Why Don’t Politicians Want to Pay for Disaster Relief?

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Bogger


It is a big deal when you read that New York City is shutting down their transit system and ordering evacuations due to the impending hurricane that is making its way up the Eastern coast.  It also concerned me because my daughter is now in NYC and is unable to get out before Monday.  I can only imagine the devastation that will occur all the way from the Carolinas up to the Northeast due to Hurricane Irene.   When you read the stories and see the pictures of the havoc and sometimes death that is the result of these kind of natural disasters, it is hard to understand why some politicians are clamoring that the government should not pay for relief unless there are corresponding spending cuts!  Congressman and Republican candidate for the Presidential nomination, Dr. Ron Paul goes even further and states that the government should not respond at all to these disasters.

“Taking his anti-government ideology to its logical extreme, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told NBC News’ Jo Ling Kent today that there should be no national response to Hurricane Irene, and that government responses should revert back to how they were over 100 years ago. “We should be like 1900, we should be like 1940 1950 1960,” he said. “I live on the gulf coast, we deal with hurricanes all the time.” Of course, the Gulf Coast sometimes deals with them less well thanks to a botched national response. Paul, who has called for abolishing FEMA, dismissed the organization because it is “a great contribution to deficit financing.”   Think Progress   Rep. Paul wants the United States of America to go back to the turn of the 20th Century when it comes to disaster relief.  Maybe he would prefer we go back to the year 1900 in our scientific knowledge or our technological advances too?

Rep. Paul’s fellow Congressman, Rep. Eric Cantor would only agree to government aid if the aid was followed by spending cuts of equal amounts!  “Cantor raised some eyebrows on Wednesday when, in the aftermath of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the East Coast and originated in his district, he said Congress will help those hurt by the earthquake but will require finding offsets for any federal aid.  “When there’s a disaster there’s an appropriate federal role and we will find the monies,” Cantor said during a news conference in Mineral, Va. “But we’ve had discussions about these things before and those monies will be offset with appropriate savings or cost-cutting elsewhere in order to meet the priority of the federal government’s role in a situation like this.”  Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring on Friday declined to say where Republicans would look to make cuts to pay for a potential storm aid package.”  Huffington Post  Let me make a guess that Rep. Cantor is not thinking of raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for disaster relief!

As the linked Huffington Post article suggests, not all of Rep. Paul’s and Rep. Cantor’s fellow Republicans agree with the “no government” response or tying aid to spending cuts.  “As East Coasters brace for what some say will be a historic pummel by Hurricane Irene, at least one lawmaker is fuming over a requirement by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that any potential emergency disaster aid be offset by spending cuts.  “It is sinful to require us to cut somewhere … in order to provide emergency disaster assistance for American citizens,” Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) told The Huffington Post on Friday.  The Louisiana Democrat pointed out that this weekend is the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated his district and cost the federal government more than $100 billion. That recovery effort would have been delayed “by years” if Congress had required the same kind of spending cuts to offset aid, he said.”

I want to make it clear that the gentlemen who have come out against any government response at all or for paying for that response with spending cuts elsewhere are not wild-eyed radical terrorists, but leaders of their Party.   If I read these quotes correctly, Rep. Paul is telling current and future victims of any large multi-state disaster that you are on your own if Hurricane Irene destroys your town and home.   Rep. Cantor seems to be telling victims that they may get help, but only if Congress can agree on additional spending cuts to offset the wild spending spree that disaster relief is alleged to be.  Dr. Paul is on record of being a Christian and that the United States is a Christian country, but he does not think the Christian nation should help those in need after a natural and multi-state disaster.  Lew Rockwell.com  What would Jesus think?

With all of this self–reliance being demanded by Ron Paul and Eric Cantor and others, and the claim that we are a Judeo-Christian nation, you would think that disaster relief would be a high priority.  Why is it that politicians on both sides of the aisle preach self-reliance and Judeo-Christian values when it comes to Main Street, but Wall Street conglomerates and Big Oil and the extremely wealthy need and deserve Billions in tax give aways?  I have never been good at math, but something doesn’t add up here.

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

44 thoughts on “Why Don’t Politicians Want to Pay for Disaster Relief?”

  1. These guys want everyone to believe that government is a failure and can’t do anything for anyone. In order to make everyone believe that they have to use every opportunity to force the government to fail.

    Look what a great job FEMA did after Andrew. If functioned perfectly and helped millions of people in South Florida get their lives back together. If you believe government is not the solution but the problem you can’t have that. So you go out & find a political flunky with no experience or ability, say a lawyer who worked the horse show circuit. You end up with the response after Katrina. You get to prove that the government is incompetent.

    Its the only way carp like Cantor and his kind can win.

  2. The lack of concern for victims of hurricanes has nothing to do with “libertarianism”.

    It has everything to do with who the victims are: the people who actually pay taxes. The US government has reverse socialism, a warped redistribution of wealth: the poor and working class pay to support the rich.

    If you disagree, ask yourself why corporations get bailed out after sinking their own boats while working stiffs get stiffed.

  3. Besides being digusted, I’m wondering if federal aid was given to Joplin and Alabama after the hammering they took from tornados. Anybody know?

  4. Louisiana Congressman: GOP ‘Sinful’ To Tie Disaster Aid To Spending Cuts

    First Posted: 8/26/11 08:05 PM ET Updated: 8/26/11 09:09 PM ET

    “WASHINGTON — As East Coasters brace for what some say will be a historic pummel by Hurricane Irene, at least one lawmaker is fuming over a requirement by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that any potential emergency disaster aid be offset by spending cuts.

    “It is sinful to require us to cut somewhere … in order to provide emergency disaster assistance for American citizens,” Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) told The Huffington Post on Friday.”


  5. You know what I find interesting about the Repubs and their just say no to everything and taking the country down to places we have never been politically and financially.

    Suppose Obama is not re-elected and they get A Republican in the White House but lose their majority in the House and not gain anything in the Senate,who ever their nominee is will have one heck of a situation on their hands,you think Obama had it bad.Look out.

  6. Interesting post on Daily Kos regarding exactly what Eric Cantor and his henchmen may have in mind regarding hurricane relief:

    “….Republicans are ready to abandon that American tradition of generosity for the victims of disasters, just to insure the Federal Government doesn’t boost its net spending stimulating the economy before the 2012 election….”

    If there is hurricane relief, it may end up making the President look good and they can’t have that.

    Full article here:


  7. AY:

    A lot of people don’t realize what their home owners policies cover until they need them.Been there felt that.

  8. Rafflaw,

    It is so simple, if you want something preserved buy insurance…But then if you buy insurance…you might have to sue em to make them pay….I see state farm did not pay Lotts claim either….Kind of an ironic name….but he did win eventually….

    Ron Paul is out of touch with reality on this issue…He is one for less government…But speaks his truth….Although I disagree with him…at least you know where he stands…

    Sen. Trent Lott Sues State Farm over Katrina Damage

    Like thousands of other homeowners, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) lost his home when Hurricane Katrina roared ashore. And like thousands of his constituents, Lott has not been able to get his insurer to pay for replacing his house.
    So, like thousands of his constituents, Lott has sued his insurer, State Farm, which has stonewalled Lott and other South Mississippians who lost their homes on the grounds that their homeowners policies do not cover flood damage.

    Home insurance typically does not cover floods but the homeless Mississippians contend that it was wind and wind-driven water that destroyed their homes. Wind damage is covered by homeowners policies.

    Lott’s suit adds powerful political muscle to the dispute. The state’s attorney general, Jim Hood, sued five large insurers in September seeking to override the exclusions and there are numerous individual and class-action lawsuits pending in the courts.


  9. Ron Paul
    FRIDAY, AUG 26, 2011 18:15 ET
    Ron Paul on hurricane response: “We should be like 1900

    “Paul doesn’t support FEMA because of “moral hazard.” The fact that people will receive help should a natural disaster strike encourages people to live where natural disaster happen. (Like “North America.”) Paul is mostly talking about the National Flood Insurance Program, which definitely has glaring flaws as public policy, but abolishing the federal agency in charge of responding to natural disasters instead of fixing the problems with one program that agency oversees seems like overkill.

    It’s very old news that Ron Paul thinks we should abolish FEMA, it’s just rare that you hear anyone say we should go back to the good old days of disaster response and management. “We should be like 1900″ is a very illuminating statement.”


    Been raining since noon here in Jersey the worse is to come after 5pm they say into Sunday afternoon rain that is,ground already being wet they feel some trees will just collapse.

    And for the most part if you are not where you should be by now you may be out of luck if you depend on public transportation.

  10. I’m sure one, if not all, of these is applicable:

    Ghandi’s 7 Deadly Social Sins :

    Politics without principles

    Wealth without work

    Commerce without morality

    Pleasure without conscience

    Education without character

    Science without humanity

    Worship without sacrifice

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