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“Glib Ideological Purity”: Mitt Romney Would Pass The Buck On Disasters

Back when he was being “severely conservative,” Mitt Romney suggested that responsibility for disaster relief should be taken from the big, bad federal government and given to the states, or perhaps even privatized. Hurricane Sandy would like to know if he’d care to reconsider.

The absurd, and dangerous, policy prescription came in a GOP primary debate in June. Moderator John King said he had recently visited communities affected by severe weather and noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency “is about to run out of money.”

“There are some people . . . who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” King said. “How do you deal with something like that?”

Romney replied: “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 further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”

Romney went on to express the general principle that, given the crushing national debt, “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?’ ”

King gave him a chance to back off: “Including disaster relief, though?”

Romney didn’t blink. “We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” he said, adding that “it is simply immoral . . . to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids.”

Now, with an unprecedented and monstrous storm bashing the East Coast, this glib exercise in ideological purity is newly relevant. Was Romney really saying that the federal government should abdicate the task of responding to natural disasters such as the one now taking place? Yes, he was. Did he really mean it? Well, with Romney, that’s always another question.

As the legendary Watergate source Deep Throat never actually said: “Follow the money.”

The dishonest “solution” proposed by Romney and running mate Paul Ryan for the federal government’s budget woes relies largely on a shell game: Transfer unfunded liabilities to the states.

Most disastrously, this is what Romney and Ryan propose for Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor. The GOP plan would give the states block grants that would not begin to cover Medicaid’s rising costs. Governors and legislatures would be forced to impose draconian cuts, with potentially catastrophic impact for millions of Americans.

Medicaid’s most expensive role — and thus, under Romney, the most imperiled — is to fund nursing-home care for seniors who classify as “poor” only because they have exhausted their life savings. Transferring the onus of Medicaid and other programs to the states would save money only by making it impossible to provide services at current levels.

For the hard-right ideologues who control the Republican Party, this would be a good thing. Our society has become too dependent on government, they believe, too “entitled” to benefits; we are unwilling to “take personal responsibility and care for” our lives, as Romney said in his secretly recorded “47 percent” speech.

Romney’s budget proposals would end all this coddling — except for the Pentagon and its contractors, who would get a big boost in federal largess, and of course, the wealthy, who would get a huge tax cut.

So-called “discretionary” federal spending would be sharply reduced. This would include spending for such agencies as FEMA. So yes, even if Romney was just pandering to the right-wing base at that June debate, one consequence of his policies would be to squeeze funding for federal emergency relief.

I guess having to survive a few hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes on our own would certainly foster personal responsibility.

And by the way, why is it that we’re having such a huge hurricane make landfall in such an unusual place at such a late date in the season? Is this another of those freakish once-in-a-century weather events that seem to be happening so often these days?

I know it’s impossible to definitively blame any one storm on human-induced atmospheric warming. But I’m sorry, these off-the-charts phenomena are becoming awfully commonplace. By the time scientists definitively establish what’s happening, it will be too late.

As has been noted, the words “climate change” were not spoken during the presidential debates. Hurricane Sandy wants to know why.

By: Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, October 29, 2012

October 31, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“We the People” are Bald-Faced Hypocrites

President Obama receiving briefing on Gulf Oil Spill shortly after initial explosion

 

Let me get this straight…. First, we want to reduce the size, scope and power of government at all levels, and on all issues, AND  oppose increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level  AND  for any purpose.  When asked,   “What is the role of government”, we respond “No role”.  We say that government that governs least,  governs  best.   We want the government to keep its hands off our Medicare and Medicaid.   We want the federal government to keep its boot heels off the throats of Big Banks and Wall Street. We say “Drill Baby Drill”. We say that our freedom and liberty are seriously threatened or has even been abolished in some cases.  We want everything under the sun but we don’t want to pay for anything.  What raise my taxes? Forget it. We feel that if only I can portray myself as being more angry or can just shout louder than the other guy, either through distortion or just outright lying, no matter the circumstance, I win.  For those in the media, you  circle the wagons whenever one of your colleagues is questioned or chastised when they are called out for endorsing or propagating half truths or capitalizing on individual’s personal pains, sufferings and tragedies.

Now there is a massive oil leak corrupting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  This leak is a catastrophic event that will cause devastating results for generations to come.  And now, you say that the government’s response to this Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill has been too slow. Others say that the response has been completely non-existent.   The federal government has not solved this problem.  All I hear now is “I want the government to end my nightmare”.  All of a sudden, we want “Big Government”, that same government that many of you have been hell-bent on abolishing.   I have heard criticism from Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, James Carville and Donna Brazille on the Left, and Billy Nungesser, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour to wackoo’s Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh on the Right. Many of these criticisms have been outright lies and distortions. I say “We the People” are bald-faced hypocrites.

For anyone who has an interest, fact based information is readily available and can easily be obtained. Any media outlet worth its weight,  could have and should have set the record straight on the time-line of the government’s response to this disaster.  No.  Instead, none of these people really want to recognize the fact that a major disaster has occurred and all forces must be brought to bear to resolve the problem. Some have suggested that the government kick BP aside and take over all aspects of the operation.  So much for “freedom” from the government…. and exactly what do you think that would accomplish?  Someone even suggested that we just send divers down and plug the hole.  This one has to be my favorite. Unless you are a Sperm of Bluenose whale, good luck with that stupid idea.   For anyone to suggest that the federal government, our federal government, is not taking this catastrophe seriously or is not bringing all forces to bear to completely resolve and recover from this event is terribly misguided and obviously has their own agenda.

Until the leak is stopped, we are all in this oil-slicked boat together.  Posturing and playing politics is not helping nor is it going to help….not one iota.  So for all of you, who still believe that you can stake out a long term position for furthering your political agenda, padding your wallet or trying to increase your ratings, strap on your life-vest and jump out of the boat.  Once you start gulping oil and gasping for breath, it’s going to be very difficult and quite slippery trying to get back in, if you survive that long.  I’m betting that you won’t make it.   When it comes to having “freedom” without government or even “freedom” from government, small or large, be careful what you wish for….you can’t have your cake and eat it too. 

In our efforts to develop solutions, we should strive not to become part of the problem.  If nothing else, we should realize that we are not in a position today or in the foreseeable future to continue to pursue off-shore oil drilling.

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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