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America's Debate > Archive > Policy Debate Archive > [A] Domestic Policy
Fife and Drum
FEMA may have bought too many temporary homes — 24,967 manufactured homes obtained for $857.8 million and 1,295 modular homes at $40 million — resulting in 10,777 such homes sitting empty in Hope, Ark., in sinking mud without proper storage. “It was unclear how the decision was made,” the Homeland Security audit stated.

Just one of many abuses surrounding the Katrina response. The same article gives examples where we’ve been footing the bill for folks to stay in a $438/night hotel (I wonder who ended up in that room, but that’s another topic).

And with the first Iraq war "profiteering" case against Custer Battles to go to court soon:

There were no banks or wire transfers to pay them, no bean counters to keep track of the money. Just vaults and footlockers stuffed with billions of dollars in cash.

"Fresh, new, crisp, unspent, just-printed $100 bills. It was the Wild West," recalls Frank Willis, who was the No. 2 man at the Coalition Provisional Authority’s Ministry of Transportation.


Asked if he has any evidence that the accounting system was a little loose, Willis says, "I would describe it as nonexistent."

Footlockers with billions of dollars in cash surrounded by government contractors and not a single ledger sheet or receipt book. Nah, nothing can go wrong there. If you read the entire article (make sure you’re sitting down and there are no pets or kids around) it’s abundantly clear, once again, that the level of planning on behalf of this administration or some one was almost non-existent.

From the same article, Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota:

He says he has called for full, congressional inquiries into alleged abuses by Halliburton and other contractors, but they have been defeated by the Republican majority in straight party line votes.

"Let me tell you that there’s very little oversight by anybody on anything in this Congress. We have a president and a Congress of the same party. They have no interest in doing any aggressive oversight," Dorgan says.

I had a hard time finding the amendment or the rider but after searching the Library of Congress it’s perfectly clear the senator‘s request for a “Truman Committee” has been voted down on numerous occasions. We should all applaud Senator Dorgan for his efforts.

Who should ultimately be held accountable for how OUR money is spent?

More specifically, if the Bush administration can take credit for the successes in Iraq should they also shoulder the blame for the fiscal abuse and fraud that’s followed? Why or why not?

What possible solutions can be implemented to ensure OUR money is spent for it’s intended purposes?

Should any American business that handles government contracts be allowed to funnel funds through the shady banking systems in the Caymans?

Should defrauding the government carry a stiffer fine/prison time than defrauding an individual or company?

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