Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Disaster relief and the American welfare state
First tornadoes, now floods of historic proportions. It would surely not be surprising if President Obama not only visits Mississippi and Louisiana, just as he earlier visited Alabama, but also signs further “disaster relief” and “state of emergency” proclamations. These will serve, among other things, to transfer resources from the national government to the localities and individuals who have suffered losses.
I suppose Rick Perry is happy enough to ask for federal disaster aid for the same reason you and Obama are happy enough to pay taxes at the Bush tax rates even though you are perfectly free to pay more, and have criticized these rates for years. Just because you would support a different policy doesn't mean you are required to unilaterally adopt that policy for yourself. Thus, Obama paid 453K in federal taxes on income of 1.7 million, for an effective rate of 26%. If he was being consistent like you apparently expect Texas to be, he should have paid 39.6% pr $673,000. And yet he didn't. And while I haven't seen your tax returns, I have a funny feeling you paid as little in taxes as legally required despite blogging repeatedly about how scandalously low our tax rates are for the rich. Funny how that works.
Governor Perry never opposed FEMA nor does FEMA providing disaster assistance violate the law or spirit of federalism. Even if Perry opposed spending tax money on FEMA, it is not hypocritical for the Texas governor to seek the FEMA benefits for which Texas paid over Perry's objections.
When a Democratic administration which prides itself in shoveling out government money to the states by the hundreds of billions of dollars shifts course and denies comparatively tiny FEMA requests from three rather popular GOP governors in TX, VA and NJ (two of them potential 2012 challengers), it raises eyebrows.
Of course, this is probably just right wing paranoia. After all, an Administration which perpetrated the "Cornhusker kickback" and the "Louisiana purchase" to enact health insurance legislation and then excuses its union allies and a series of ritzy clubs and restaurants in the Dem House minority leader's district from the law's strictures can surely be trusted to objectively hand out FEMA money.
Perhaps Gov. Perry doesn't oppose FEMA. The question is why not, since it's patently a redistributive program that violates the principle of "rugged independence" and "let the losses fall where they may."
After all, Ron Paul has the intellectual integrity to oppose disaster relief. Is Mr. DePalma a "faint-hearted libertarian" after all, more than happy to take the taxes of hard-working New Yorkers and others when Colorado comes calling?
Is it not time to explain to the people in this country that believe that government is the problem that when they ask for federal relief that it comes from the government and the tax payers. Does it not lead to deeper and deeper deficits? Does it not cry out that to belong to a society you need to support it.....via taxes. I'm sure that many of the senators who this week refused to vote for tax changes to oil companies now want federal aid for their states. Now is the time to shout from the roof tops that without a federal government we can not and will exist.
Hal said...Is it not time to explain to the people in this country that believe that government is the problem that when they ask for federal relief that it comes from the government and the tax payers.
Finding problems with the federal government is a target rich environment. FEMA is one of the few things the government does right - so long as it is not used as a political tool.
The choice is not between anarchy and bloated oppressive progressivism. It is possible to recognize that government only does a few things well and to concentrate on those.
Our yodeler observes:
"FEMA is one of the few things the government does right - so long as it is not used as a political tool."
Yet our yodeler does not follow up with FEMA following Katrina, of course during the Bush/Cheney Administration. Did Bush/Cheney use FEMA as a political tool? Did FEMA do right following Katrina?
Disaster relief is not welfare. Bleeding heart liberals are usually for bleeding other people's wallets, but you're just plain wrong here.
I was just discussing this with my Cardiologist Plano TX the other day and he moved to Texas after Hurricane Katrina decimated his home in New Orleans. And as we all know, FEMA failed there and no one has taken the initiative to truly revamp it as it needs to be. Not a lot of people understand how disaster relief works until disaster strikes them. By then, it's too late.Post a Comment