Donation funds, why do we pay them

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  • #1
oldunion
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Firstly let me say that I am not against donating to good causes or helping those in need, because there are plenty of people who need help right now.

I was at the market just now and saw a slip for donating money to new orleans. I got to thinking that there must be slips like this everywhere in the united states. And then a problem came to mind...why do working citizens, who have serious expenses as it is, get called on to donate money? It has almost gotten to the point where people are expected to pay.

But the problem is why can't the government pay for disasters 100 percent. They have the money, they already have citizens tax money which is supposed to guarantee every person several things that i personally feel were denied to some Katrina victims.

I read in another thread, New Orleans was given like 3 million dollars, and then bumped up to 5 by congress when they needed 11million. Also stated was that the national guard was in iraq. I think this event has illustrated the disaster of the United States government system, which no longer functions for its citizens and has not for an incredibly long time. If people cannot find the direct correlation between the disfunction of events surrounding the disaster in New Orleans with the disaster of the Bush administration, they should no longer be allowed to think for themselves-a wasted brain is a terrible thing.

the louisiana national gaurd was out killing people when they were needed at home, outrageous :confused:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
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Private citizens donating to disaaster relief programs is new to the Bush administration?
 
  • #3
TRCSF
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That 11 million was only for maintaining the levees themselves. The Army Corp of Engineers also asked for over a hundred million dollars to prepare for disaster in case the levees did breech. That was cut to 40 million.

Since the government isn't doing its job, I guess private citizens are the ones that have to.
 
  • #4
Pengwuino
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Since when hasn't government cut funding to programs in the last couple hundred years? And I didn't know my red cross donation was going to the US Military...
 
  • #5
It would be interesting if it was done the other way around. Tax dollars being spent on good causes at home and wars being fought using only voluntary donations for finance. I suspect there would be a lot fewer wars.
 
  • #6
Pengwuino
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Art said:
It would be interesting if it was done the other way around. Tax dollars being spent on good causes at home and wars being fought using only voluntary donations for finance. I suspect there would be a lot fewer wars.

Yes there woudl be. Basically because 1 nation would take the initative and run over every other nation and ... well.. be a privately financed Germany. Of course, privately funded armies have no case studies to support what their actions might be... or do they? o:) o:)

Im sure the OP will be berated by some left-wingers who believe in reduced military funding and small budget deficits and will argue that the budget cuts were Congresses way of helping the little guy by reducing the deficit.
 
  • #7
edward
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Charity and "donation" fraud is an up and coming industry. Ah yes capitalism at its worst.

MIAMI Jan 5, 2005 — With private donations pouring into charities, law enforcement officials say scam artists claiming to represent tsunami relief organizations are using e-mails and telephone calls to attempt to steal donations and swipe donors' identities.

Several states and consumer watchdog agencies have issued warnings in recent days, noting that an outpouring of generosity for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami has opened the door for con artists who want to prey upon American philanthropy.

"We don't want someone who is charitable and is supportive of the victims over there to become a victim of identity theft," said Bob Breeden, who heads the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's computer crimes center.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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oldunion said:
Firstly let me say that I am not against donating to good causes or helping those in need, because there are plenty of people who need help right now.

I was at the market just now and saw a slip for donating money to new orleans. I got to thinking that there must be slips like this everywhere in the united states. And then a problem came to mind...why do working citizens, who have serious expenses as it is, get called on to donate money? It has almost gotten to the point where people are expected to pay.

But the problem is why can't the government pay for disasters 100 percent. They have the money, they already have citizens tax money which is supposed to guarantee every person several things that i personally feel were denied to some Katrina victims.
One way or another, the money is going to come from us. No, the government does not already have the money - its not like there is a $50 billion disaster relief pot just sitting around waiting for the disaster: you and I are going to pay for this next year when we pay our taxes.

Private firms often have different objectives than the government. One member asked about donating money to help animals. That's something the government will do little of. The Red Cross, for another example, will focus on medical needs, whereas the government needs to focus more on rescue, recovery, and law enforcement (at least at first).

But the main thing is that at a time like this, it isn't the quantity of relief available, its the flow. You may have heard that LA and the surrounding states are bringing in 1,400 national guardsmen a day. Why not bring them in all at once? Because mobilizing them takes time - even if they are sitting in a warehouse in their trucks, ready to go. You can't just turn them loose on the city - soon they will become stranded just like the people they are supposed to be helping. They need a supply chain, a chain of command, a purpose. So sending money to the Red Cross, just adds another path for aid to flow into the region. Someone sitting in an office in Washington, writing a $10 billion check will not make a case of water magically appear in NO 30 seconds later. It just doesn't work that way.
 
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  • #9
Pengwuino said:
Yes there woudl be. Basically because 1 nation would take the initative and run over every other nation and ... well.. be a privately financed Germany. Of course, privately funded armies have no case studies to support what their actions might be... or do they? o:) o:)
Although my original post was somewhat tongue in cheek there is actually a long history of privately funded armies and wars. The crusades being one example or in the modern era groups such as the IRA. There are also of course the privately (and secretly) funded armies such as the Contras.
I guess the point I was originally making was I wonder how many of the advocates of the current war in Iraq would support the war if it was funded by only those who supported it and who had to pay for it directly.
It seems perverse that some people believe spending money to save lives in their own land should be voluntary whereas spending money to take lives in another country should be mandatory.
 
  • #10
russ_watters
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Art said:
I guess the point I was originally making was I wonder how many of the advocates of the current war in Iraq would support the war if it was funded by only those who supported it and who had to pay for it directly.
If we combine that with voluntary funding of all other government programs, I'm all for it! :uhh:
 
  • #11
russ_watters said:
One way or another, the money is going to come from us. No, the government does not already have the money - its not like there is a $50 billion disaster relief pot just sitting around waiting for the disaster: you and I are going to pay for this next year when we pay our taxes.

Private firms often have different objectives than the government. One member asked about donating money to help animals. That's something the government will do little of. The Red Cross, for another example, will focus on medical needs, whereas the government needs to focus more on rescue, recovery, and law enforcement (at least at first).

But the main thing is that at a time like this, it isn't the quantity of relief available, its the flow. You may have heard that LA and the surrounding states are bringing in 1,400 national guardsmen a day. Why not bring them in all at once? Because mobilizing them takes time - even if they are sitting in a warehouse in their trucks, ready to go. You can't just turn them loose on the city - soon they will become stranded just like the people they are supposed to be helping. They need a supply chain, a chain of command, a purpose. So sending money to the Red Cross, just adds another path for aid to flow into the region. Someone sitting in an office in Washington, writing a $10 billion check will not make a case of water magically appear in NO 30 seconds later. It just doesn't work that way.
If the Russians had realized how slowly the US forces can mobilise in an emergency they'd have invaded and had the place locked down in no time :rofl: In fact if I were Castro I'd be making my invasion plans now. Afterall if you only have to beat 1400 troops a day it would be no problem. :biggrin:
 
  • #12
Townsend
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russ_watters said:
If we combine that with voluntary funding of all other government programs, I'm all for it! :uhh:

+1.....
 
  • #13
TheStatutoryApe
260
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edward said:
Charity and "donation" fraud is an up and coming industry. Ah yes capitalism at its worst.
What the hell does this have to do with capitalism?
 
  • #14
russ_watters said:
No, the government does not already have the money - its not like there is a $50 billion disaster relief pot just sitting around waiting for the disaster:
Actually they do. It is called the Emergency Reserve Fund and it exists specifically to provide timely financial assistance in response to domestic disasters and emergencies. It requires a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to release money from this fund (also called the rainy day account) :tongue2:
 
  • #15
TheStatutoryApe said:
What the hell does this have to do with capitalism?
I think the common thread is greed.
 
  • #16
edward
119
166
I can only say that when the real America still existed, the military could have had plane loads of c rations on the way to the disaster area in a matter of hours.

During the cold war every military installation had thousands of cartons of C rations (meals in cans) available. We didn't have to wait for orders to come down from FEMA. One quick call from the Pentagon and help was on the way.

The rations are now MRE's and a lot tastier.
However, the military no longer keeps a surplus. The surplus MRE's are auctioned off to the public. They would have been very helpful this week.

FEMA relies on private contractors who must first submit bids. The bids must then be approved and contracts signed. Only then do the contractors start to procure the goods that are needed.

Emergencies and Bureaucracies do not mix. That fact has become evident this week.
 
  • #17
TheStatutoryApe
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Art said:
I think the common thread is greed.
That's a common thread for quite a few things.
Charity organizations are socialist in nature.
I'd say this speaks more about socialism than it does capitalism.
 
  • #18
Evo
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Art said:
Actually they do. It is called the Emergency Reserve Fund and it exists specifically to provide timely financial assistance in response to domestic disasters and emergencies. It requires a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to release money from this fund (also called the rainy day account) :tongue2:
Actually since Congress is on vacation, Bush requested that money be approved without waiting for the normal vote.

Congress Sending $10.5B in Relief Aid

"Congressional officials said $10 billion in relief aid would go to FEMA, the government's first-line defender in case of natural disasters. The remainder is ticketed for the Pentagon, which has dispatched ships and other assistance to aid in the relief effort.

In a letter to Capitol Hill that accompanied the request, Bush said the situation "requires immediate action by the Congress to ensure that the federal response to this disaster uninterrupted." And he put lawmakers on notice that the $10 billion was only a first installment, with another request expected after a fuller assessment of the storm's impact.

With the Republican-controlled Congress officially on vacation, top leaders said they would pass the relief measure without waiting for lawmakers to return to the Capitol. Instead, they announced the money would be cleared _ by Friday _ without the formality of a vote, as is often the case on non-controversial measures."


"Over half a billion dollars a day is being spent by FEMA," said Cochran, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/01/national/w151358D87.DTL [Broken]

I guess the thread OP isn't keeping up with what's happening?
 
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  • #19
Evo said:
I guess the thread OP isn't keeping up with what's happening?
Or maybe he's a little ahead. Bush has asked his father and Clinton to head a drive to raise private donations to help with the disaster which I presume is why the OP is asking why it isn't 100% funded by the gov't.
 
  • #20
Evo
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Art said:
Or maybe he's a little ahead. Bush has asked his father and Clinton to head a drive to raise private donations to help with the disaster which I presume is why the OP is asking why it isn't 100% funded by the gov't.
Yes, as they did with the Tsunami relief. Any additional money that comes in from the private sector only adds to what the government does. Why would you expect the US government at this particular time and this particular storm to be the ONLY source of donations? I believe that is unheard of and doesn't even make any sense.
 
  • #21
Evo said:
Yes, as they did with the Tsunami relief. Any additional money that comes in from the private sector only adds to what the government does. Why would you expect the US government at this particular time and this particular storm to be the ONLY source of donations? I believe that is unheard of and doesn't even make any sense.
I didn't say it should be. :confused:
 
  • #22
Evo
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Art said:
I didn't say it should be. :confused:
:smile: Ok, you said the OP suggested it.
 
  • #23
Anything you give now will slowly get to the victims and will help pay for what is being done now.

Of course if you check FEMA's website they will direct you to faith based charities like Pat Robertsons, Operation Blessing.

russ_watters said:
But the main thing is that at a time like this, it isn't the quantity of relief available, its the flow. You may have heard that LA and the surrounding states are bringing in 1,400 national guardsmen a day. Why not bring them in all at once? Because mobilizing them takes time - even if they are sitting in a warehouse in their trucks, ready to go. You can't just turn them loose on the city - soon they will become stranded just like the people they are supposed to be helping. They need a supply chain, a chain of command, a purpose. So sending money to the Red Cross, just adds another path for aid to flow into the region. Someone sitting in an office in Washington, writing a $10 billion check will not make a case of water magically appear in NO 30 seconds later. It just doesn't work that way.
This was not the worst case scenario, in fact it is far less than what it would have been had the storm not veered east. Also, it was a fast moving storm, so the winds didn't push water into the lake, so in many ways you could say New Orleans was :confused: "lucky". :confused:

So why were they not prepared?

Why was the National guard and FEMA not standing by, prepared for the worst case scenario?

Oh, sorry, I forgot what Bush said, "No one could have imagined the someone would fly an airplane into err, I mean imagine these levees breaking."

Why were millions diverted from civil engineering projects in New Orleans to Iraq?

Why did Bush stay on vacation even after the Nat’l Hurricane Center predicted this catastrophe?

Why did it take 3 days for Bush to take action after Katrina hit?

How do you spell incompetent?...B U S H!
 
  • #24
TheStatutoryApe said:
That's a common thread for quite a few things.
Charity organizations are socialist in nature.
I'd say this speaks more about socialism than it does capitalism.
More likely just speaks volumes of human nature unfortunately.
 
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  • #25
edward said:
I can only say that when the real America still existed, the military could have had plane loads of c rations on the way to the disaster area in a matter of hours.

During the cold war every military installation had thousands of cartons of C rations (meals in cans) available. We didn't have to wait for orders to come down from FEMA. One quick call from the Pentagon and help was on the way.

The rations are now MRE's and a lot tastier.
However, the military no longer keeps a surplus. The surplus MRE's are auctioned off to the public. They would have been very helpful this week.

FEMA relies on private contractors who must first submit bids. The bids must then be approved and contracts signed. Only then do the contractors start to procure the goods that are needed.

Emergencies and Bureaucracies do not mix. That fact has become evident this week.
Now just a minute. Outsourcing is good for the military, it's good for America.

Those C-rations were 10 cents a can, MRE's are like $45 each! These companies are entitled to make a profit don't you know.
 
  • #26
Evo
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In reference to Skyhunter's post #23.

What does all that have to do with the funds that have been made available or the topic of this thread?

Again, although Bush made a mistake in diverting funds from the levees, that did not impact what happened in this storm. It will, however, impact *future* progress. Not enough was done in the past that could have helped in this particular instance.

See, this is why you guys lose credibility. If this had been done by someone you "approved" of, you would be gushing and drooling and peeing in your pants over what a great thing this is (referring to the emergency funds). What specifically with cutting through the red tape do you have a problem with? I'm ashamed to be on your side of the fence because you give people a reason to dismiss your arguments because of your blind hatred. (I'm directing this at all of the Bush bashers, learn to pick your battles) If you can't be reasonable in your arguments, your arguments will be dismissed.
 
  • #27
Skyhunter said:
Oh, sorry, I forgot what Bush said, "No one could have imagined the someone would fly an airplane into err, I mean imagine these levees breaking."
I've always figured there are two kinds of stupid people. Those that realize they are less intelligent than everybody else and those that are too stupid to realize this. Bush falls into the latter category. He is one of those mentally challenged individuals who thinks because his limited intelligence could not envisage something then nobody could.
 
  • #28
Evo said:
In reference to Skyhunter's post #23.

What does all that have to do with the funds that have been made available or the topic of this thread?

Again, although Bush made a mistake in diverting funds from the levees, that did not impact what happened in this storm. It will, however, impact *future* progress. Not enough was done in the past that could have helped in this particular instance.

See, this is why you guys lose credibility. If this had been done by someone you "approved" of, you would be gushing and drooling and peeing in your pants over what a great thing this is (referring to the emergency funds). What specifically with cutting through the red tape do you have a problem with? I'm ashamed to be on your side of the fence because you give people a reason to dismiss your arguments because of your blind hatred. (I'm directing this at all of the Bush bashers, learn to pick your battles) If you can't be reasonable in your arguments, your arguments will be dismissed.
Evo you are creating a strawman and then dismissing it. As has been pointed out ad nauseum on another thread people here are not blaming Bush for the disaster per se, it is the government's totally inadequate preparation / response that is coming in for criticism.
 
  • #29
Evo
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Art said:
Evo you are creating a strawman and then dismissing it. As has been pointed out ad nauseum on another thread people here are not blaming Bush for the disaster per se, it is the government's totally inadequate preparation / response that is coming in for criticism.
No, they are specifically citing Bush, that's the problem. I agree the Government as a whole flubbed this and Bush's recent pull of funds has drastically delayed the timeline to have the levees repaired. As I mentioned in another thread, last year there was going to be a study started to evaluate how to protect NO from a category 4 or 5 hurricane, something which had never been done, and thanks to Bush, the study was canceled, we are now delayed an entire year.
 
  • #30
kat
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edward said:
I can only say that when the real America still existed, the military could have had plane loads of c rations on the way to the disaster area in a matter of hours.

During the cold war every military installation had thousands of cartons of C rations (meals in cans) available. We didn't have to wait for orders to come down from FEMA. One quick call from the Pentagon and help was on the way.

The rations are now MRE's and a lot tastier.
However, the military no longer keeps a surplus. The surplus MRE's are auctioned off to the public. They would have been very helpful this week.

FEMA relies on private contractors who must first submit bids. The bids must then be approved and contracts signed. Only then do the contractors start to procure the goods that are needed.

Emergencies and Bureaucracies do not mix. That fact has become evident this week.
I don't know how far back your looking at to find "real america" but I was living in Biloxi when Camille came raging through in '69 and although we did end up with C-Rations..it ceratinly was NOT within a "matter of hours.
 
  • #31
kat
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Evo said:
No, they are specifically citing Bush, that's the problem. I agree the Government as a whole flubbed this and Bush's recent pull of funds has drastically delayed the timeline to have the levees repaired. As I mentioned in another thread, last year there was going to be a study started to evaluate how to protect NO from a category 4 or 5 hurricane, something which had never been done, and thanks to Bush, the study was canceled, we are now delayed an entire year.
What I don't understand is why "the study" existed when a very thorough study was done after the 93 floods which was ...I believe, sent to committee in 1995...although perhaps it just disapeared...I remember there being issues with the approach they wanted to take.
not sure what happened to that...anybody?
 
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  • #32
oldunion
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Charities are socialist in nature. this is an interesting relationship you make. They are, in that people give their work in essence up for public good without the expectation of financial return. However, it is a covoluted system. You have the collective working power of the people, represented by monetary donations, being given to a single organization which is not run collectively by the workers'. Furthermore, the donations are then divided into various enterprises which if not capitalist themselves, they most likely serve such a system: the us military, the red cross for example, and who knows where else.

What i would like to see is if rather than taking everyone's money, which i agree is needed, they should allow people to physically migrate to New Orleans and volunteer their services. I liken it to giving money to someone to fix a problem, or fixing the problem with them/ show them how to fix it; they are not the same scanarios.

Bush is incompetent, we know this. But i don't want this thread to decay into random bush bashing as is always the case.

Imagine if New Orleans was attacked by something far more precise than a hurricane, such as a well organized assault. This country would be stretched to its limits. Most of the army is on the other side of the world, the government is on vacation, the government requires citizen donations because they cannot manage money/ have more deadly things to spend theirs on, allies could never help in time; but most importantly is mobilization. Apart from attack craft and highly mobile units, soldiers would take too long of a time to deploy to repel an attack. We are not at domestic war now, but deployment of national gaurdsmen has taken a sufficiently long time. And if there was an attack, martial law would need to be declared to fight the enemy and control the population.

When in Rome history often repeats itself, infrastructure will be the undoing as it is already undone.
 
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  • #33
russ_watters
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Art said:
Actually they do. It is called the Emergency Reserve Fund and it exists specifically to provide timely financial assistance in response to domestic disasters and emergencies. It requires a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to release money from this fund (also called the rainy day account) :tongue2:
Fair enough - how much is in it?
 
  • #34
vanesch
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oldunion said:
Charities are socialist in nature.

I would claim quite the opposite: it is a purely capitalistic invention, with everything that goes with it. There is the "product" which is "buy a good conscience", there are the resources to make the product (the miserable, who have indeed "good conscience" to sell: you need poor in order to be able to help them and feel good about it), and there is the whole distribution and publicity sector around it, with competition and everything. There is offer (of misery to be relieved) and demand (need to relieve your conscience by giving money). Most of it is based on private initiative. As usual in such a market, you want the best for your buck, so you want to have the highest "good conscience" for the lowest price.

A socialist vision cannot stand charity: after all, the state is supposed to take care of that, taking money by taxes and relieving distress. The state takes then all of the good conscience ; the taxpayer doesn't get the same "good feeling" when he fills in his tax bill than when he decides to send $100,- to tsunami victims. Charity in a socialist vision are seen as a failure of the state.
 
  • #35
Art said:
It would be interesting if it was done the other way around. Tax dollars being spent on good causes at home and wars being fought using only voluntary donations for finance. I suspect there would be a lot fewer wars.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Thanks, Art - that *really* made me laugh! Yes, I agree with you - capitalists wouldn't finance their own wars, would they? Ah, but then the state is not a 'neutral arbiter' operating in the interests of the 'general good': the state is actually the representative of capital. So wars are funded by taxpayers, and relief for natural disasters must also be funded (additionally, as oldunion points out) by *more* taxpayer money. Wickedly sly, isn't it?
 
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