From THE HILL, the DC publication
A Foxx in the luxury world
By Jeff Dufour
One of the most egregious examples of abuse that came to light last year during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was displaced people and other victims spending their government-issued debit cards on Louis Vuitton purses and other luxury goods.
And Rep. Virginia Foxx, the grandmotherly freshman Republican from North Carolina, has had enough. Foxx has introduced an amendment, known as the "Louis Vuitton Amendment," to the homeland-security appropriations bill that would specifically restrict that type of misuse of funds.
It reads, quite simply, "None of the funds made available to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in this act may be used to purchase a Louis Vuitton handbag."
Foxx spokeswoman Amy Auth explained that the language is designed to "highlight the abuse that occurred with the debit cards last year so that it doesn't happen again."
A spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton did not return phone calls. Perhaps she's offended that anyone would pay for one of their bags with a debit card. How déclassé!
An interesting question, from an economics/libertarian perspective: suppose that a destitute person thinks that an LV handbag is THE most important possession of all, and would spend food money to get said bag. Should the state outlaw this? The debit cards were not food vouchers, but rather are simply subsidized cash.
So, is the problem the LV handbags, or the debit cards themselves? Libertarian minds want to know....
(Nod to JP, who rumor has it wears Louis Vuitton boxers)