Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who is Getting Hammered?

I previously addressed issues with Sheltering Arms Senior Services (SASS), a local outfit that is using taxpayer loot to make private homes more energy efficient. At the time SASS was under fire for performing sub-par work and Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg was whining that SASS officials were not being held accountable. In my post I wrote:
I can only assume that Falkenberg wants SASS to be held accountable to the government officials overseeing the program, and ultimately the taxpayers who are footing the bill. That might sound reasonable--no sensible person wants to see government waste the money it has stolen from the citizenry. 
It now appears that someone might be held "accountable" for the crummy work. Texas Watchdog reports (HT: blogHouston) that the weatherization director for SASS has been canned. Falkenberg might be happy, but I'm not impressed.

Texas Watchdog reports that SASS is the state's second leading recipient of stolen money--$22.3 million--for weatherizing private homes. The Alamo Area Council of Governments in San Antonio is getting $14.5 million, while the city and county of Dallas each are receiving more than $13 million. But the "winner" in the race to fleece taxpayers is the city of Houston, coming in at a cool $23.5 million.

I am sure that a lot of people feel better now that an incompetent manager has been fired. But that won't change the fact that the money being spent by SASS was taken from taxpayers without their consent, for purposes that they may or may not agree with. It doesn't change the fact that many taxpayers will be unable to afford their own weatherization projects because they had money forcibly removed from their wallets so that Granny Smith could have her windows caulked.

If Granny Smith marched over to her neighbor's house with a shotgun and took his money so that she could pay to have her windows caulked, she would rightfully be regarded as a thief. That doesn't change simply because the government does the taking.

It has been reported that SASS spent 60% of its "revenues" on administration for the weatherization program. That money is gone, consumed by parasites sucking the life out of productive, tax paying citizens. If that isn't bad enough, we are being told that this parasitism will "stimulate" the economy. Granny Smith might have gotten her windows caulked, but taxpayers are getting hammered.

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