Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Debit Cards? 

Business Week is reporting the following:
SEP. 7 12:56 P.M. ET The federal government plans to begin doling out debit cards worth $2,000 each to adult victims of Hurricane Katrina, The Associated Press has learned.

Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff descibed the plan in a conference call with state officials Wednesday morning. The unprecedented cash card program initially will benefit stranded people who have been moved to major rescue centers such as the Houston Astrodome.

"They are going to start issuing debit cards, $2,000 per adult, today (Wednesday) at the Astrodome," said Kathy Walt, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
It's an AP piece, sourced to "a state official who was on the call who requested anonymity because the program has not been officially announced."

Hmm. Money straight into the hands of the people who need it. No contractors, no Haliburton....of course no mention of what financial institution is going to be in charge of this or what their rakeoff...er, I mean "service charge" is liable to be. Allowing for such quibbles though, it seems like such a good idea that I can't believe anybody in the Bush administration came up with it.

Which means it's probably a trial balloon. Potential pitfalls, anyone?

UPDATE So why the hell didn't they try this with the Iraqis? Would have been a hell of a lot cheaper!—Lambert

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