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Old 04-18-2006, 04:23 PM   #1
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FEMA Fails Again

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pb...30/1006/SPORTS

This is a big story on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN; the nearly 11,000 FEMA mobile homes (costing about one billion of our tax dollars) that were purchased to house Katrina's victims are now sinking in the mud of an Arkansas field. As far as the eye can see is nothing but mobile homes jammed together.

On CNN, there was a "tour" of the inside of one mobile home, and damn, I want one for myself. This isn't some trailer for going camping in... this is a nice mobile home. And yet they're just sitting there. All because FEMA went and spent a billion dollars to buy all these mobile homes, and then realized OOPS, can't get them to Katrina victims, because the law says you can't put them in a flood area. So they spent a billion dollars. On mobile homes. Which will not be used. And they're still spending millions of dollars to maintain them and pay for the land they're on.

It's amazing how much money our government pisses away. Our money we earned and they didn't. Boggles the mind.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pb...30/1006/SPORTS

This is a big story on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN; the nearly 11,000 FEMA mobile homes (costing about one billion of our tax dollars) that were purchased to house Katrina's victims are now sinking in the mud of an Arkansas field. As far as the eye can see is nothing but mobile homes jammed together.

On CNN, there was a "tour" of the inside of one mobile home, and damn, I want one for myself. This isn't some trailer for going camping in... this is a nice mobile home. And yet they're just sitting there. All because FEMA went and spent a billion dollars to buy all these mobile homes, and then realized OOPS, can't get them to Katrina victims, because the law says you can't put them in a flood area. So they spent a billion dollars. On mobile homes. Which will not be used. And they're still spending millions of dollars to maintain them and pay for the land they're on.

It's amazing how much money our government pisses away. Our money we earned and they didn't. Boggles the mind.

Yeop, your tax dollars at work. Oh and the Democrats aren't happy with how much you're paying up right now so you better open up that pocket book a little more sonny jim.

I could maybe understand higher taxes if our government spent it accordingly, when I think of government spending I think of a dump trunk full of one hundred dollar bills jetting down the road with bills flying out the back and into the wind.
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:12 PM   #3
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Yeop, your tax dollars at work. Oh and the Democrats aren't happy with how much you're paying up right now so you better open up that pocket book a little more sonny jim.
Where is your proof of this accusation?

Ad hominem attacks-esque are generally not welcome in debates.

Honestly, I begin to grow tired of this. If you're going to make a pointless attack, at least back it up.




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Old 04-18-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
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I don't see how Democrats are in the picture here. They're not in power, and they're not running FEMA. How could Democrats possibly be linked to this topic...
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:32 PM   #5
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The Democratic party generally advocates raising taxes.

Where as Republicans usually run on a platform that is against raising taxes.

So how is that a pointless attack? If you couldn't tell it was rather tongue and cheek though my point still stands.


EDIT: Oh and the guy that Proof shot died today, no one really cares about him though... not cool enough I guess.
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Good Sir Knight
Where as Republicans usually run on a platform that is against raising taxes.
And yet the Republican attitude at the moment seems to be spend, spend, spend. The government can't piss away money and cut taxes at the same time. That would have all the makings for bankruptcy.
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
And yet the Republican attitude at the moment seems to be spend, spend, spend. The government can't piss away money and cut taxes at the same time. That would have all the makings for bankruptcy.

I was about to make that point my friend, which is exactly why I've largely lossed faith in the Republicans.

You can't cut taxes and spend more and that's exactly what they've been doing.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Good Sir Knight
I was about to make that point my friend, which is exactly why I've largely lossed faith in the Republicans.

You can't cut taxes and spend more and that's exactly what they've been doing.
And just for the record, I'm not defending Democrats on anything. I'm opposed to their big-government/socialist-leaning views, but Republicans are the same way.
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:06 PM   #9
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So how is that a pointless attack? If you couldn't tell it was rather tongue and cheek though my point still stands.
It's a misrepresentation of information because you left out the Republican motives of spend spend spend, thus making out democrats as the pure evil villains.

But I dunno, maybe I missed the tongue in cheek, but I still feel that there wasn't any.

and yeah, FEMA's stupid.




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Old 04-18-2006, 11:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
It's a misrepresentation of information because you left out the Republican motives of spend spend spend, thus making out democrats as the pure evil villains.

But I dunno, maybe I missed the tongue in cheek, but I still feel that there wasn't any.

and yeah, FEMA's stupid.

So whenever I criticize Democrats I need to criticize Republicans also? I don't think so, the fact is, Democrats favor more taxes and think it's that fact that bothers you so much.

Besides, I have my political views and if something I say makes Democrats to look like villains then I suggest you reevaluate your stance on things.


Back on topic:

Yes FEMA like other government organizations is mired in bureacracy, lack of funds and general bad communication. It's a human organization with all the strengths and faults we see in eachother every day.

Personally I don't think we should use FEMA as a scapegoat, IMO the New Orleans City government is as much to blame or more.

They should have exercised their states rights by exercising independence, namely in regards to their budget. That levy of their's should have been fixed before they spent a dime on a new convention center, stadium, museum, parks.....whatever.

I hate to hear the excuse that the Federal government was responsible for the levy. I don't care who manages the project, the city of New Orleans should have taken responsibility for the funds at the get go.

Why? Because they live there and if they live there they need to assess the risks.

The fact that they knew the thing was broken since the early nineties and just complained about it says alot about their maturity.


Note:

This isn't a defence of FEMA, it's obviously a weak organization that failed miserably.

I'm just a little tired of the FEMA card because people are missing the big picture.


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Old 04-18-2006, 11:40 PM   #11
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No, but I feel that if you're going to play the political party card then you should at least acknowledge what the other party is doing that is better/worse.

edit -
Quote:
EDIT: Oh and the guy that Proof shot died today, no one really cares about him though... not cool enough I guess.
Is this supposed to enrage me?




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Last edited by Mike Windu; 04-19-2006 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
No, but I feel that if you're going to play the political party card then you should at least acknowledge what the other party is doing that is better/worse.
Eh, it was a rant about the taxes and the Republicans are still far better when it comes to taxation than Democrats.

Sure they spend they're allowance and rack up debt like a teeny bopper with daddy's credit card but that really wasn't my point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Is this supposed to enrage me?
No, he died yesterday and given the fact that Proof shot him before Proof himself was shot...well you get the picture.

Last edited by Good Sir Knight; 04-19-2006 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 04-19-2006, 01:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Sir Knight
The Democratic party generally advocates raising taxes.

Where as Republicans usually run on a platform that is against raising taxes.
And there is the core of american politics right there. And when you look at it you realise how empty and pointless and neverending it is.

Raising Taxes and Lowering Taxes as stand alone polices are meaningless. The important point is what you spend the money on. And that the requirements are likely to change depending on world events, economic situations and hundreds of other factors.

Just for once i'd like a republican to say - you know what, we might put up taxes this time because we feel it is needed in this case. Or a democrat to say " you know what, lowering taxes at this point might be the best idea".

Anyone who votes for a party purely based on "democrats want to raise taxes, republicans want to lower them" is voting purely on idealogical or selfish reasons.

Still, any debate about american taxes is always laughable to thoe of us in europe, as you guys have taxes that are so low as to be virtually non-existant anyway.

---

As for the FEMA situation..

It seems to me that the main stupidity is the law that says they can't use them. Admittedly FEMA should probably be aware of such laws, but in fast moving situations its probably hard to check every possible law or statute... but I thought FEMA had all sorts of emergency powers and surely either they, or some congressmen, can get through some temporary permit considering the uniqueness of the situation. 10 minutes in congress and its all sorted.
Or just ignore the law and use them anyway if needed, then sort it out retroactively. Its not like some sherriff is going to go and arrest a load of refugees and FEMA agents for using trailer homes.



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Old 04-19-2006, 04:46 PM   #14
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This thread isn't really about the failure of the New Orleans officials, etc., I wanted to discuss the issue of FEMA spending over a billion dollars on mobile homes that are not being used, and will not be used.

It's amazing that the government is so rich and powerful that it can waste a billion of our tax dollars like it's nothing to them. Just think if that money was divided up instead and given to each of the 55,000 families... that's about $18,000 per family.
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
This thread isn't really about the failure of the New Orleans officials, etc., I wanted to discuss the issue of FEMA spending over a billion dollars on mobile homes that are not being used, and will not be used.
Again, that seems down to a lack of common sense/leadership. Someone just needs to stand up, roll up their sleeves and say "right, lets put those homes to use!" and it could get done in no time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
It's amazing that the government is so rich and powerful that it can waste a billion of our tax dollars like it's nothing to them. Just think if that money was divided up instead and given to each of the 55,000 families... that's about $18,000 per family.
$1billion isn't that much really.

The US GDP is about 12 trillion dollars, so 1billion is about 8.3 10-5 %. IE negligible. As far as i know the percentage of GDP that goes to the US Federal Government is around 15% (incidentally one of the lowest in the world, many countries in europe are between 30 and 50%) so $1 billion is 0.0005% of annual federal income.

The war in iraq costs more than that every 6 days.

The US national debt is $8.97 trillion

Not to say that they shouldn't do something to stop those trailers being wasted... but a wastage of 0.0005% is hardly significant.



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Old 04-20-2006, 04:22 PM   #16
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It's just that a billion dollars seems like so much to us that it's amazing that the government thinks of it yeah, as just a tiny fraction and therefore can be thrown away. But that is still a lot of money regardless... again, $18,000 could be given to each of the 55,000 families with "only" a billion bucks.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Sir Knight
So whenever I criticize Democrats I need to criticize Republicans also? I don't think so, the fact is, Democrats favor more taxes and think it's that fact that bothers you so much.
It was the phrasing that you used "Yeop, your tax dollars at work. Oh and the Democrats aren't happy with how much you're paying up right now so you better open up that pocket book a little more sonny jim."

I got the feeling that you felt that democrats are worsening the situation by spending more money on "broken" programs. And the "sonny jim" comment was sort of an immature shot at democrats, which makes your republican support appear stronger.


But maybe I'm just over analyzing?

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Old 04-20-2006, 04:33 PM   #18
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I didn't see anything wrong with what he said... yes it's an attack on Democrats, may not be relevant to this case, but it is true. It's just not relevant.

Besides, being anti-Democrat doesn't make you pro-Republican. I think both parties suck.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:51 PM   #19
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Maybe they could use some of the trailers to house some of the refugees still in FEMA funded hotels. That would'nt be a waste.


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Old 04-22-2006, 09:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
It was the phrasing that you used "Yeop, your tax dollars at work. Oh and the Democrats aren't happy with how much you're paying up right now so you better open up that pocket book a little more sonny jim."

I got the feeling that you felt that democrats are worsening the situation by spending more money on "broken" programs. And the "sonny jim" comment was sort of an immature shot at democrats, which makes your republican support appear stronger.


But maybe I'm just over analyzing?

Let's not get into partisan rhetoric. If you want an explanation, I hate Republicans almost as much as I hate Democrats.

In fact my number one concern in politics is taxes. I got a significant pay raise last year. What happened? I went into another tax bracket and I might as well have just slacked off and stayed at my current rate of pay.

I'll vote for anything, democrat, republican regardless as long it means the government doesn't get another dime of my money.

They have their allowance and they should be a big kid and spend it accordingly. They make hundreds of thousands on our company alone and then they threaten us with closing schools and releasing prisoners when new measures come up.

This plays right into my earlier point that New Orleans should put up the funds to fix their own levy instead of complaining for 16 years and spending money on worthless projects like casionos, parks/req.

Furthermore it just so happens that Democrats, by and large support more taxes. It's really the only reason why I hate them more than Republicans...well there's a few more but thats the main one.


EDIT: Besides, even if I was a Neo-Con, there's not enough left wing rhetoric on here already? sheesh
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:41 AM   #21
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Heh... happens to us all.. Would be nice if they could get rid of the nasty steps though and put the whole thing on a nice sliding scale.
(google "progressive taxation" to find out why. then think yourself lucky that you live in the USA and not somewhere like france or sweden with a 40-50% tax rate. )

Though in the end it seems to me it all works out the same, whether you end up paying more to the government or more to private companies you still end up paying in the end for education, health, dental, insurance etc..

I guess the main advantage of paying to private companies is that they don't get turned upside down every 4 years or so whenever the administration changes.. but then on the other hand they need to make profits and answer to shareholders.

I'd encourage you to look past merely the tax bottom line though, as many other things affect your quality of life which in balance might be worth paying some taxes for.



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Old 04-23-2006, 04:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
I guess the main advantage of paying to private companies is that they don't get turned upside down every 4 years or so whenever the administration changes.. but then on the other hand they need to make profits and answer to shareholders.
That and the fact that private companies actually get the job done.

The government doesn't care if they actually do anything right, because they're getting your money either way.
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:24 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
That and the fact that private companies actually get the job done.

The government doesn't care if they actually do anything right, because they're getting your money either way.
Totally off topic...but what a perfect argument against socializing the health care system...and public schools.


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Old 04-25-2006, 12:01 PM   #24
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I think we have taken the off topic trail...

Quote:
That and the fact that private companies actually get the job done.

The government doesn't care if they actually do anything right, because they're getting your money either way.
I wouldn't really agree with that. Sounds like partisan rhetoric to me.

I doubt governments are any more or less efficient than private companies. Sure, small private companies are usually leaner and keener because they have to compete, but once a sector gets monoploised by a giant company then they are hardly any more/less concerned about the customer than anyone else.

Just look at the crappy way big mobile companies treat customers. Or the way that when they privatised things like Rail companies in the UK they became far more inefficient.
Private companies are often great at getting new customers (good marketting and offers) but once they have you as a customer they couldn't care less.

I remember seeing a very interesting report several years back that said that when UK industries were made public their efficency increased by a third. When they were privatised again their efficiency increased by a third. (obviously not including our trains )
So it is the CHANGE that temporarily improves efficiency, not the actual management/ownership.

Side note, but i remember seeing an article on the news recently saying that the US government is investigating why you have to pay far more for drugs in the US than the UK... and the obvious answer is that the UK health service is like the Wal-mart of health services... and has the bulk buying power to match.
Pros and cons to everything though... but in the end i reckon it all evens out. Get screwed by government run orgainsations... or get screwed by giant corporations.



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Old 04-25-2006, 12:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
That and the fact that private companies actually get the job done.

The government doesn't care if they actually do anything right, because they're getting your money either way.
However, private companies don't give a toss about providing a service. All they're interested in is making a profit. If that means giving a bloody awful service, they don't generally tend to have any problems with that.

I'd rather have these things in the hands of a government accountable to the voters, instead of in the hands of a business accountable to its shareholders.


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Old 04-25-2006, 04:25 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
I doubt governments are any more or less efficient than private companies. Sure, small private companies are usually leaner and keener because they have to compete, but once a sector gets monoploised by a giant company then they are hardly any more/less concerned about the customer than anyone else.
But the government IS a monopoly. It it the most giant of all companies and has no competition. That is the makings of a monopoly right there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
Private companies are often great at getting new customers (good marketting and offers) but once they have you as a customer they couldn't care less.
You can always take your business elsewhere with a private company. You CANNOT, however, take your business elsewhere with the government. As a citizen of the country you have a permanent contract with the government that you didn't agree to. And if you don't pay up then you get thrown in jail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewok mercenary
However, private companies don't give a toss about providing a service. All they're interested in is making a profit. If that means giving a bloody awful service, they don't generally tend to have any problems with that.

I'd rather have these things in the hands of a government accountable to the voters, instead of in the hands of a business accountable to its shareholders.
The government is what doesn't give a toss about providing a service. All they're interested in is collecting your hard-earned cash and use it as they see fit. A private company that provides a bloody awful service loses profits and fails. No matter how awful the service the government provides is, they still rake in the cash at the same rate (example: FEMA). And you can't just stop paying taxes because you don't like/don't want the service, unless of course, you don't mind sitting in a jail cell.

I'd rather have these things in the hands of a business that must compete against other businesses in order to gain profit. The government will continue to get your money from you no matter what, even if they don't do their job at all.


But yeah, this is off-topic, even though related... perhaps a new thread eh?
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Old 04-27-2006, 01:57 AM   #27
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Senate Panel Recommends Abolishing FEMA

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060427/...trina_congress



Looks like they're doing something about it, I don't think they should abolish it...more like turn the place upside down.... I mean we need a disaster response agency that's ready to go.

I wouldn't want to wait around for another one, who would we blame then? tee hee
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