A lot of people who are true Cape Codders are familiar with the destruction that can be caused by natural disasters. One good hurricane can destroy quite a few homes and leave people homeless and devastated. It goes beyond mere inconvenience.
When I was a kid my father took the family on a drive to see the hurricane damage to those houses close to the beach, and I am sure it took a lot more than a few neighbors gathering around a house, grabbing it by the bottom, and with a good “heave ho” returning it to its foundation as electrical and plumbing connections were somehow miraculously re-attached. And I am sure a lot of people did not just move back into their homes after merely brushing themselves off, and mopping up the water on the floor.
We have all seen the pictures of what happened on New Jersey shore and parts of New York when hurricane Sandy hit, and most of us know that to recover from that mess it will take a lot more than a lawn rake and a little red wagon to remove the rubble in order to find a miraculously rebuilt house where the old, ruined one was. Lives have been severely affected by this, and for much longer than just s few days.
When it comes to tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes, anyone who has been there is grateful that the federal government steps in to help with recovery when homes, businesses, and dreams are destroyed. Its almost taken for granted that FEMA and other recovery programs will step in and help us out.
Oh, but wait. There is that “fiscal cliff”, and so far it appears that reasonable people are beginning to see that some of the president's ideas may be the good ones and the Republicans have had to back off from the petulant approach to things and may have to really compromise.
But, of course, they do need to save face.
Last week the White House asked for $60 billion to help rebuild all that damage, and more, that we have seen in the post Sandy pictures and news reports, but some Republicans are threatening to hold up the relief for weeks or months unless it is offset by budget cuts, specifically Representatives Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Steve King of Iowa, Raul Labrador of Idaho, and Jeff Landry of Louisianna, a state that got quite a bit of aid after Katrina with no such reluctance.
Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey called disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy “wasteful spending”. Now that must make Sandy victims in his home state glad he speaks for them.
There seems to be a theme here though. While the conservative wing of the Republican party cut the budget for security of foreign embassies only to complain that there was inadequate security in Benghazi, Rep Issa being a fine example of this, House Republicans cut disaster relief in the budget in a 2011 spending measure and, again, cut it this year to preserve military spending. The GOP also went back on a deal it struck with Democrats to make emergency disaster relief funding easier in the future. Now they want to hold up disater relief because it is not in the budget.
They prevented what they now demand, and are holding Sandy's victims hostage in their bid to win something in the “fiscal cliff” debates.
They need to be slapped and sent to their rooms.