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Disaster Victims Given Too Much Pocket Money

Thursday, September 08, 2005

(SNN Anchorage) The Federal Government is planning to hand out debit cards worth $2,000 to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. This has angered many that believe that this kind of a handout goes against the ideals of personal responsibility.

This kind of a handout goes against the ideals of personal responsibility.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the cards are aimed at providing “some immediate cash assistance to those who are in shelters, those that were evacuated.” According to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, cards will be offered "to people in shelters as well as people who are not in shelters but who have evacuated the area and need help." However, FEMA is the agency administering the program.

FEMA officials say that only the families with the most need will qualify for the cards. "For instance you may have some people who have insurance and insurance is meeting their living expenses while they have been displaced," said Ed Conley of FEMA. "You have some people who may be looking at an option such as a cruise ship where all of their needs are going to be met. It is going to vary by family." The cost of the program could run into the hundreds of millions, but fortunately for the government, a significant percentage of people who would qualify for the program are dead.

While the cards are intended to assist victims who have lost everything in buying food, transportation, and other essentials, many fear that $2000 is too much for a family to get back on their feet. "That's a lot of money. The question is how do you separate the needy from those who just want a $2,000 handout," said Frank Murkowski, the Governor of Alaska and the master of perspective who just get a 1.5 billion dollar appropriation for a bridge to a town of 50 people.

Murkowski estimates that 80 percent of the money will be spent in bars and brothels within the first two weeks. So intense will be the need for New Orleans refugees to satiate their basest needs, they will not even stop to get a hotel room to change clothes and shower off the feces. Murkowski went on to say the remaining 20% would be spent on fried chicken and watermelon.

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