Send no money to tsunami nations: Where is the expense report?

Published 14 years ago -  - 14y ago 43

When four hurricanes hit us Floridians during this past summer, the United Nations never showed up to help. Perhaps they were simply gathering their resources to help the victims of the next disaster somewhere other than on U.S. soil. Then again, maybe not, since they are now screaming for money to help the tsunami victims and going so far as to call the United States “stingy” in our response.

In addition, President Bush never sent direct monetary aid to those individuals affected in Florida. At best, some low interest loans may have been made available once FEMA did what it could. Have you ever wondered why we do not offer low interest loans to those affected in foreign disasters? Why do foreigners always get our tax dollars–in cash–when U.S. citizens after an American disaster are offered low interest loans?

Here is a press release from the Small Business Association just a few days ago regarding Florida:

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $1 billion in low-interest disaster loans to about 33,600 residents and business owners in the areas affected by the late-summer rash of deadly hurricanes and floods.

The SBA makes low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, and non- farm businesses of all sizes. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged primary residences. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to replace personal property such as furniture and clothing. Loans of up to $1.5 million are available to eligible businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $1.5 million are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses. Interest rates can be as low as 3.187 percent for homeowners and renters and 2.9 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based upon each applicant’s financial condition.

Why are we sending these nations cash instead of issuing loans at 3.187 percent, as we did for Floridians?

Anybody who has kept up with the United Nation’s “Oil for Food” program knows that money designated for “humanitarian causes” is just a smokescreen for creating a few select millionaires or billionaires, the corrupt officials in the target nation. It will be no different with the nations who suffered the tsunami disaster.

When you file an expense report for your work, you need to attach receipts showing your dinner bill, your toll charges, etc., and sometimes, if you drove, the number cruncher at your employer will go so far as to check your mileage you reported by using Mapquest, just to keep you honest.

How do you think the “humanitarian assistance” will be audited? The will be no American accountants. There will be no auditors. There will be no distribution plan set up by American planners. There will be no paper trail. There will be no receipts. Where is the expense report?

Once we send the blank check, we do not even know who will be in charge for disbursements. Indonesia has said that they have islands that are so remote that they cannot even count the dead. A logical question is then if Indonesian officials cannot even get into much of their disaster area, what logistics are in place to get aid into those areas?

What is the cost of rebuilding a mud hut? What is the cost of burying a dead cow? When we give hard cash to these nations, there is nothing other than trust that the nation receiving it will help their needy in an honest fashion. We just want to believe that some people in some far away land has a Mother Teresa personality and would never think about pocketing a few hundred thousand, or a few million dollars. In the case of Sri Lanka, a nation that just refused aid from Israel because “they are Jews”, we have to believe any trust placed in Sri Lanka to distribute the “humanitarian cash” is baseless.

I have to wonder what will cash buy once it gets to Nicobar Island, Sumatra, Aceh province, and even more remote places. Will they be able to buy clothes or food? What if the clothing stores and food suppliers have been destroyed? Besides, looting has already broken out in Indonesia. Is cash really what is needed?

Sending money to these nations is just another item in the long list of wasting American tax dollars. When Doctors Without Borders show up, they will do some immediate good. Supplies of mosquito nets, water, food, clothes and basic need items will help. For some reason, American taxpayers continue to allow our nation to send millions of dollars of cash to foreign nations that will only make a few corrupt officials very rich. Yes this is a tragedy and we are all sorry for the loss of life and suffering. The response to any foreign disaster should be physical supplies of needed items, machinery, know how, and volunteers.

Sending foreign aid in cash under normal circumstances is normally a total waste. Sending cash in the midst of chaos following a natural disaster is even more idiotic as it makes it just that much easier for the corrupt officials to pocket the money.

Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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