Sunday, December 04, 2005


Now, a very great man once said
That some people rob you with a fountain pen.
It didn't take too long to find out
Just what he was talkin' about.

New York Daily News:
Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid intended to help small downtown businesses that were reeling from the 9/11 attacks often went instead to huge international corporations, companies with little attachment to the stricken area and businesses that were never in jeopardy.

The beneficiaries included a stock brokerage firm that had closed more than a month before the terrorists hit, a giant real estate firm that repeatedly said it wasn't hurt by the attacks, scores of wealthy self-employed floor traders ...

The fast and furious distribution of nearly $1 billion in small business aid — part of the $21.4 billion promised to New York overall — was done by the Empire State Development Corp., a quasi-governmental agency with no experience in disaster relief. ...

The development corporation didn't require businesses to explain how the attacks, and not preexisting business problems, had caused the firms to lose money.
Charles A. Gargano is chairman of Empire State Development Corp.
Appointed by Governor George E. Pataki, Ambassador Gargano has served as the head of New York State’s economic development agency since 1995. The Governor also appointed him vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1995. ... Gargano's public service began in 1981, when he was named deputy administrator of the Federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration by President Ronald Reagan. In 1988 he was appointed Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by President Reagan. He was re-appointed in 1989 by President Bush and served until 1991.
Solidly Republican -- "with no experience in disaster relief". Sounds like "Brownie" Part Deux.

Los Angeles Times:
On Their Own in Battered New Orleans

....Lost amid continued talk of billions in federal aid is the fact that most homeowners and businesses are being left to make the toughest calls on their own. Lost is that New Orleans' recovery — which President Bush once suggested would be one of the largest public reconstruction efforts the world had ever seen — is quickly becoming a private market affair. ...

The situation in which residents find themselves is an extreme example of a trend underway for a quarter-century, a shift of economic risk from business and government to working families, and an increasing reliance on free markets to manage society's problems.

Safety nets such as unemployment compensation, employer-provided healthcare insurance and pensions, and, recently, effective disaster relief have been reeled in or removed. Increasingly, families from the working poor to the affluent are left largely to buy and sell their own way to safety even when their individual efforts seem utterly outgunned, as they do in the case of Katrina.
What? All that money you paid in taxes? ... Suckers! [/republicans]

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