President Obama is using the Sandy disaster as a wedge to get Congress to OK $13 billion in additional funding...not for Sandy relief, but literally, 'for storms to be named later'.
The breakdown is interesting. The biggest items aren't for things like flood prevention ( a paltry $150 million) or even Corps of Engineers Investigations ($ 30 million) to see how to prevent future disasters like Sandy.
Here are the big ticket items. Let's look at them one by one. And remember,money is fungible. Once it's appropriated, it can be used anywhere. :
HUD is an especially bottomless pit. While I'm certain the Obama Administration can come up with a glib explanation, 'community development' isn't about disaster relief. The money, however, can be used for anything from voter registration and 'community organizing' by the new heirs to ACORN, loan grants to people whom otherwise wouldn't qualify, HUD salaries, facilities and hiring, anything you could imagine.
Hey, let's use some of the taxpayer's money to bail out Amtrack, the California Bullet train and other scams backed by well-connected Democrat donors!Great idea. Tell Geithner to fire up his computer and digitize another Five and a half bil!
How much of this is for actual testing and research on storms like Sandy and how much of it is for outside projects that have nothing to do with disaster relief?
Legitimate on its face, except when you remember that this money is for 'storms to be named later'. How much of this is for improvements in things like levees and runoffs that are needed NOW and how much of it is just another slush fund, to be diverted elsewhere?
The only thing I can see this money legitimately being used for - maybe-is improvement in sewage facilities and storm drainage, and the latter ought to come under the previous category anyway . Again, remember that this is for disasters that haven't happened yet.
Even putting the best face on it, at least $8.5 billion of the requested $13 billion looks like sheer slush fund heaven, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find that a good part of the rest of it is too.We are, after all, dealing with a fiscally irresponsible president and administration of historical proportions.
The worst part is whom actually suffers, the victims of Sandy.
Governor Christie and the president got a nice photo-op out of it, one that may even have been something of a game changer right before the election. But the truth is that relief assistance is trickling in a lot more slowly than it should, many of the victims of Sandy are still homeless and in want and now that it's out of the headlines, the media caravan has moved on and isn't covering the story.
By loading the Sandy relief bill with this kind of lard, the assistance to the victims of Sandy is only going to be delayed further. And an additional political benefit for this president, one I'm sure he's counting on, is the ability to slam Republicans for 'obstructionism and playing politics while people are suffering' if they dare to demand an honest accounting of where this $13 billion in non-Sandy spending is actually going.
Despicable, yes, but that's how President Obama and his friends play the game.
Never waste a good crisis, right Mr. President?