Matt's opinion

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bipartisan what?

I heard in the news today about the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee deciding that FEMA should be completely wiped out and replaced with a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security. What's surprising about this proposal is that both parties actually agreed on it. They actually worked together on it, debated it and reached a conclusion, amazing!

The only problem about this proposal is it is absolutely the wrong thing to do. Think about it, that proposal would destroy any ounce of possible emergency management the federal government could offer people in need just as the hurricane season is about to start in another month. In the mean time a new federal agency, which ironically will look just like FEMA (but with a different name so it sounds new), will be created costing tax payers billions of dollars in costs that frankly this nation can't afford. I'm not saying that the small, if not tiny, amount of federal assistance the current FEMA could offer potential victims of a hurricane is great, but it's at least something.

What are the lawmakers thinking? That if you just make FEMA go away and create some new agency it will make all the problems that FEMA has go away with it? Who do you think is going to get the jobs in the new agency? Who else is qualified for those jobs? Why would you spend all that money on something new when you could make some changes, namely in the leadership, and things would be considerably better? Why aren't our elected officials thinking about these things? The answer is simple:it's an election year and these people think this proposal will get them more votes.

One last vote getting proposal. I'm not sure where this one comes from but I've heard on the news that Congress is considering offering $100 rebate checks for all Americans. This proposal is similar to one actually taking place in Florida, as Gov Bush is sending $100 rebates to all home owners as a result of a budget surplus. Most say the rebate is to help offset the recent high gas prices. Again, I can't help be ask why? For most people $100 bucks will cover say two or three fill-ups. Then what? So poll numbers will go up for a couple weeks and then go right back down to where they were or even lower because you didn't use that money to invest in something that will provide meaningful returns for all Americans to see that you're doing something right. Examples of such an investment might be: grants to high growth areas for schools, hiring the right people for FEMA, U.S. Boarder Control and Customs, Port Security, Re-newable energy infrastructure.... I could go on but you get the idea.

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