Everyone remembers Federal Disaster Relief When They Are Staring Disaster In The Eye, Don’t They?
When the flood waters are up to people’s chins and roofs are blowing across the landscape, the idea of allowing states and local municipal governments to be solely responsible for disaster relief and clean up efforts takes on a whole new character.
The false bravado of soaring rhetoric about small government becomes somewhat hollow in the face of events that could cost billions of dollars and threaten the lives and well being of millions of Americans.
There are times and there are events when and where local resources can not even come close to having the capacity to make an acceptable response no matter what the nay sayers on the right fringe extreme of political ideology have to say about it.
There are times in Human History when it is good to have a big, functioning responsive government that can lend assistance in tragedies when no other entity, large or small, could even compare in ability to deal with these events. That is common sense!
Looking back, the Katrina Hurricane apparently changed a lot of minds about the need for a government big enough to help out in catastrophic situations.
Before that awful event I remember there were people in positions of authority bragging into television cameras how they would never accept a cent of Federal aid money in the event of a disaster and then, just a few hours after Katrina ravaged their jurisdictions, some of these same boastful politicos were back on the air screaming, “Where is the Federal Government when you need It? We are in trouble here and we need help! Where is the Fed?”
It wasn’t funny then, it isn’t funny now and it won’t be funny the next time either.
Now once again we hear some right wing politicians telling us how we need to dismantle the Federal Emergency Management Agency bureaucracy and “send it back to the states or better yet – - to the private sector.”
Imagine what a disaster would be like for affected folks and their communities if such thinking were actually put into action.
A lot of little local governments and a few states simply could not cope with the intensity of their needs and they would take years more to recover under their own steam than they can with Federal Assistance that is available now.
But America is being asked to vote for such ideas as privatizing disaster relief and I, personally, hope that America is a lot smarter than that!
How we all vote in this election in November is going to make a lot of difference in the kind of America we wake up to one of these days.
We will awaken to an America going forward to the future where promise lives or we will regress to a time before the New Deal when misery abounded for many who are not wealthy enough to take care of all their own needs.
How much money do you have in the bank that you could use to hire a bulldozer and a dump truck and two or three workers to clear what is left of your home from a flooded storm-damaged community?
Do you have the cash on hand to rebuild your home and replace your possessions – - – to pay for new gas and water lines and electrical service to the new home you will be forced to build?
Can you do it all on your own without any help from anyone including the police, fire fighters, paramedics, city employees or anyone else?
I guess that is what some on the political right are going to be asking you to do once they shrink government and get rid of all the big federal agencies that are in the business of helping folks in times of great need.
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