From the AP:
Imagine that your home was reduced to mold-covered wood framing by Hurricane Katrina. Desperate for money to rebuild, you engage in a frustrating bureaucratic process, and after months of living in a government provided-trailer that gives off formaldehyde fumes you finally win a federal grant.
Then a collector announces that you have to pay back thousands of dollars.
Seriously? It could be. In the “rush” to delver aid to those left homeless by the devastating hurricane in 2005, a private contractor may have given out too much money. Now, they want to hire another firm to try to collect the overpayments. Between 1,000 and 5,000 cases could fall under collection efforts. That means up to $175 million would have to be paid back.
In the grand scheme of things, I find this ridiculous as a taxpayer. The same bungling of the Katrina relief funds has been evident in lost sums of money going to other private contractors operating in Iraq. Those sums total in the tens of billions of dollars. Though the entities are certainly separate, I want to hear about collection efforts being initiated against corporations that have knowingly stolen money from my government. Make no mistake, this is the type of government Republicans love: billions in welfare for corporations & hunting down money mistakenly given to people who lost everything. Democrats won back a number of seats at all levels in 2006 as a result. 2008 will be no different.