Sunday, November 19, 2017

If Trump Is Willing To Stiff Texas On Disaster Relief, Imagine How Blue States Would Fare!


Dayna Steele virtually put her campaign for Congress on hold for nearly a month in the aftermath of the devastation Hurricane Harvey brought to the Houston area so she and her campaign volunteers could work with their neighbors on the immediate effects of the storm. Now Texans-- not to mention folks in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands-- are waiting for help from the Trump Regime. It's not coming. We mentioned the other day that Ryan's tax scam bill cuts out earthquake repairs deductions for Californians. Hurricane deductions-- primarily in red and purple states-- was left intact... but the White House doesn't want to come up with the money Texas needs to get the Houston and Gulf Coast fully back on its feet.

Dayna explained that "The goal of Trump and his fellow swamp dwellers is to eventually cut off as much government funding as possible. The less money the government needs to operate, the better off the wealthy and corporations are in this country. That means less help during and after disasters, the eventual elimination of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, and the elimination of programs that help kids, the elderly, education healthcare, job training and more." Ironically, there are some very conservative Texas Republicans who are seeing it a lot like Dayna is. There's nothing to the right of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. On Friday he called Trump's $44 billion request to Congress for disaster relief for the effects of Harvey, Irma and Maria "completely inadequate... and does not live up to what the president wants to achieve. The president has told me privately what he’s said publicly, and that is he wants to be the builder president. The president has said that he wants this to be the best recovery from a disaster ever."

The White House told him to pay for his own disaster relief. Damage in Texas alone is estimated to exceed $180 billion. Huckabee's contemptible daughter: "We feel strongly that they should step up and play a role and work with the federal government in this process. We did a thorough assessment and that was completed and this was the number that we put forward to Congress today."

Trump doesn't want to spent more than $100 billion in federal funds. Nita Lowey (D-NY) is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee. She's siding with Abbott. "This request does not come close to what local officials say is needed." And it isn't just Lowey. Texas Senator John Cornyn, the #2 Republican in the Senate, is fuming. He told Texans this week that "It’s really time for the federal government to live up to its responsibilities" and he's making common cause with Puerto Rico as well. "We are asking to be treated fairly. And we intend to fight for that."
There is no doubt the people of Texas and the entire Gulf Coast, + Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, need this money to rebuild their lives and our state's infrastructure, but it strikes me as a tad "interesting", that when it was Superstorm Sandy and the East Coast, some of the Texas GOP officials didn't seem to think that the money was really needed for them. Now that it is us, of course the Government should give us everything we need. There's an old saying, "You never need government until you NEED government," and I think these officials are getting a whiff of that. With President Obama, he was right there, ready to give aid, Gov. Christie even praised him for the work he did. It was Congress dragging their heals on Sandy. With these storms, we have a totally incompetent President who has no clue as to what is needed or why, so why should anyone be surprised that the offer is far lower than it will take to restore all? What was done quickly and well was done mostly because of the prep that President Obama had built into the emergency responses, and Trump hadn't had time to screw up yet.

This President is focused on tax cuts that will give his family a big "win" in the tax department. Time and again, he's showed his almost complete lack of compassion for others, so no one should be surprised at this. Angry, yes! But surprised, no. Also, a memo for Texas legislators and governor-- "you reap what you sow."
Earlier today, we met progressive Democratic congressional candidate Kathi Thomas. She suggested that "Perhaps in times of great need like this, we should forego tax cuts for the wealthiest and use some of that money to pay to get those areas sacked by this storm back to operation sooner rather than later. Might we have a time of shared sacrifice? Those on the coast have been forced to 'sacrifice' their homes and belongings, and some of their lives, too. Might we show compassion and work together to make our country stronger, instead of giving so much to the richest of the rich?"

Hector Morales, running for the open blue seat in the Houston-Pasadena (TX-29) area agrees with Kathi's perspective. "This," he told us, "is just another example of systemic failure by our government to put the well being of our citizens at the center of policy. Political agendas and special interests hinder the ability of ordinary people to get the help they need and is just yet another reason why we must elect people to government who have the people at heart and not corporate greed."

Goal ThermometerTom Wakely is Abbott's opponent for the governor's mansion in Austin this cycle. He's not putting all the blame on Trump though. He told us that "The irony of Abbott's claim of inadequate funding for Hurricane disaster relief is that he is sitting on $10.3 billion dollars in state funds that he could use to help his fellow Texans. Texas has the nation’s largest economic stabilization fund (ESF), commonly called a 'rainy day fund.' I guess the question is, how much more does it have to rain before we tap these readily available state funds. Right now there is a high school in southeast Texas, in Beaumont, that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. Central High School, which was over 100 years old, is located in an historically black neighborhood. They have been begging Abbott for funds to rebuild. Michael Cooper, who is running for Lt. Governor, told me, 'that kids are displaced and separated from their community and are now attending classes at two separate schools. Even if Abbott decided to allocated funds to rebuild this 39 acre campus, it would take 3-5 years. A lifetime for a 13 or 14 year old. But given that Abbott could care less about the Black and Brown students who attend Central High, we all know those funds will never come.' An additionally irony is that since 2009, the state of Texas has sued the federal government at least 48 times, the same federal government that Abbott is now asking help from."

As for Trump's $100 billion disaster relief ceiling... Puerto Rico has asked for $94 billion, Florida for $27 billion and Texas countered the Department of Housing and Urban Development's $5 billion allocation with a request for 10 times that-- and that's just for housing, not for infrastructure and, for example, for the projects meant to combat future floods.

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At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it was California or New York who suffered a natural disaster, would Cornyn be saying the same things about Trump? Please.

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to defend the douchebag, but Sandy reamed NY/NJ years ago and thousands are still waiting for help. Not wall street, natch, but a lot of homeowners got ratfucked... just like the poor who lived through Katrina.

Trump's history is replete with examples of him 'stiffing' whoever was in his way. The shock is that he came up with a number even that big. Staged photo-ops with hired worshippers don't cost all that much.


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