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