Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Storm Highlights GOP's Wrong Policies
Willard Mitt Romney did not need this to happen right before the election -- for several reasons. First, it brings back the memory of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and how badly that emergency was mishandled by the Bush administration. For days we watched as people died and the government just twiddled their thumbs and drug their feet. We're going to see a much better reaction from the Obama administration to Hurricane Sandy. In fact, he's already met with FEMA and other disaster relief agencies, and lit a fire under them.
Second, this once again highlights just how hard-hearted the Republicans are to any disaster (unless it happens in their own backyard). During a previous disaster, House Minority Leader Eric Cantor tried to block funds for disaster relief -- unless they funds were offset by cuts to programs helping hurting Americans in other areas of the country. Rep, Paul Ryan (the GOP veep nominee) proposed a budget that would not only cut social programs, but substantially cut funds for FEMA and other disaster relief.
And GOP presidential nominee, Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie), has joined his mean-spirited Republican colleagues in demonizing FEMA just because they are a federal program. In debates during the GOP primary, Willard said he wanted to get rid of FEMA, and let the states (or the private sector) take over that function.
This sounds good to some teabagger Republicans, because it means they won't have to pay for disasters happening in other states. But it is short-sighted. It also means the other states won't have to help them when they are the victims of disaster. The truth is that none of us lives in an area safe from all disasters. No matter where you live, disaster will strike someday. It may not be a hurricane -- it could be an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, massive fire, floods, drought, high winds, or numerous other things. But when it happens, you will need help.
Whether we like it or not, we are our brothers' keeper. And the best way we can fulfill that obligation is through federal disaster agencies like FEMA, that can move anywhere in the country at a moments notice to provide help. That also allows the cost of the disaster relief to be spread throughout the country, so that no one section of the country bears a burden it cannot afford. The Republicans, including Willard, are spectacularly wrong on this issue -- and this storm right before the election highlights that fact.
Third, this storm once again shows the danger we are creating for our country and the planet as a whole by refusing to deal with man-made global climate change. While the Democrats have drug their fett in trying to deal sufficiently with this issue, the Republicans have been far worse. They refuse to even admit there is a problem. Willard himself has said we need to cut subsidies for clean and renewable energy (like wind energy) and increase production and use of the climate-damaging fossil fuels (like oil and coal).
Sometimes it takes a disaster to bring people to their senses. Hopefully, this current disaster will cause people to think about the Republican denial of global climate change and their opposition to federal disaster relief -- and vote to kick them out of office until they change their hard-hearted and ridiculous policies.