Behaving Like Pickpockets

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Behaving Like Pickpockets

September 28, 2005

The spendthrifts have come out to play with the billions in relief aid that Congress and the Bush administration are throwing at Louisiana and the rest of the gulf coast.

Supposedly thrifty republicans in Congress are leading the spending spree.

Lobbyists and big corporations are alongside them.

Louisiana officials want $250 billion in Katrina relief and recovery money. This is in addition to what they’ve already received.

It doesn’t include aid from the Red Cross and other sources.

Much of the reconstruction will be done without competitive bids because politicians don’t want to be criticized for dragging their feet.

Here’s one example of how bad it is: Congress has appropriated $40 billion for the Army corps of engineers to rebuild the levees in New Orleans.

That’s ten times the corps’ annual budget for the entire nation and in addition to the billions already spent on levee projects.

There needs to be accountability and oversight for the way the money is spent, but the supposed guardians of the taxpayer’s purse strings – republicans -- are behaving like pickpockets.

I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.

Behaving Like Pickpockets