‘Emergency’ Sandy relief bill shows Washington’s fiscal folly

Alternate headline: “This is why we’re screwed.” The Obama administration and Senate Democrats have proposed $60.4 billion in spending, some of which may not have anything to do with helping people recover from the superstorm that hit the Northeast this fall. But the entire lot is being rushed through as part of the “emergency” spending package that has to be passed RIGHT NOW according to Democrats — even though, according to the Congressional Budget Office, only about one-third of the money will be spent in the next 21 months.

What else is the dough going for, if not for immediate relief? Jamie Dupree has the full list of items on his AJC.com blog. ABC News reports that millions of dollars are for federal agency spending that is unrelated, or only tangentially related, to Hurricane Sandy. Another $13 billion of it is tabbed to help mitigate future disasters. Those particular mitigation measures may or may not make sense, and it’s hard to know which are worthwhile and which aren’t when Congress is being asked to allocate the money in such a rushed fashion. For the non-immediate needs, it would be very helpful for Congress to have more time to study them before spending almost three times as much as President Obama’s cherished “Buffett Rule” would generate in new revenue.

And that’s the proper way to look at the bulk of this spending. As ABC News notes, that $60 billion represents almost all the new revenue the federal government would take in next year if Congress also were to pass Obama’s “deficit reduction” bill. We are perhaps days away from going over the so-called fiscal cliff because Obama and congressional Republicans can’t agree about cutting existing spending. So it seems absolutely crazy to rush through a new appropriations bill in the name of “emergency” disaster relief when two-thirds of the money — as much as the annual amount of spending Obama is talking about possibly, maybe, potentially, perhaps being willing to cut in negotiations that just might take place next year if the GOP gives him everything he wants on taxes now — is not going to be spent until sometime in 2014 or after.

Yes, folks, this kind of attitude is exactly why our fiscal condition is so dire. The GOP should insist on funding only what is absolutely necessary now, and discuss the rest next year when said discussion can be more rational.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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414 comments Add your comment

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 14th, 2012
1:39 pm

Glad to bring a smile, Kyle!

JamVet

December 14th, 2012
1:43 pm

Well, it will be a cold day in you know where when the people up there – whose lives have been ruined by this storm – will get a thin dime from any of these compassionate conservatives that blog here.

Unless you run a Jesus for money organization, you ain’t gonna get squat from them.

But when the you know what hits THEIR fan, these mooches and takers will be screaming at the front of Uncle Sam’s handout line for him to give them somebody elses money.

It’s how they roll…

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
1:44 pm

Kyle

I swim those shores off jersey occasionally and they have my sympathy but 60 billion when we can’t rub two nickels together? No, let them start off with emergency aid to stablilize the situation, then proceed. Nothing wrong with being practical.

Jefferson

December 14th, 2012
1:44 pm

The GOP history on spending is nothing to brag about at all, but you overlook that. The GOP has 0 credibility.

@@

December 14th, 2012
1:47 pm

I guess this is what Rahm meant when he said “Never let a good crisis go to waste”….

just the money that’s needed to assist victims of Sandy.

I’ve watched residents in the area complaining about slow to no response from the federal government. Sandy came and went…so did the MSM. No lingering like they did during Katrina. If they don’t see it, they can’t report it.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 14th, 2012
1:49 pm

People, put your guns away! jeez

CC

December 14th, 2012
1:55 pm

“Well, it will be a cold day in you know where when the people up there – whose lives have been ruined by this storm – will get a thin dime from any of these compassionate conservatives that blog here.”

The traitor has spoken . . .

JDW

December 14th, 2012
1:57 pm

@Kyle…”Funny, JDW, but “this crop of Republicans” also doubts that the president and Senate Democrats “act in good faith” when it comes to spending.”

Yet it is the Republicans clinging to tax policy that American’s reject by a 69-28 margin. It is Republicans threatening another “political war” over the debt ceiling, boy that worked out great last time didn’t it!

Sorry Kyle, but you sound awful sour grape-ish there…

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 14th, 2012
2:00 pm

We need to get a grip on allowing the mentally ill to purchase guns. This is crazy.

Oh, wait, the Cons did vote to allow an idiot to have the keys to our nukes for 8 years. They saw he wasn’t stable or lucid and they ended up voting for him twice.

Hillbilly D

December 14th, 2012
2:01 pm

Rush bills through and hide in them what you can. Isn’t that pretty much the way Congress and the various state Legislatures do business? No wonder the world’s a damn mess.

Stephenson Billings

December 14th, 2012
2:01 pm

aaaaaaaaand, here come the gun control posts…..

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:02 pm

This latest shooting is particularly sad so close to chrismas. Elementary school children! It’s beyond the pale and a very sad day for mankind in america, is this ever going stop?

JDW

December 14th, 2012
2:06 pm

18 children killed at Conn. elementary school

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Who will explain to the parents of those kids that the 20 year old perpetrator is part of a “well regulated militia”?

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:07 pm

hillbilly d

Yes, the world is quite messy but I still am very glad to be in this day and age; I mean you could’ve been born into a life of serfdom or had to be a roman legionaire? I’ll take this messy soup and carve out my own world or lagoon as the case may be.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 14th, 2012
2:07 pm

Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi likewise rejected the idea today in her strongest terms yet. “As I have said, don’t even think about raising Medicare age,” she said. “We are not throwing America’s seniors over the cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in America.”

Get em, Nancy! Tear em a new one.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:08 pm

JDW: Yet it is the Republicans clinging to tax policy that American’s reject by a 69-28 margin.
——————-

Republicans have put $800 billion in new revenue on the table. Of course, it’s never enough for the wastrel Democrats.

And higher rates on small business are the Viagra of the left, so not getting them would deprive them of the satisfaction they’re so desperate for.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:10 pm

JDW: 18 children killed at Conn. elementary school
——————-

Another blue-state mass killing. To go along with Colorado and Virginia.

Stephenson Billings

December 14th, 2012
2:11 pm

Borrowed from another blog:

“Knee jerk reactions don’t ever result in justice. Justice in the USA does not include punishing the family members of the guilty. I hate to be the guy to bring it up but the post-Columbine blame game was ridiculous and accomplished nothing. Who is to blame? The shooter, and nobody else. If he shot himself justice is abrogated, and none of us can do anything about it.

This is unthinkably horrible. Beware anyone thats in a rush to use it to further a political agenda. They are soulless creeps.”

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:13 pm

**Another blue-state mass killing**

Last time I checked, we were the UNITED STATES of america, crazy, mentally ill shooters know no bounds…

Stephenson Billings

December 14th, 2012
2:13 pm

We may need knife control too

Knife-wielding man injures 22 children in China

http://www.courant.com/sns-rt-us-china-stabbingsbre8bd065-20121213,0,5592318.story

Hillbilly D

December 14th, 2012
2:16 pm

crazy, mentally ill shooters know no bounds…

This is true. The mistake people always make when these things happen is to look for a rational explanation for an irrational act. When a person is hell bent on evil and destruction, there’s no a whole lot you can do to stop them, other than kill them.

Hillbilly D

December 14th, 2012
2:17 pm

*not a whole lot

JDW

December 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

@Hillybilly…”When a person is hell bent on evil and destruction, there’s no a whole lot you can do to stop them, other than kill them.”

While there are certainly no rational explanations for irrational acts, a prudent course of action would be to make it as hard as possible for those bent on evil and destruction to carry out thier desires.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:27 pm

Emergency spending such as this is just another kind of bailout. Spending to rebuild federal facilities, etc. of course is a perfectly justifiable thing to spend federal money on. Responsible homeowners already have their own insurance, and should not receive taxpayer money. Nor should states, who should make their own provisions for covering their own expenses.

Kyle Wingfield

December 14th, 2012
2:31 pm

JDW: And how does the Obama/Reid/Pelosi stance on spending square with the polls? Does the public really want $4 in tax hikes for every $1 in spending cuts? Not to mention that the GOP conceded half of what Obama wants in terms of revenue right from the get-go.

I do agree, however, that trying to extend this fight to the debt ceiling will not go well politically for Republicans.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 14th, 2012
2:35 pm

A 20 yr old with a elementary age child, says a great deal about the upbringing of the perp. Sad, that his irrational mind came up with this slaughter, as the answer to something worming around in his sick head.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:35 pm

None of these fights will go well for a party doing their best to be responsible, in a country that has a majority of greedy, grasping, dependent, short-sighted voters.

Santa Claus never loses.

JamVet

December 14th, 2012
2:37 pm

cc, how much did you donate to the relief fund?

And this? Another blue-state mass killing.

Children are dead and he writes filth like that.

Amazing.

The man often writes disgusting, repulsive things, but this is proof of his shameless depravity, is it not?

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:38 pm

“Santa Claus never loses.”

True for a fictional person, but in reality a certain party has plenty of sore losers.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 14th, 2012
2:40 pm

“We are not throwing America’s seniors over the cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in America.”

Yeah right, 80B saved from eliminating the Obama Tax Cuts for the Wealthy would not fill a crack, much less the hole in the funding for Medicare. But, if your goal is to punish the achievers, rather than help Medicare patrons, maybe it works. Working at cross purposes are the Dems always. It is not what they say, it is what they really mean that counts.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:40 pm

JamVet: Amazing.
———————-

Just responding to an earlier comment, which by definition means that I wasn’t the first. Take your hatemongering elsewhere.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 14th, 2012
2:41 pm

For years it was illegal to own a gun in Chicagobozo but, amazingly, it was the murder capital of the world.

libs have a hard time following logic, don’t they?

Now, on the other hand, if the teachers would have been armed and the janitor would have been toting and the principle would have been carrying around a hand cannon, the punk would have never even thought about it. And 27 children would be alive.

How many car jackings you hear about nowadays, something that used to be an epidemic? So what happened? People were allowed to carry in their vehicles and punk lib didn’t want to play the hole in his chest lottery.

Get a grip, America haters.

Kyle Wingfield

December 14th, 2012
2:42 pm

Folks, I implore you to hold off before spreading any kind of alleged information about the shooter in CT. Judging by the “reports” and then “retractions” I see flying across Twitter right now, there are a lot of bogus “facts” about this guy floating around.

There will be plenty of time for psychoanalyzing the shooter later. For now, if you need to say something, make it a kind word to a friend, neighbor, colleague or family member, or a prayer for the children, teachers, parents and first responders grappling with this terrible, evil act.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 14th, 2012
2:43 pm

Talking about charities, I see where Obama is fighting with the charities over his desire to reduce charitable donations for the wealthy. Guess, he wants to be the only Santa Claus.

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:44 pm

“punish the achievers”

Hogwash and pure propaganda. As if 4 percentage points more in tax for people making over 250k is a big deal. I make a little over a third of that and I’m doing quite fine.
Stop whining for them, they can handle it and you have to start somewhere to start attacking our debt.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 14th, 2012
2:45 pm

Children are dead and he writes filth like that.

Can’t find a way to pin this on the Tea Party, eh?

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:46 pm

Stop whining for them, they can handle it
——————–

Whatever you call it, and whatever effects it has on small business, it doesn’t fix ten percent of Obozo’s $1 trillion deficit problem.

JamVet

December 14th, 2012
2:47 pm

Nope, Aesop just one depraved individual.

And those like you who haven’t the morality to condemn his written filth…

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 14th, 2012
2:51 pm

I make a little over a third of that and I’m doing quite fine.

Sailfish
Maybe, I want more than you do, what is wrong with that. Are you appointing yourself as the one to determine what other people deserve to keep of the money they worked for? What is the max that the government should take? What should the max salary be?

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:51 pm

I wouldn’t call JDW “depraved” JamVet.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:52 pm

60% of Obozo voters think the top tax rate should be 25%.

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:54 pm

barry

Small business? What exactly is a small business? Does a real life american small business make 250k? I think not, because then it wouldn’t actually be a small business.
Let’s say for the sake of argument it does, 4 percent more taxes in addition to more profits, where’s the downside here?
You could only wish in your best year you are going to knock down 250K, right? Why do you feel the need to protect them? You should be figuring out ways to make more than the 50k or less you do make! Now that would make sense.

JamVet

December 14th, 2012
2:54 pm

Barry, try not busting a gut by laughing too hard that those dead children lived in Connecticut, OK?

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
2:57 pm

rafe

If I make 100k or 200k, I expect my taxes to slide upward with it. So are you suggesting that I shun making more money just because I have to pay more taxes? Sorry, I’ll take the more money with more taxes.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
2:59 pm

sailfish: Small business? What exactly is a small business?
————————

I would expect that sort of question from an Obozo supporter.

And 4% of $250K is enough to make the payments on a new company car, perhaps a Chevy Volt, which would help create a real job somewhere. Would you prefer that 4% go to the government, or to create or save real jobs?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 14th, 2012
3:01 pm

And those like you who haven’t the morality to condemn his written filth…

I remember when a congresswomen from Arizona was laying on the ground wounded, with a bunch of dead people all around her, and before the blood even quit running, it was being blamed on the Tea Party instead of the total lunatic who did it, by people like you, Jamvet.

sailfish

December 14th, 2012
3:03 pm

barry

Nice dodge…do you really think any of the small businesses at strip malls or even big malls are knocking down 250k? No, only in your conned fantasy world do they exist.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 14th, 2012
3:08 pm

What point is it that you’re so lamely attempting to make, sailfish? Do you doubt that there are businesses that make $250K? Do you doubt that there are individuals filing tax returns with more than $250K that are including small business income? Do you have some twisted vision of the world where a business is either a hot dog stand or Walmart, with nothing in between?

CC

December 14th, 2012
3:13 pm

JamVet@2:54 pm:

“Barry, try not busting a gut by laughing too hard that those dead children lived in Connecticut, OK?”

It may be within the rules, but this is way out of line . . .

Dizziona

December 14th, 2012
3:16 pm

“But the entire lot is being rushed through as part of the “emergency” spending package that has to be passed RIGHT NOW…”

$58 million for forest restoration? Really, does a forest require immediate restoration? I wouldn’t have guessed it but apparently the Dems are smarter than the rest of us.