Payouts are shocking

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2001

I'd like to comment on the article dealing with monetary awards to the families of victims of Sept. 11, which appeared in the Dec. 21 edition of the Empire. I was shocked at the amounts and absolutely livid upon reading that some of the families considered the awards to be too small. Why am I, as a taxpayer, obligated to compensate the survivors of each victim an average of $1.65 million, or any amount at all for that matter? Granted, the awards will be reduced by the value of any insurance policies, but not by money received through charitable contributions. That still leaves you and I to make up the difference. The survivors of a family of four can expect to receive over three million of our tax dollars, according to the article. That's something to think about as you get up to go to work every morning, hoping you can manage to earn enough to cover expenses.

Hundreds if not thousands of Americans die every day in accidents, causing their families loss of income and pain and suffering. Our government (you and I as taxpayers) is no more responsible for those deaths than for those that occurred on Sept. 11. So why are we awarding exorbitant payouts for the latter?

I've never totally agreed with those people who have suggested the United States was responsible for the events of Sept. 11 because of its foreign policy decisions, but isn't that the impression those payouts give? I am puzzled and personally offended by this implied admission of guilt. I'm also disappointed, though not surprised, that none of our representatives in the Congress had the guts to question this extravagant giveaway of our money.

Jim Protz


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