, “Democrats said no one had even seen a copy of the legislation.”

Thus, I disagree with Daily Kos’s claim that a vote against this bill was necessarily “horrible”. Depending on the reason it may have been real patriotism. In a way it’s a pity that our representatives are so cowed that they more of them didn’t vote against it just to slow things down for a day or two until more bugs (and invitations to massive waste) could have been removed.

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