Making Everyone a Millionaire
1: In a story in the New York Times written by David Barstow. Its estimated that over 1.6 billion dollars have been raised by charity organizations since the attacks on Sept 11th. That money has been raised for victims of that tragic day..But where has all the money gone?
2: I started this speech as a simple exploration into the Red Cross and its Liberty Fund that was established to help victims of the attacks on Sept 11th.
Instead I came across information and countless stories of political blunders, red tape, indecision, and the general chaos that has rocked the charity world since that day.
Not all information I found was bad there were and are some good results coming from those organizations.
In the short time I have Im going to share the financial problems facing our nation following the attacks.
The causes of these problems and hopefully some suggestions for you to follow as you consider donating money.
1:There are countless victims from Sept.11th more then just the dead and injured.
A variety of victims from poor too wealthy.
From small businesses to the entire US economy.
Here is a brief summary of the scope of victims.
EXAMPLE: Maxim Gee. Worked house keeping at hotel by Reagan Airport. Lost job. Looks for new job.No jobs available.
EXAMPLE: Bernadine Healy, The Red Cross President..resigns over the Liberty fund and where money is going.
EXAMPLE: Since Sept 11th the government has officially declared we are in recession. Unstable Stock Market, Rising Unemployment.
In a story from the Washington Post written by Michelle Singletaryshe quotes Ani Hurwitz.
Who is a senior consultant from the New York Community Trust as she comments about ground zero.
As awful as the scene and smell is, you cant help but notice all these tiny storefronts. You know there were people working in those stores and they no longer have a job
2: Also past victims of terrorist attacks are being left out.
An article in the New York Times by Diana B Henriques talks about past victims of terrorist attacks being left out of the new compensation fund.
Oklahoma City Bombing, and the Two American Embassies in Africa
In this article she talks about Edith Bartley whose father and brother were killed in African embassy bombings.
Mrs. Bartley expressed deep sadness for the newly traumatized families of 9/11 but also a growing anger over the vast sums of public relief and private charity now being directed towards those families.
Mrs. Bartley and 10 other families are quietly trying to get 1.5 million for their families.
(Trans)Well Im sure you are saying to yourself 1.5 million?????
Where did they get those numbers?
Well I will try to explain.
1: At the heart of the problem is the compensation Fund
Part of legislation to save the airline industry.
Written up in less then 24 hours
Finalized at 4 a.m. just hours before both the House and Senate passed the measure.
Pressured into law by the Airline industry
Pres. Bush signed Sept 22nd
This measure will cost an estimated 15 billion dollars to taxpayers.
2: This compensation fund will compensate the direct victims of the attacks.
Victims have to waive the right to sue the airlines.
Victims will receive roughly the same amount as a court awardwhich routinely exceed 1 million
The Compensation Fund totally ignores past victims of terrorism and future victims also.
To quote Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. Nobody had an idea of the liability we were assuming for the government.
Are we going to raise 15 billion dollars for every terrorist attack?
This bill is clearly a result of politicians not considering the results of their good intentions.
Where do we stop? And how much do we pay?
LETS TALK ABOUT MONEY
Besides the 1.5 million for each family from the compensation fund
Twin towers fund set up by Giuliani..Over 70 million no clear guidelines.
9 universities offer college scholarships to the children of fallen firemen and policemen
Surviving spouses of police and firefighters will receive a lifetime tax-free pension equal to a victims last annual salary. Plus health insurance.
State funds; $400 a week for life of spouse
From state crime victims fund $30,000.
Red Cross pays a one time $30,000 payment
A Federal program pays family of first responder a lump sum of 151,635
Anyway you add that up.huge amounts of money are going primarily towards Policemen and Firemen.
I dont know about you but thats a lot of money being made available to a limited few people.
1: Yes I agree that this was a terrible incident. But lets look at the problems caused by the poor legislation by our government.
Victims are getting treated differently, some get immediate results others wade through red tape.
Huge funds are being added to assistance money that was already in place.
Our nation continues to give money to the popular charities.
Some people are becoming millionaires while others get nothing.
People and companies are profiting from the events of that day. Selling and promoting products with slogans about being patriotic and donating a certain percentage to a certain fund.
2: I was one of those people that shed tears over Sept 11th.
I even donated the proceeds from my garage sale to the Red Cross.
If I had known then what I know nowI would not have given my money to the Red Cross
3: So what can we do??????
I say stop giving to the charities that want to raise money for 9-11
Instead give to local charities and try to follow these basic guidelines I found in an article by the New York Times.
1: Be cautious about donating to disaster victims featured in the news. In past disasters, some highly publicized victims have been flooded with gifts while others in need have been neglected.
2: If you want to designate your contribution, consider targeting families with limited financial resources. Or people who may not be eligible for state or federal benefits.
3:Consider giving to groups that protect the safety and civil rights of Arab Americans and Muslim Americans.
4: Pace your giving. Its not uncommon for donors to become burned out and unwilling to give more if another major crisis occurs.
5: Make a contribution in honor of the victims. To another charity that is not involved with the attacks. As these charities are likely to experience a serious drop in contributions.
This is a war in which Vice President Cheney on the TV show Face the Nation has stated
unfortunately more citizens will die here in America then troops will in combat.
We are in for more deaths here so lets do the right thing.
Act now and donate locally
Michelle Singletary (Oct 10 Washington Post) Multiple Levels of Victims and of help.
Diana B Henriques ( Oct 2nd The New York Times) Fund for Victims Families Already Proves Sore Point
David Barstow (Oct 15th The New York Times) Money for the Masses?
(Oct 12th The New York Times) An Outpouring of Dollars
www. washingtonpost.com/articles/Nov14th Red Cross Accelerates Relief Efforts
www. redcross.org/news/donationwork/html Your Donations at work
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