If the current National Hurricane Center forecast is correct, then Hurricane Irene may very well be another multi-billion-dollar weather disaster. Our only hope is that the damage is not accompanied by the death of Americans.
Hurricane Irene does pose some interesting political questions: Will debt-obsessed, we-have-a-spending-problem, and keep-the-federal-government-out-of-state-business conservative Republican governors, such as Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, refuse the federal aid headed their way?
Will they use this natural disaster as an example of how the states can take care of themselves, how the need to increase revenue is nothing more than a Democratic talking point, and how the corporate world can solve problems better than the government?
I think we all know the answer to those questions.
They’ll take the federal money, spend it, and ask for more (and most likely get it). And I’ll be in complete support of them getting their federal money.
I’m proud to live in a country where some of my tax money goes toward helping others in need, and I don’t care if it adds to the national debt. I don’t care if we have to raise taxes to pay for it. That’s what we do in this country — well, at least that’s what we’ve done in the past. We even used to do it with pride and compassion, I might add.
The problem is that the very notion of raising taxes in order to help those who have experienced natural disasters, have been victims of the economy, or can’t put food on the table has become taboo for the Republican party. We can’t even raise taxes for wars that we’ve already waged and drug programs that we’ve already implemented.
Mentioning tax increases to them is like suggesting that we take the American flag, rip a couple of stars and stripes from it, and paint it green and yellow.
Christie and McDonnell are going to need to have aid for their states after this natural disaster, and it’s going to be fine with with them despite their previous positions. Christie is already a federal-money hypocrite, having said as a candidate that rejecting stimulus money made sense before accepting the money as governor.
It should also be a philosophical problem for McDonnell, who believes that federal spending should be capped.
But, just as is the case with most people who believe in a cuts-only path to deficit reduction, money for them is acceptable. It’s money for everyone else that’s the problem.
They’ll simply join House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who believes that this federal aid will mean cuts elsewhere later.
Right, let those on Social Security or Medicare pay for it. It’s not coming from taxes, at least not from New Jersey or Virginia if Christie and McDonnell can help it.