With major hurricane looming, is federal aid in doubt?

storm

Hurricane Irene, now a Category 3 storm, is headed up the Eastern Seaboard, threatening considerable damage and loss of life.

As the Weather Channel puts it, “this is a particularly threatening situation … computer models are currently trending toward a forecast solution of rare potency for portions of the Northeast. … Irene has the potential to be a serious and multi-hazard threat for the major metropolitan areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This includes Norfolk, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, and Boston.”

At this stage, Irene is predicted to still be a Category 2 storm, with winds of 100 mph, by the time it hits the Washington, D.C. area sometime Sunday morning. A storm that big, hitting a handful of the nation’s densest urban areas almost simultaneously in a region not conditioned to hurricanes, has the potential to be a major disaster, requiring a full-out response by local, state and federal officials.

Or, maybe not.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, for example, has consistently argued that any appropriation for emergency relief must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. With a major hurricane headed Virginia’s way, his office confirms has already announced that remains his position. And as we all already know, raising taxes to make the spending revenue-neutral won’t be an option either.

That approach is consistent with what Mitt Romney said back in June, in a GOP debate held shortly after tornadoes had destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri.

In a response to a question from John King, Romney said he would oppose federal disaster aid that would increase the deficit, proposing instead to leave that duty to the states. Given the chance by King to back off that position regarding relief operations in a major natural disaster, Romney refused, reiterating that we simply can’t afford it:

We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

There is, I suppose, a certain consistency in that position. As the argument goes, the words “hurricane”, “disaster” and even “storm” appear nowhere in the Constitution. In fact, under the conservative, states’ rights interpretation of the 10th Amendment so favored by Cantor, Rick Perry and others, it might even be unconstitutional for the federal government to respond to such a disaster.

While liberals might try to cite language in the Constitution that gives Congress the power to “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States,” conservatives have made it pretty clear that the provision in question doesn’t apply in such matters.

As the Heritage Foundation helpfully explains in its guide to the Constitution prepared for members of Congress, “spending under the clause (must) be for the ‘general’ (that is, national) welfare and not for purely local or regional benefit.”

It goes on to quote James Madison to that same effect, arguing that congressional spending power is limited “to purposes of common defence, and of general, national, not local, or state, benefit.” It further notes that “the Fourth Congress did not believe it had the power to provide relief to the citizens of Savannah, Georgia, after a devastating fire destroyed the entire city.”

In this case, Hurricane Irene is projected to wreak havoc from North Carolina all the way north through Virginia and Maryland and on up into Massachusetts. While that comprises most, but not all, of the 13 original colonies, it doesn’t affect states such as California, Oregon, Iowa and even Georgia, not to mention Hawaii and Alaska.

In other words, sorry Eastern Seaboard. You’re on your own. Let us know how it all turns out for you.

– Jay Bookman

NOTE: This post has been edited slightly since the orginal posting.

354 comments Add your comment

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2011
4:09 pm

What a lovely and caring man Eric Cantor is!

It would be truly sad and ironic if Irene ripped Virginia a great big new one…..

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
4:12 pm

I sincerely hope that Virginia is not seriously affected by this hurricane, and if it is, I hope that Cantor finds it within himself to do the right thing for all victims of the storm, not just his own consituents.

He may have a change of heart if *his own* constituents start beating on his door and asking for help.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
4:13 pm

I agree with Cantor and Romney, and while they’re at it; they should pull the plug on the TSA and Department of Homeland Security, and require the airlines and “states” fund airport security checkpoints, and “emergency management” tasks.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
4:14 pm

“Compassionate conservativism” in its “finest” hour

Aquagirl

August 25th, 2011
4:15 pm

If there is a god, he’ll send that hurricane straight up the Potomac.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
4:17 pm

c’mon, we all know the recent earthquake and now the hurricane is god’s message to NYC (State) re: same sex marriage.

Stonethrower

August 25th, 2011
4:18 pm

What is insurance for? But if disater happens, who is going to bail out the insurance companies? United States of Corporate America.

Midori

August 25th, 2011
4:21 pm

My daughter lives in Newport News, my eldest granddaughter attends college in Washington, DC, and most of my siblings and other grandkids still reside in both Portsmouth, Newport News and Norfolk Virginia.

:(

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
4:21 pm

Considering the depth of Statist beliefs demonstrated here daily, there may be some who have a really hard time as the Nation moves to Federalisim as the founders intended.

godless heathen

August 25th, 2011
4:21 pm

Sounds right to me. The Washington DC / North Virginia area has a lot of very wealthy people – government workers and lobbiests (sp?). Bailing them out of the mess would only be welfare for the rich.

1811/0311

August 25th, 2011
4:22 pm

If the federal government didn’t rob the states so much they might have the money to take care of this on their own.

Leave it to Jay to make a natural disaster political. That puts you in the same catergory as Pat Roberson.

Hey, I have a great idea. Every hurricane should be Democrat or Republican on a rotating basis.

There, that solves the problem. Whatevere damage is done it’s that party’s fault !

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
4:22 pm

Aquagirl — “If there is a god, he’ll send that hurricane straight up the Potomac.”

My atheism notwithstanding, I think it’s pretty uncool to wish misfortune on anyone, even people you don’t like.

Talking Head

August 25th, 2011
4:24 pm

if DC shuts down our deficit will actually shrink, debt will go down, and unemployment will go down!

Schrodingers cat

August 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

Let’s wait and see what happens and what actions follow before we pass judgment…talk is cheap

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

“If there is a god, he’ll send that hurricane straight up the Potomac.”

I don’t think I would like your God very much, if at all

md

August 25th, 2011
4:27 pm

“Irene is predicted to still be a Category 2 storm, with winds of 100 mph, by the time it hits the Washington, D.C. area sometime Sunday morning.”

Hmmm……earthquakes and hurricanes hitting DC in the same month……….somebody sending a message??

md

August 25th, 2011
4:30 pm

And let’s add a bit of context to the out of context quote above:

“ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…

KING: Including disaster relief, though?

ROMNEY: We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all. ”

Finishing his thought? or responding to the interruption?

You decide……………seems Jay already has…………..

Mr. Snarky

August 25th, 2011
4:31 pm

“Leave it to Jay to make a natural disaster political. That puts you in the same catergory as Pat Roberson.”

No…Pat made it religious/moral. Natural disasters aren’t political, but how we respond to them is. Those who think the Feds should ignore people’s suffering are implementing a policy. Most people don’t agree with this, so those in favor of not funding disaster relief don’t like it when we point this out.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
4:32 pm

“Finishing his thought? or responding to the interruption?”

Reads the same way, either way.

josef

August 25th, 2011
4:32 pm

Who wants to bet that if this sucker strikes NYC there’ll be NO repeat of Katrina delayed response…
Hopefully, though, it won’t go there…I don’t wish this on my worst enemy…for real… :-)

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 25th, 2011
4:34 pm

Well, it’s their own danged fault for living in a area that has hurricanes. I say let them swim or drown. I ain’t their Daddy and my taxes shouldn’t be used to bail them out. We already done that in New Orleans and all we got here in GA was a influx of the scum of the earth. They’ll steal your tires while you’re driving the car.

Besides, those people up there must of sinned something awful to have a hurricane sent thir way. It’s what they get for harboring the Gays, the Fornicators, and the Adulterers. Even old Newt had sense enough to move away from there after his third affair.

I’ll be watching Fox News to see how bad the houses are tore up and the places are flooded. Just for curiosity, mind you. But I’m going to be mighty upset if I hear the words “federal aid” during the broadcast. It’s a jungle out there, and we all ought to be on our own. It’s the way the Lord intended it. When he drove Adam and Eve out for sinning, he never hovered around to help them out. Old Adam worked his butt off with sweat running down in his eyes, and just like a woman, Eve laid around and whined about the way things use to be.

That’s my opinion and it’s very true. Be safe on the way home today. That is, unless you’re one of the people that don’t like me. In which case feel free to drive into one of those huge metal power poles.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
4:34 pm

“Natural disasters aren’t political, but how we respond to them is.”

As someone (don’t know who) said: crop failures are natural. Famines are political

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
4:34 pm

Why Jay, you dont think that the rules will change if Cantor’s district get’s hit by this right after the earthquake? I bet we see some more hypocrisy by the right but we already know that no one holds them accountable.

Peadawg

August 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

I agree. Cut necessary spending somewhere else so we can afford to help those who are affected by the hurricane. Seems simple enough to me….

Matthew

August 25th, 2011
4:37 pm

Typical Libs – The hurricane hasn’t even hit and they are already waiting for a handout……………..

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
4:37 pm

Pea, why we agree. Let’s cut out oil subsidies so disaster relief can be paid for.

md

August 25th, 2011
4:38 pm

“Reads the same way, either way.”

No….it doesn’t.

If he was finishing his thought, he was not responding to the question of disaster relief as Jay would have us believe…………

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
4:38 pm

Mathew must be delusional after suffering weasel attacks….

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
4:40 pm

md.. Cantor’s district was the epicenter of the earthquake… You might ask who the message is being sent to.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
4:40 pm

Sure, md, let’s give it the full context.

For example, let’s include King’s introduction to Romney, so we all understand exactly what Romney is responding to:

“KING: Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction….

So yes, he absolutely WAS responding to the question of disaster relief.

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
4:41 pm

Matthew — “Typical Libs – The hurricane hasn’t even hit and they are already waiting for a handout……………”

Nobody’s asked for one. Cantor’s simply made it plain that he won’t even consider emergency appropriations for hurricane disaster relief unless there are offsetting cuts to the budget. Did you even read Jay’s post?

Peadawg

August 25th, 2011
4:44 pm

My 4:36 should be:

Cut UNnecessary spending somewhere else…

Oops!

md

August 25th, 2011
4:44 pm

And where Jay, is Romney consistent with cantor in saying the feds shouldn’t pay unless the money is cut elsewhere??

There is a mighty big difference is saying the States may be better suited to handle the disasters vs saying one is going to withhold funding…………

Jay

August 25th, 2011
4:47 pm

md, they’re both saying the federal government can’t afford disaster relief as it has in the past.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
4:47 pm

“Cut UNnecessary spending somewhere else…

Oops!”

Freudian slips are a bitch, aren’t they?

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
4:49 pm

md — “the States may be better suited to handle the disasters”

I recognize that this is a philosophical position on Romney’s part, but IMO it’s pure hogwash. A smaller, less capitalized entity is BY DEFINITION less able to handle disasters than a larger, more capitalized one is; it’s the same principle behind risk pools in insurance.

I think Romney’s saying that he feels its more *appropriate* for states to handle disasters, not that states are better-suited. In any event, an argument that states could do a better job is completely off the deep end, IMO.

kitty

August 25th, 2011
4:50 pm

Oh, puleeze, it hits Cantor’s district and he will be there with his hand out…just wait.

md

August 25th, 2011
4:50 pm

“md, they’re both saying the federal government can’t afford disaster relief as it has in the past.”

Well………we can’t.

But that isn’t the same as saying Cantor wants to withhold funding and Romney is consistent with that…….

Totally different premise………….

MightyRighty

August 25th, 2011
4:51 pm

When the piggy bank is empty you must stop spending. If liberals really cared about disasters, they would not have spent all of the money on nonsensical needles junk for the sole purpose of buying votes. This administration actually borrowed money from China to pay interest on money we had previously borrowed from China. Think about it. We borrowed money to pay interest on money we already borrowed. This is loan shark economics with no provision for future emergencies. No way to repay the money. We pat ourselves on the back for our caring generosity with our childrens money. Poppycock! We are no better than thieves. It is beyoned all reasonable comprehension that there is one person let alone many who think this is smart rconomic policy. A pox on us all.

carlosgvv

August 25th, 2011
4:52 pm

It all depends on which Congressional districts are hit and how much they are damaged. When push comes to shove, those powerful politicians will do anything to keep getting the votes and keeping their seats in the House.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
4:55 pm

Cantor’s a 100% USDA Grade A Ass. Anybody else who thinks as he does receives the same seal as he does. Case closed.

If you choose to put politics above the suffering of your own citizens, you deserve to rot in hell.

md

August 25th, 2011
4:56 pm

“In any event, an argument that states could do a better job is completely off the deep end, IMO.”

And I respect that opinion……..but don’t necessarily agree with it. I’d say States know themselves better than the feds ever will…………..there is something to be said for the locals knowing the territory so to speak…….and knowing the locals.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
4:57 pm

For the record, Cantor’s press office just sent me a note. It says, in part:

“Eric made no such announcement about what the House can or cannot do with regard to disaster assistance. The only thing he has consistently said is that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset. He has never made any comments regarding the upcoming hurricane or its anticipated damage.”

Here’s how they responded to an inquiry from Talking Points Memo, regarding potential hurricane relief:

“We aren’t going to speculate on damage before it happens, period,” his spokesperson Laena Fallon emails. “But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.”

I have requested a clarification, because it seems to me that he is continuing to say that if relief is necessary, the funds will have to be offset. I asked:

“Again, should relief be necessary, will Mr. Cantor require offsets? It’s a yes or no question.”

Will update on the response.

Joel Edge

August 25th, 2011
4:57 pm

Never let a good crisis go to waste, Jay.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
4:57 pm

I can just see the campaign ads now: Just LOOK at how much money we saved by not helping out our neighbors in a time of disaster.

Nothing gets votes like putting money before lives.

Logical Dude

August 25th, 2011
4:59 pm

I bet once all of their offices in DC are flooded, they’ll change their minds.

josef

August 25th, 2011
4:59 pm

P*ss Pot Pretender…

Ga-you-la u-wo-h-la!!! Duk-sha-nee go-la-gi-ni-ge-sv-na ni-go-la-gv-na! :-)

md

August 25th, 2011
5:00 pm

And there IS a difference between should and will be…………………………

If the borrowing continues, the borrowing will be the disaster……………then who pays??

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

Will we have to start demanding offsetting cuts if the Coast Guard has to rescue people? Cantor’s an ass, and if I had the chance, I’d tell him to his face. If I have to go to VA/DC/NYC to help save people and/or property, I’m not worried about cost when lives are on the line. Only a d**k would think like that. Maybe Cantor needs to take of the coat and tie and jump his ass into the line of fire for a year or two.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

Are they going to hold the lives and safety of people in danger hostage for spending cuts?

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

Righty — “When the piggy bank is empty you must stop spending. If liberals really cared about disasters, they would not have spent all of the money on nonsensical needles junk for the sole purpose of buying votes. This administration actually borrowed money from China to pay interest on money we had previously borrowed from China. Think about it. We borrowed money to pay interest on money we already borrowed.”

Maybe YOU should think about it. Every year we were in Iraq during the Bush Administration, our adventure was funded with an Emergency Supplemental Spending Measure. You ever stop to think that maybe this ‘make cuts elsewhere in the budget or else we can’t afford this new spending’ notion might have applied to THAT as well? It’s not like we weren’t in a deficit situation then — we ALREADY WERE, and President Bush added ~$5 trillion to it. Where was the Republican distaste for deficit spending THEN?

A TENTH of what we spent in ONE YEAR on Iraq would have made a huge difference in New Orleans — and there’d probably be money left over for additional hurricane relief after that. But no, borrowing from the Chinese to fund a war of choice is GOOD, while borrowing from the Chinese to help out your countrymen and neighbors up in the Mid-Atlantic is BAD.

Glad you clarified that for us. It’s bullspit reasoning and arguments like that that make me think it will be a long, long time before I ever pull the lever for a Republican candidate again.

carlosgvv

August 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

Could this hurricane turn out to be a blessing in disguise? If there is major damage and Cantor and his Tea Party goons actually hold up relief money for political reasons, maybe the voters who put them in power will finally wise up and vote them out as soon as possible. We can always hope.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
5:02 pm

Well, md, if that’s the distinction they’re trying to make, it’s interesting in its own right. It suggests the position changes a bit when the storm literally hits you where you live.

But we’ll see.

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:03 pm

md — “And I respect that opinion……..but don’t necessarily agree with it. I’d say States know themselves better than the feds ever will…………..there is something to be said for the locals knowing the territory so to speak…….and knowing the locals.”

I didn’t speak to the notion of knowing the territory. I spoke to the notion of being financially able to bear up under a disaster. A bigger pool of resources (people, equipment and money) will do a better job every time.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
5:03 pm

I have a good friend who is an officer in the USN, stationed in Newport News. guess how the U.S. Navy deals with hurricanes? it evacuates; puts the fleet out to sea. well, you think they just get all the fuel and provisions for free? this wasn’t budgeted. I’m surprised Cantor didn’t call Visa and report the Navy’s credit card stolen?

MightyRighty

August 25th, 2011
5:03 pm

A jobs program is coming up the east coast right now. Obama has billions left over from the stimulous and from TARP. These are shovel ready jobs! Come on Obama, quit holding out. Divert Green job money which neither produces jobs nor energy savings. Obama took 500 billion from medicare. Use that money. Use all of the Obamacare savings to rebuild. I guaranty you the looters are ready, I don’t know why Obama isn’t.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
5:03 pm

If they saw someone drowning, would they only save him if he agreed to cut is expenses first?

Jay

August 25th, 2011
5:05 pm

I suspect that’s what we’re already seeing, Carlos, a conflict between nice and tidy theoretical political positions and positions that directly affect the people in your district.

1811/0311

August 25th, 2011
5:05 pm

Hurricane “Jay” is next.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
5:06 pm

doggone, whose district is this man from?

Message from Matti

August 25th, 2011
5:06 pm

The response to the storm six years ago forever shattered by belief system about what it means to be an American. People often refer to the events ten years ago as the day that changed everything, and that’s true, but what truly shook me to the core was the awful things that happened — and the things people said and did — before, during, and after Katrina. There’s more than enough blame to go around (for those who want to pin it on one group to make a fallacious point that somehow they are above it), and the ripples are still being felt.

I wish I could have taught my children what I grew up believing in, but… I don’t think utter bee-ess is conducive to their well-being and futures. The truth hurts, but it is what it is.

Aquagirl

August 25th, 2011
5:07 pm

My atheism notwithstanding, I think it’s pretty uncool to wish misfortune on anyone, even people you don’t like.

True, sorry for the intemperate remark. If it’s gotta make landfall, better that it goes somewhere with less population density. But unfortunately empathy does not occur spontaneously in people like Mr. Cantor. Unless he gets a personal lesson, he’ll continue to throw others to the wolves. Oh, who am I kidding…Eric Cantor would still create a special category for himself as a “deserving victim” and continue to place everyone else in the handbasket to hell. Never mind.

md

August 25th, 2011
5:07 pm

“I’m not worried about cost when lives are on the line. Only a d**k would think like that”

Well…….then i may be a d**k.

And I’m thinking longer term here, not this potential disaster, but who makes the decision to spend us past the breaking point?? And history shows that there is a breaking point (USSR). How many more suffer vs spending the money??

Hypothetical in the line of sacrificing a few for the benefit of the many……………..

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
5:07 pm

“doggone, whose district is this man from?”

I have no idea

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:08 pm

Joe — “well, you think they just get all the fuel and provisions for free? this wasn’t budgeted. I’m surprised Cantor didn’t call Visa and report the Navy’s credit card stolen?”

That’s actually a pretty good point, but I suspect that Naval leadership plans and budgets for things like that. I imagine they also have a pretty good disaster preparedness plan for any military facility that stands to be affected by natural disasters. The Kingsland sub facility (down in coastal GA) was probably pretty close to activating their disaster plan earlier this week.

IIRC, aircraft were moved out of their bases in southern LA and MS before Katrina hit; sending the Second Fleet out to sea ahead of Irene would be no different IMO.

MightyRighty

August 25th, 2011
5:09 pm

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
5:03 pm
If the Navy runs out of money, that would be an administration problem. Ships without enough money to go to sea? What if they were attacked? Oh gee, we don’t have the money to defend ourselves. Why, because we spent it to move GE jobs to China. These are administration problems.

Logical Dude

August 25th, 2011
5:09 pm

You guys see a disaster, I see jobs in rebuilding infrastructure, housing, and . . .

Huh? yeah, yeah, I know. There will be death and destruction because it’s a major storm.

Ray of light at the edge of the cloud? Anyone?

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:11 pm

“sorry Eastern Seaboard. You’re on your own.”

Not true, false assertion and false choice.

Assuming they get hit, this could be a multi-hundred billion dollar problem. It needs to be fixed. But we can’t just make hundreds of billions rain from the sky constantly. Meaning, ok, we need to help fix the NE. But we will need to cut spending elsewhere.

99 Week jobless benefits and wasteful Medicare spending anyone?

Jay

August 25th, 2011
5:11 pm

well, dog, you can’t expect a decision on the quandary you posed until we have that information.

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:12 pm

Logical Dude — “I see jobs in rebuilding infrastructure, housing, and . . .”

D00d, we’ve got a massive oversupply of housing right now. Maybe that’s why Cantor doesn’t want to budget for disaster relief; so nature’s bulldozer can tear some of it down and sweep it away over the next few days.

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:13 pm

jm — “99 Week jobless benefits and wasteful Medicare spending anyone?”

Agricultural support payments and commodity price supports for large ag and petroleum corporations anyone?

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
5:13 pm

“well, dog, you can’t expect a decision on the quandary you posed until we have that information”

The way I see it, rhetorical questions don’t require an answer

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:14 pm

It is no doubt true that regions with local disasters have gotten addicted to federal bailout spending. Some is justified and intelligent. Blank checks are not.

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:14 pm

Joe Mama 5:13 – sign me up for those too

Jay

August 25th, 2011
5:14 pm

“Assuming they get hit, this could be a multi-hundred billion dollar problem. It needs to be fixed. But we can’t just make hundreds of billions rain from the sky constantly. Meaning, ok, we need to help fix the NE. But we will need to cut spending elsewhere.

99 Week jobless benefits and wasteful Medicare spending anyone?”

Abolishing subsidies for oil companies and tax breaks for hedge fund managers, anyone?

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
5:15 pm

Joe Mama, I was being facetious. Of course the DoD has emergency management plans; but I doubt they “budget” and as Stuart Smalley used to say; “…that’s OK…” of course, the Federal government also plans/bugets for Emergency Management scenarios. in fact, the federal agency tasked with managing emergencies is, I believe known as FEMA. does not FEMA have a “budget”? would Cantor be as arrogant and petulant, were we “warned” of a 9/11 type attack? was in a member of Congress in 2001? I don’t remember him clutching his billfold and advising the first responders at the Pentagon; “…don’t do anything until we are certain there will be an “offset”?

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:15 pm

“Abolishing subsidies for oil companies and tax breaks for hedge fund managers, anyone?”

I’m game. Good, while we’re at it, we can clean up the whole corporate tax code and lower the corporate rate.

Logical Dude

August 25th, 2011
5:15 pm

md asks: but who makes the decision to spend us past the breaking point??

Look in the mirror.

But not just you md, ALL of you.

All of US.

We want our low taxes. We want our benefits. We want our wars without paying for them. We want we want we want.

But evidently we don’t want to do what makes it better, to be able to have the funds for disaster relief. We don’t want to raise taxes.
We don’t want to cut benefits.
We don’t want to cut defense.

But we HAVE TO.

ty webb

August 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

abolishing the EITC anyone?

Jay

August 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

Sounds like the Grand Compromise that Obama offered, jm.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

Doggone @ 5:01

Before this year, I would have never thought that would be possible. After the debt limit fiasco, I have to wonder…

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

Joe P — “would Cantor be as arrogant and petulant, were we “warned” of a 9/11 type attack? was in a member of Congress in 2001? I don’t remember him clutching his billfold and advising the first responders at the Pentagon; “…don’t do anything until we are certain there will be an “offset”?

Cantor was seated in Congress in 2001. So yes, he was in office on 9/11.

I strongly suspect that the difference in his appetite for deficit spending is situational and political, not principled and financial.

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

Jay 5:16 – sorry. I’m having a hard time referencing any grand compromise offered by Obama…..

I’ve heard a lot of speeches though. Seriously. And I’m not the only one tired of it. Count this liberal among them….

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903327904576526611297517664.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Mortimer Zuckerman: Obama and the ‘Competency Crisis’
Like many Americans who supported him, I long for a triple-A president to run a triple-A country.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

Bro – I have to wonder too.

AmVet

August 25th, 2011
5:19 pm

I hope they do withhold it. /sarc/ You wanna drown it in a bathtub Mr. Norquist?

Here’s your chance.

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:20 pm

Jay 5:16 – we do have that deficit commission plan that Obama sponsored. But then swept under the rug. That grand compromise?

Or do you mean the one that Orszag referenced in a speech (after leaving office) as 3/4 tax increases and 1/4 spending cuts? That one?

Jack

August 25th, 2011
5:20 pm

Bookman, you can fix all this by voting for Obama next year. That is, if he decides to come back to DC.

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:21 pm

Logical Dude — “We want our low taxes. We want our benefits. We want our wars without paying for them. We want we want we want.”

Who’s this “we” you’re talking about, pal?

I’m okay with my taxes going up. My veterans’ medical benefits were ALREADY eliminated. I argued against President Bush cutting taxes in wartime, and I understand that cuts need to be made.

“But evidently we don’t want to do what makes it better, to be able to have the funds for disaster relief. We don’t want to raise taxes.
We don’t want to cut benefits.
We don’t want to cut defense.
But we HAVE TO.”

Great. Then perhaps you can show me the Republican tax-hike proposal.

MightyRighty

August 25th, 2011
5:22 pm

Joe Mama

August 25th, 2011
5:01 pm
My support for the Iraq war ended with the fall of bagdad. The problems in New Orleans weren’t caused by lack of funds let alone shortage of money caused by the Iraq war. New Orleans and the state of Louisiana spent money that was given to them for improving the dykes on other things. The damages in the Katrina aftermath were inflicted by local and federal waste. In addition we have spent billions since, go there and look around. To this day, it is a cr-p hole. Not cased by lack of money.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

md

Would you rather have functioning cities getting back to the business of adding to the economy, or would you rather have damaged places not capable of getting themselves back together to start back contributing to the economy? I think you’re an ok person, but if you’re willing to play fiscal life saver like Cantor, then in this instance, you fall in the category of a d**k. No hard feelings, but that’s just how I see it.

md

August 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

Come on folks…….there isn’t a politician in the world that would be associated with actually withholding disaster relief……..that certainly wouldn’t garner many votes………….

Talking about offsets is another game entirely……….

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

Let’s be honest here. Revenues are 15% of GDP. Spending has climbed astonishingly from 18% of GDP to 24% of GDP under Obama. If we were back at 18% of GDP, then the deficit would be a piddly 3% of GDP. And with the expiration of future tax increases baked in in 2012, it would disappear entirely (and if they were extended, 3% is manageable – though not ideal).

So when conservatives say: we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem, they are 110% correct.

Message from Matti

August 25th, 2011
5:24 pm

I’m guessing if the cushy, upper-class DC suburbs get flattened, we WON’T see citizens dying of sickness and dehydration, sizzling like stranded snails on the scorching sidewalks of their community… DAYS after the storm has passed…. or doctors being forced to decide whom to treat and whom to let die (of dehydration and heat stroke) because the hospital is completely cut off from the rest of the world. I’m guessing somebody will find a way to fly supplies in and wounded people out. Go figure.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
5:25 pm

“Would you rather have functioning cities getting back to the business of adding to the economy, or would you rather have damaged places not capable of getting themselves back together to start back contributing to the economy? ”

Especially since at least 2 of them are major NATIONAL sea and air ports?

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
5:25 pm

by “federal aid” does mean quelling any civil unrest? Cantor is a conspiracy nut, and he thinks Obama is going to declare martial law? I’ve played this card before: “On 1 Oct. 2008, the 3rd Infantry Division (United States)’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was assigned to U.S. Northern Command, marking the first time an active unit had been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The force will be known for the first year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, and will serve as an on-call federal response force for terrorist attacks and other natural or manmade emergencies and disasters”. I’m sure Cantor is just thinking about Posse Comitatus

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
5:25 pm

there isn’t a politician in the world that would be associated with actually withholding disaster relief [...]

Talking about offsets is another game entirely

So, are you suggesting that Cantor is going to approve the disaster funding with no delay, then later ask for offsetting cuts?

Logical Dude

August 25th, 2011
5:26 pm

Joe Mama, Who’s this “we” you’re talking about, pal?

You know. “US”! Our representatives who represent “US”! “WE” are represented by officials who do what “WE” want.
So the “WE” I”m talking about is the government who supposedly represents “US”, but evidently only seem to want to line their own pockets and let the rest of “US” suffer.

:) So until “WE” get representatives who represent working together to do what actually has to be done, it’ll be more of the same.

md

August 25th, 2011
5:26 pm

“Then perhaps you can show me the Republican tax-hike proposal.”

It looks a lot like the democrat tax proposal……….not enough to actually accomplish anything.

jm

August 25th, 2011
5:27 pm

Doggone 5:25 – bingo. There isn’t any real Constitutional issue on this. However, there is that small but real issue of massively increasing debt.

NO MORE blank checks.

md

August 25th, 2011
5:27 pm

soco,

My question and premise is in a greater context………there is a straw that will break the camels back, at what point is that straw sacrificed to save the back??