Sunday, March 13, 2005

Your Tax Dollar$ at Work

Because of the nature of the business my husband is in, I am particularly familiar with hurricane damage. Having a daughter who was a weather buff growing up, I am accustom to closely following weather conditions. Last year was an exciting hurricane season here in Florida, especially for those of us on the Gulf Coast. We had four major storms. Many areas were affected by all four storms. A large number of Floridians are still living in damaged homes and rentals simply because it takes a lot of time, money and paper work to get these things settled, not to mention the actual work itself. (There are never enough licensed contractors after a storm.) As luck would have it, South Florida (Miami-Dade, Ft. Lauderdale etc.) was completely spared from any hurricane activity in 2004.

That in mind, there is an article in today's St. Petersburg Times about ten Miami-Dade County residents who have pled not guilty to federal charges that they filed false aid claims for property damage caused by Hurricane Frances, which barely hit the area. There will be 14 people indicted when it's all said and done. The article went on to say that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paid more that $30 MILLION to about 13,000 residents of Miami-Dade, even-though the Labor Day storm did not generate hurricane force winds in the county. (Frances hit September 5 in Martin County, nearly 100 miles from Miami, and the National Hurricane Center forecasters said the highest wind gust recorded in Miami-Dade was 59 mph. Hurricane strength is sustained winds of 74 mph.)

Now then, my question to "W" and his powers that be at FEMA is this, when all those claims from South Florida started pouring in and the $30 MILLION in checks were being written, didn't anyone notice just how much money was going to an area that was not affected by the storm? There are people who literally lost everything they own who are still waiting for FEMA aid yet those who shouldn't even qualify are paid. THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS for hurricane damage to an area that didn't even have a hurricane. You'd think SOMEONE would notice. Surely the president's brother (Florida Governor Jeb "the shrub" Bush) knew there wasn't a hurricane in Miami. He made of point of being photographed after every storm where there WAS damage. But wait, Jeb is from South Florida and I am sure he plans to return there after his unsuccessful bid for the White House. I'm not saying he had anything to do with this.... surely not. Just seems to me like SOMEONE would notice money flowing in the wrong direction.

Why are only 14 being indicted? There must be more than that "taking advantage of the system." Perhaps an anger management course is something I should look into because this really pisses me off.

Here is the url for the St. Pete Times article:


At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a FYI....
FEMA vans are dark green, midnight blue and black, you better get you bathing cap on.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

Yes, one wonders how this happens. One wonders why so many think they are entitled. Frankly I'd like to know who these 14 people voted for in the last election. I dislike folks who think they are entitled and I hate folks who think they can take advantage of the system. Come on Jeb, do something other than pose for pictures cause we know your brother is asleep at the wheel.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger ConnieJane said...

Dear Anonymous,

Oh dear. I had no idea there were so many van colors to watch out for. I think I'll just leave that bathing cap on all the time for a while. Thanks for the head's up!!!


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