Download now: The Downfall of Cable, and the Rise of 5G!

Katrina Victims to Get $2K Debit Cards

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted September 7, 2005

Did you contribute to a Hurricane Katrina relief fund? You did now. And I bet you didn't even know it.

It's been reported that the federal government has constructed plans to issue debit cards worth $2,000 to each adult victim of Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Department Secretary, described the plan in a conference call with state officials this morning saying that the handout will initially benefit stranded people who have been moved to major rescue centers such as the Houston Astrodome.

The cards are intended for victims to buy food, transportation, gas and other essentials people need. As I write this, the program has not been publicly announced. Why the secrecy?

Although there is no official number on how much the debit card program will cost, you can be assured it won't be cheap. The tab is likely to run close to $300 million since nearly 150,000 people were displaced. At like all government expenditures, $300 million is probably just for starters.

My prediction is that more than $1 billion will be handed out in the debit card program.

Now I appreciate the good intentions behind this. And I'm sure that this'll make the politicians look like real nice caring folks.

But instead of dishing out cash let's create new jobs. It's said that New Orleans will experience a building boom like no other. That's a window of opportunity to put an otherwise poor group in the working class, making money. And who better to rebuild Nawlins than the people who'll live there.

Is there going to be any control over how the money is spent? Probably not. What's stopping people from spending the money at a bar? Nothing. While I do believe that some people will use the money wisely, I can guarantee you that 100% of the money will be wasted. I pray that the government is keeping track of the purchases made with these debit cards. I'd love to see the results.

Moreover, does everyone deserve the two thousand dollars? How about the people who looted the city, burned buildings, and shot at rescue helicopters? Should we give it to them too?

The government wants to help and that's great. But bleeding the economy further and robbing people of their self-respect and dignity will not help the situation.

- Luke Burgess
Buffett's Envy: 50% Annual Returns, Guaranteed