Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Republicans Are The Disaster
You have the religious Republicans who claim to believe that God is sending a message that miraculously conforms to their political goals. Although she later said she was only joking, Presidential candidate and Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann (R-MN), claimed that Hurricane Irene was God's message to politicians to cut spending. (Think Progress notes the irony of God using a hurricane for a divine message about cutting government spending considering that the damage it causes is likely going to increase government spending.)
You have the libertarian Republicans who claim that the federal government has no role at all to play in safeguarding its citizens lives, either to help prepare for disasters or provide relief in their aftermath. Ron Paul, another candidate for president, does not see any need for a federal response to Hurricane Irene. As proof he cited the pre-FEMA hurricane of 1900, in Galveston, Texas (which lies within Paul's district). Interesting example. The city of Galveston was destroyed by that hurricane and 6000 people were killed within hours.
Finally, you have the more run-of-the-mill Republicans who see the dire need for disaster relief as an opportunity to gut social programs. Thus, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) insisted that no further funds be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere.
Early assessment of the cost of recovery from Hurricane Irene ranges from $7 to $10 billion. Approximately forty people have died and countless others have lost homes or are without power, water and other necessities. The Republicans don't believe this is the federal government's problem. In essence, they don't believe the federal government should come to the aid of its people in times of great need.
Talk about a disaster.