Dear Letters Editor:
The December 23 front page article entitled "No room for good cheer in FEMA trailers" proves that government cannot provide charity, nor should it be in the business of providing hand-outs or assistance.
When private citizens aid those in need there are no complaints about petty matters such as a too-small water heater, an oven that can't cook a 13-pound turkey, limited space, etc.
Had the gift of the trailer been a private exchange between giver and hurricane victim, the recipient would have been appreciative of the sacrifice shown by the giver. But when the government provides the assistance there is the belief that the assistance is some form of a right; a right that always falls short of its perceived ideal. A quick glance of the accompanying photo shows a cozy trailer with satellite TV. It certainly appears that life in the trailer beats the alternative; no roof and exposure to the elements.
The problem is that government cannot provide anything, all it can do is use compulsion to force an exchange to occur. The trailer is not a gift from FEMA, neither is it a gift from the President or Congress. The trailer is simply a forced exchange between taxpayer and now-whining hurricane victim, with no one happy and no one showing appreciation.
Had FEMA not been involved, private citizens would have provided for the needs of the hurricane victims. The result: Those housed in trailers would be appreciative and taxpayers wouldn't be left holding the bag as government officials take credit for what they call a gift of their own. To paraphrase Davey Crockett, "It's not their money to give."