• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Federal Disaster Relief Spending Out of Control

    Newscom

    Newscom

    The world’s second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, reports “that natural catastrophes and man-made disasters cost the insurance industry $77 billion in 2012.”

    The report noted this figure covered “more than 300 catastrophes and disasters caus[ing] the loss of 14,000 lives and $186 billion.” These disasters included many of the 112 events for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a declaration and provided aid.

    Last fall’s Hurricane Sandy, the report said, “accounted for $35 billion of insured losses.” For perspective, the disaster relief package approved by Congress allocated over $60 billion, nearly twice as much as the entire privately insured payment.

    How is that possible? How is the entire privately insured loss substantially less than just the “losses” covered by FEMA? Because FEMA is incapable of ensuring a significant amount of those funds won’t be wasted.

    There is a significant amount of waste, fraud, and abuse in FEMA disaster relief. Heritage detailed the pork components of the Hurricane Sandy package, including the fishery funding in Alaska and the roof funds for the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

    As reported by Fox News, “Federal investigators said Wednesday that as much as $700 million in federal aid intended to help some 24,000 Louisiana families elevate their homes after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 may have been misspent.” If you think Hurricane Katrina was an anomaly, peruse the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General’s webpage for FEMA reports. You’ll find that waste, fraud, and abuse of FEMA funds is as commonplace as spring floods in Iowa; summer fires in Texas, Colorado, and California; winter snowstorms in New England; and tropical storms in the Gulf Coast.

    With such documented profligate spending, if we can’t make simple reforms to FEMA, how do we expect to tackle the even bigger federal spending problems?

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×