Jan 13 2010

Divert Stimulus $$’s To Haiti, Pay Americans To Go & Help!

Published by at 7:11 pm under All General Discussions

There is one thing of value to do with the massive amounts of unspent stimulus money stuck in the constipated bowels of the federal bureaucracy – spend it on Haiti. The amount of money we have left unspent on make-busy jobs is astounding.

This first graph shows the amount of funds allocates to each organization (far left columns), how much they have been able to get through the obligation process (mid left columns), how much they have been able to actually spend (mid right columns) and the amount left unspent (far right columns).

This second graph shows the amounts obligated, spent and unspent as a percentage of their total money allocated.

Of the $105 billion allocated to these 6 groups they have spent, over the last 10 months, only $10.5 billion (as of 12/12/09 reporting at recovery.gov). That leaves nearly $95 billion that could be used for Haiti.

This money can go now to move emergency supplies to Haiti. In the days ahead, as the infrastructure stabilizes enough to allow an influx of people to help dig out and rebuild, then the money can be spent razing buildings and rebuilding new ones, fixing the electricity and plumbing, sewage and water. I know a lot of unemployed people with a complete range of skills would probably be honored to come to the aid of the Haitians struggling to survive tonight.

I we are going to go into debt for decades, at least allow us to go into debt for a good cause

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Divert Stimulus $$’s To Haiti, Pay Americans To Go & Help!”

  1. archtop says:

    “I we are going to go into debt for decades, at least allow us to go into debt for a good cause.”

    Excellent idea AJ! I really can’t think of a better use of my tax dollars right now. I pray for the survivors and their families – it’s going to be a tough road ahead for them.

  2. AJ,

    The Obama administration will raid the military O&M account for any money needed for Haiti relief operations.

    Effectively every hour a Blackhawk helicopter flies over Haiti is one taken away from troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  3. WWS says:

    Obama should be on the deck of the first US aircraft carrier to arrive there. Perfect security + full communications, it is easily done. The symbolism would be immense.

    Instead so far he’s just sitting here playing pattycake with Congress, probably because he doesn’t see the Haitians as being able to do anything for him.

    I don’t think this guy has even a remote understanding of what leadership is all about.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJ Strata, Southbay. Southbay said: Divert Stimulus $$'s To Haiti, Pay Americans To Go & Help http://ping.fm/jQOwf […]

  5. Mike M. says:

    Wrong verb tense, Trent. The military is ALREADY dipping into O&M accounts (and everything else) to fund the deployment of several shiploads of men and materiel.

    USS Carl Vinson should arrive sometime today (14 Jan), if I have my estimates right.

    Now, if they were to redirect the porkulus package to refurbish our desperately overworked and worn-out military, THAT would be a good use for the money, and a wise investment in a secure future. People have NO idea just how badly worn out things really are. The “hollow force” of the Carter era would be considered well-equipped by today’s standards.

  6. Mike M.

    What you said!

    I inderstand from e-mails that the US State Dept/Agency for International De velopment has already told the various US State national guard airlift units that no a/c (C-130) on State Active Duty are to fly to Haiti. Only a/c controlled by TRANSCOM on a State authorized mission are allowed in.

    The issue here is one of “Airfield MOG” (MOG – Maximum On Ground). The airport configuration determines how many planes it can handle. Then there are subsets “working MOG,” “Contingency MOG” etc.

    In short, airports can be operated in different ways depending both the damage to the airport and on what the military needs to do. That is determines airport through put.

    There needs to be combat air controllers and tactical tower to replace earthquake damaged facilities at a minimum and I understand from e-mail lists I am on that US Air force air traffic control assets are now managing Haitian airspace.

    Even with that, there are limitations to air movement.

    The problem with an aerial port relief team is all they can do is pile the stuff up at the airport. There needs to be a mechanism to get the stuff out to the country side. That will require helicopters, trucks and engineering equipment to clear/repair roads. Those have to come by sea. It is best to get ships moving with those mobility assets and use airlift as a bandage on the worse of the most reachable areas. Then start moving big volumes by sea.

    Like in the aftermath of the Indonesian Tsunami, vessels off shore can offer havens for first responders without having to build armed camps on shore.

    The real issue is that the US military — via SOUTHCOM — and the State Department are going to have to deal with the security sitation caused by hordes of well meaning but often clueless incoming American NGOs volunteers into an uncertain security environment.

    I am hearing calls by Catholic NGOs in North Texas — via Dallas catholic radio — to parishioners for money & volunteers to assist sister Haitian Catholic parishes.

    Fox News says a US Army brigade combat team (BCT) and USMC Marine expeditionary Brigade (MEB) are alerted, and the supercarrier USS Vinson is en route. The Vinson is picking up helicopters in Jacksonville.

    Tankers from MacDill AFB are going to be refueling C130’s and C-17’s flying to Haiti to avoid the neet to use local earthquake damaged airport infrastructure.

    There will be some impact on the Afghan surge unless money is found from somewhere outside the current Defense budget.

  7. Mike M. says:

    FWIW, the last report I had was that the Vinson was off the Jacksonville coast yesterday evening (got that from Fox News, not classified sources). Great circle distance is 878nm…but you have to dodge the Bahamas and skirt around the northern peninsula. Call it 950 sea miles.

    It’s an emergency with no significant threat aside from running into something, so figure a speed of advance of 30 kts, maybe more. 30 kts works out to 32 hours in transit.

    They’ll arrive sometime this evening, though I would not try docking without daylight. Not sure how deep that harbor is, anyway. Probably start flying cargo ashore around sunset today.