By York Van Nixon III
Minimal loss of life over the weekend should be a reminder to those adhering to the “climate change” explanation over “global warming” for extreme weather this century. Humankind continually demonstrates its ability to mitigate the whims of nature.
What happened along the densely populated Eastern seaboard could have been worse than the needless loss of more than 1,800 Americans during Katrina in 2006. The fact only 35 lives have been lost so far is a testament to improved planning, inter-agency communication, fiscal adaptation, and sheer luck.
With one of the most populous regions of the country in recovery phase, there are politicians, if they were to have sway, who would withhold relief until Congress meets to discuss offsets. The same boondoggle would occur if Congress were hamstrung by the Republican Balanced Budget Amendment that died three weeks ago in the Senate.
When states run out of money during emergencies, and are bound by their constitutions to have debits and credits in agreement, they look to Washington to fill holes created by the unexpected and legislation.
Public opinion has a way of neutering even the most recalcitrant stalwart of supply-side economics. Just ask members of Congress driving through their districts today if they have the nerve to tell constituents they’ll have to wait for disaster relief until Medicare or Social Security has been cut.
As Hurricane Irene heads out to sea, she leaves evidence of a woman scorned, not by her un-requiting lover but by philosophically-blinded zealots like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). On Thursday, his spokesperson Laena Fallon told TalkingPointsMemo the following when asked about government response to Irene:”But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.”
Mr. Cantor deserves kudos for sticking to his conservative principles and committing political suicide. As Americans up and down the Atlantic Coast reclaim their lives, a Virginia Republican has a big pair of scissors in his pocket. Perhaps they could be used to commit Seppuku. It would be the honorable thing to do.
Leader Cantor has been mum since Friday. Since then his congressional website displays links to FEMA for relief. Rep. Cantor may be brash but he is apparently taking a vacation from stupidity.
When disaster like Irene strikes, there are no elephants or donkeys – just wet Americans looking to government for relief and return on their tax dollars.
Residents of the District of Columbia feel confident in relying on local and federal government after a disaster. The same can not be said about Virginians across the Potomac River, if Mr. Cantor has his way.
Election 2012 may bring some unexpected change and disaster relief of its own.