A new government auditor’s report finds that at least $1 billion out of $6 billion in one FEMA aid program for Hurricane Katrina was paid out fraudulently. Examples of waste ranged from $300 spent on Girls Gone Wild videos to $20,000 in aid paid to a state prisoner calling FEMA over the phone with a fake property damage claim.
As I discussed today with Bill O’Reilly on his radio show, FEMA’s wasteful spending is deep-seated and long-standing. A year before Katrina, there was Hurricane Frances in 2004. FEMA rushed in with aid and auditors later found that 12,000 claims were paid to residents not even hit by the storm.
At the time, USA Today said, “The findings are the latest to point at questionable disaster relief payments made by FEMA. Audits dating back at least a decade have shown similar problems elsewhere.”
What to do? The answers are in Downsizing the Federal Government.