Years after Hurricane Katrina left a path of destruction throughout New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana much of the damage still remains.
So much damage remains that they still offer “disaster tours” to tourists wishing to see the devastation.
Restoration to almost 20,000 homes which still lie destroyed in Louisiana, with over 7,000 of those homes in New Orleans alone, was supposed to paid for by funds specifically set aside to help those impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
That isn’t going to happen anymore as Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland informs as as she shines some light on the latest act of disgrace by the Federal Government in her article titled Robbing New Orleans to Pay for BP’s Spill.
Yes, Federal Government has repeatedly assured the public over and over again that BP will pay for every dime of costs related to the oil spill.
But as we have seen throughout this crisis the Government has repeatedly told the public one thing and has done another.
The lip service has even been echoed by President Obama himself on several occasions.
Barack Obama: BP will pay ‘every dime’ for oil spill
President Barack Obama said the US government would make BP pay for everything involved in the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and questioned whether the company had come clean about the extent of the damage
Watch – Obama:BP Will Pay “Every Dime” For Damage,Promises Justice
Obama even made sure millions would hear that message by making a nationwide prime time address.
Yet Mac McClelland informs us that a supplemental appropriations bill passed earlier this month steals $400 million of funds set aside for victims of Hurricane Katrina in order to fund projects related to the BP Gulf Oil Spill, including $304 million for the remediation and investigation of the spill.
Now a supplemental appropriations bill that passed the House earlier this month would take $400 million from post-Katrina recovery programs like Road Home in order to fund other projects, including $304 million for Deepwater Horizon-related remediation and investigation.
As you can imagine Louisiana residents and other organizations involved in Hurricane Katrina restoration efforts aren’t two happy about the robbery.
To some Louisiana residents, using any taxpayer money, much less hurricane-relief money, to clean up BP’s oil just adds insult to injury. “Any provisions related to the spill should be paid for by the responsible party,” says Monika Gerhart, director of policy and government relations for the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, a nonpartisan advocacy organization. “We’re not yet recovered. So don’t take our housing money.”
Louisiana Recovery Authority Chairman David Voelker begged congress not to pass the legislation because it would mean that almost 20,000 homes in Louisiana that remain devastated from Hurricane Katrina would lose the much need Federal funding for restoration.
In a June 7 letter to the House Committee on Appropriations, Louisiana Recovery Authority Chairman David Voelker pleaded that the rescission of already-dedicated rebuilding funds be stricken from the bill. Without them, Voelker estimates, 19,000 homes statewide will go unrestored, nearly 7,000 of them in Orleans Parish. “If you just drive around, you can see the people need it,” says Taylor Henry, communications director for Republican Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao, whose district includes New Orleans.
These are our tax dollars being stolen from the poor to to pay for the mess that BP made.
This disturbing pattern of the Federal Government stealing from the poor to give to the rich is one that only continues to get worse.
Congress even recently pushed forward a bill to increase the tax on oil to pay for the BP mess.
Take as another example of the Government’s negligence toward American citizens the actions of the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs who recently made record profits.
They were just given a slap on the wrist for engaging in fraud involving credit default swaps and mortgage securities with a $550 million fine for a fraudulent transaction that made the firm $1 billion dollars.
It’s important to note that Goldman Sachs made $550 million every two weeks in the first quarter of 2010 and the settlement amount is 5% of the $10 billion in bonuses paid last year. One has to wonder why they wouldn’t do it again. After all, shares of Goldman Sachs increased by 2-½% on the announcement that the case had been put to rest, increasing market value by more than the amount they agreed to pay.
To make matters worse the illegal activities that Goldman was charged with are the same illegal activities that caused the Financial Crisis of 2008 and that MSNBC has called the largest fraud scheme ever.
What caused the Stock Market Crash? Details of the Credit Default Swaps scandal revealed. Wall Street insiders have been running a mortgage insurance fraud scam. Exposed wall street executives and hedge fund managers have scammed the government and caused the stock market crash of 2008.
Yet the Government continues to allow these crooked corporations to run these scams and when it comes time to the pay for the costs of the activities of these corporations the Government decides to steal money from the poor instead of holding the companies themselves responsible.
The Government is already floating around the idea of implementing European style austerity measures on American citizens.
Even the topic of discussion yesterday on CNN was consideration by Congress to increase the retirement age to 70 and eliminating social security altogether for certain people, both of which are further examples of the pilfering of the taxpayer.
If you like your job, better hold onto it because Congress is thinking about raising the retirement age.
But it seems the flashing warning signs of our skyrocketing and unsustainable deficits have finally gotten their attention.
And now they’re getting down to business – with party leaders saying that with people living longer and in better health – the nation can’t afford to keep paying out benefits for as long as 30 years after people retire.
House Minority Leader John Boehner suggests raising the retirement age for full Social Security benefits to 70… for those who are now 50 or younger.
Boehner also says we should provide benefits only to those who need them. He says with the government broke, it shouldn’t be paying benefits to those who have substantial income from other sources while they’re retired.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also talks about raising the retirement age… and providing benefits primarily to the poor.
That’s right. They want us to pay social security tax our entire life and hope we die before we can collect on it.
Even if we you don’t die first they still don’t want to pay you back the money you paid them for your entire life.
Meanwhile government waste and corruption runs rampant.
We spend a trillion dollars a year on foreign wars, provide hundreds of billions of dollars in welfare to corporations, and continue to fund the negligent and fraudulent activities of corporation like BP and Goldman Sachs.