Katrina Victims to Get $2K Debit CardsAt the risk of being called cold-hearted: this is a really stupid thing to do. There's going to be all kinds of abuse opening up with this scheme. And what happens to everyone else who becomes a victim of a hurricane? Do we give them two thousand dollars from the public coffers also?
Sep 07 3:42 PM US/Eastern
By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
The federal government plans to hand out debit cards worth $2,000 each to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff, under fire for his agency's response to the disaster, held a conference call with governors of states with evacuees and described the plan. While many details remained to be worked out, the plan was to quickly begin distributing the cards, starting with people in major evacuation centers such as the Houston Astrodome.
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."
Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who participated in the conference call, said the 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." He said the hope is the cards will encourage people to leave shelters voluntarily.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is administering the program. FEMA officials said the program is aimed at those most in need, so not all families that fled their homes will be eligible...
This smells too much like a political ploy, if anything.