Hurricane Sandy: More Generous Than Expected?

Congressfolk Trying To Help...Somebody

Congressfolk Trying To Help…Somebody

What do you think of a newly unemployed guy with kids who hurries out to max out his credit card on new gadgets before the credit folks find out he’s lost his job? I think the same, but it’s evidently different for Senators. Sandy Relief will tell you.

Seems the Prez asked Congress for some $60 Big Ones in relief for hurricane Sandy victims. Ok, the Prez didn’t bother to suggest where Congress could find the money. He’s a spender, not a provider; we know that. Without this largesse, he’s already spending 40% more than he collects, which is the deficit we hear about, right? But his heart’s in the right place even if he doesn’t have the actual money; he’s trying to look like he’s helping help, right? And he can rail at the hard-hearted Republicans in the House who have to find the actual money someplace. A win-win for the Prez.

Over in the (Dem-controlled) Senate, Good Ol’ Harry and company have trotted out a spending bill for the Prez. The Senators wishing to help the hurricane victims have done so by allocating $8 M for Homeland Security and Justice Department cars and equipment, $150 M for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to  hand to Alaskan fisheries and a couple mil for the Smithsonian in Washington. $13 B is intended for future work to mitigate the impact of future storms. $207 million goes to the Manhattan VA Medical Center, $41 M to fix up eight military bases, including Guantanamo Bay, $4 M for Kennedy Space Center (FL) repairs, $3.3 M for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 M to repair national cemeteries. Not too many helpless Sandy victims in there so far… but a lot of government money to spend in Congressfolks’ districts at no doubt extortionate costs, much of it likely going to unionized contractors. Also called: “Pork.” Recall the little noted and hardly remembered ‘Bridge to Nowhere” of yore.

The Senators who have added all the goodies to the Prez’s request know perfectly well that there’s no money AND we’re way in the hole and only going deeper. They don’t care. Neither the Dems who want more taxes so they can spend more (75% of Obama’s new budget for increased taxes is for new spending) nor the GOP whose House majority has authorized every dollar overspent to date.

It seems safe to conclude that nobody in Washington ever passed Economics 101; it must not be a requirement for poli. sci. and law degrees. Just as it’s clear that few if any economists have passed poli. sci. courses or for that matter, basic physics. Nor has the great American electorate evidently passed fundamental reality.

The voters though, are now heading into the reality lab for the applied course…

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
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