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no disaster relief without spending cuts?

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Affairs' started by noah way, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. noah way

    noah way Android Enthusiast
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    Cantor Says No Earthquake Disaster Relief For His Home State Unless Spending Is Cut Elsewhere

    This week, Virginia experienced a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, one of the most powerful tremors on the east coast since 1897. As Virginians scramble to assess the damage, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) quickly returned from his trip in Israel to survey the damage done to his congressional district.

    “There is an appropriate federal role in incidents like this,” Cantor said. That role? The bare minimum. According to Cantor, Congress’s traditional practice of providing disaster relief without strings attached — a policy its followed for years — is going way beyond the call of duty. If Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) asks for federal aid, Cantor insists that the relief be offset elsewhere in the federal budget:

    The next step will be for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to decide whether to make an appeal for federal aid, Cantor said. The House Majority Leader would support such an effort but would look to offset the cost elsewhere in the federal budget.

    “All of us know that the federal government is busy spending money it doesn’t have,” Cantor said in Culpeper, where the quake damaged some buildings along a busy shopping thoroughfare. [...]

    Cantor did not offer specifics on potential offsets.

    While touring the damage in his district, Cantor surmised, “Obviously, the problem is that people in Virginia don’t have earthquake insurance.” As the Insurance Information Institute notes, “earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.” So, for Cantor, the problem here is that Virginians didn’t have the foresight to predict an exceedingly rare natural disaster and pay out of their own pocket in advance.

    If absolutely nothing else, Cantor is at least consistent in his callous attitude. When Americans were struggling to recover from the deadly tornado that tore through south in May, Cantor also demanded that any disaster relief be offset with cuts. Apparently, to Cantor, the “appropriate role” for public servants is to completely fail the public they serve.
     

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  2. OutofDate1980

    OutofDate1980 Android Expert
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    Well Cantor is a paid employee of the Koch, or is that Cuckoo, brothers, so he's just being a model employee. I would expect he'll get a bonus.
     
  3. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
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    In one sense I agree with what Cantor is saying...

    The US Government has to get out of the disaster aid business. In all likelihood we'll end up paying for damage caused by the earthquake in VA, the earthquake in CO, the upcoming hurricane in MD, the next tornado in OK, etc. And lets not forget the unrest in the middle east... and the military conflicts that we're up to our ears in.

    At some point somebody needs to draw the proverbial line in the sand and say enough is enough. Otherwise when does it stop? :thinking: When China stops lending us money? :eek:
     
  4. RiverOfIce

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    So you have 100% earthquake coverage on your building? And if you have 100% earthquake coverage and you are hit by an earthquake, but your insurance coverage refuses to pay out, because of part 1, sub section b, 4 line, states that "any damages that occur can not exceed x million dollars total cost voids all warranty claims..."

    Every insurance company has that line some where in the contract you signed. If there is a major disaster, there is a very good chance that your insurance company will drop you like a hot rock.

    Now that you have lost everything, your job, your house, your property, your money, and you have zero resources, because everything is lost; would you activity turn down government assistance and starve to death?

    Anyone that has been through a natural disaster, knows one thing, the assistance offered by the federal government saves lives, regardless of where you had insurance or not. They provide water, which you would drink, food, which you would eat, medical care, which you would take, and money for supplies, which would use. Because it will take up to 12 months for that insurance check to arrive in your pocket, until then, you don't have anything. You don't have a house, a job, money, transportation, or even basic supplies.

    Are you still sure you agree now?
     
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  5. noah way

    noah way Android Enthusiast
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    Absolutely. Better to focus on your strengths. They are much better at disaster creation.
     
  6. batgeek

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    we(yes that includes me personally) didn't get Fed relief for the tornadoes that devestated our neighborhoods in April 2008, and the times were better back then.
     
  7. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
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    The US Treasury doesn't have the money either R-O-I and the rest of the world is tiring of lending it to us. What do you think will happen when China decides to call in their loans to the United States? And they will... :eek:

    The U.S. government does not have an unlimited budget... Deficit spending has put this nation in a difficult predicament. And ignoring the truth isn't going to get us out of it. Hard decisions have to be made. Something has to be sacrificed. Would you prefer defense spending eliminated? Highway maintenance ended? Medicare shut down? Social Security put out to pasture? a 40 to 50% income tax rate? FEMA spending cut?

    Multiple choice is ok but none of the above is not an option... ;)
     
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  8. keale18

    keale18 Well-Known Member
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    For starters id get the hell out of the 2 wars we are in and then yes I would cut back on defense spending. We already spend more on defense than every other country in the world combined. For that kind of money I would have expected warp drive propulsion systems by now.

    Implement UHC system

    Change the tax code so that the wealthy pay at least the same rate as everyone else and close the loopholes.....

    repeal the foreign investment tax credit

    Tax breaks for companies AFTER they create a domestic job not before

    end oil and farm subsidies
     
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  9. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Sad as it is:

    Country by country defense spending comparison (top 7)..


    [​IMG]


    ..it may be more of a reflection of rampant U.S. defense contractor over pricing than actual true dollar for ruble or euro or yuan, etc.
     
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  10. keale18

    keale18 Well-Known Member
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    So when politicians talk about government waste it doesnt apply to the military because we all know the military never over spends or wastes our money. War is always free
     
  11. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    The key word in what you're saying there is, "talk."

    They were talking about gummint waste in defense contractor pricing when I was a kid. And that was four wars ago. Nothing at all has been done. Lots of "talk," most often around election time.
     
  12. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
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    Good ideas... but here are the challenges inherent with them (and I'm not disagreeing, just playing devils advocate):

    1. Cutting military spending will impact lots of large defense contractors and impact military staffing. The defense contractors tend to have many members of Congress in their pockets, employ large work forces, and make large "contributions" through PAC's. Take work from them and they'll cut jobs and hurt our politicians where they live...

    2. Implementing Universal Health Care is no picnic as Obama has found out. Health Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and health care providers all like their big pay checks. Many employ high power lobbyists to schmooze with Congress, and many also make large "contributions" through PAC's. Reduce their payday and they will respond accordingly.

    3. Change the tax code. Personally I like the idea of a flat tax but it'll probably never be implemented. Why? Because members of Congress are typically found in the upper income brackets. If they change the tax code to insure the wealthy pay their fair share, they (and their friends) take a huge financial hit. And few politicians are willing to "take one for the team"...

    4. Repeal the foreign investment tax credit. Unfortunately this also falls into the large corporation, high priced lobbyists, and large "contributions" bucket.

    5. End Oil and Farm subsidies. Few Americans would be willing to pay 5-7 dollars (or more) per gallon for gasoline. And ending oil subsidies would motivate oil companies to jack up their prices to compensate for the lost revenues. Lets not forget that the company with the highest profit margin in the nation is an oil company. Similar can be said of Farm subsidies.

    Regrettably this is where the bigger problem lies. There is so much we can do to try to undo this madness but our political leaders have created a huge mess of things. Making changes of this magnitude has repercussions that few Americans would be willing to tolerate. To correct these problems we may need to make drastic changes in how our government works. And that, in and of itself, will be difficult as too many Americans are complacent and unwilling to publicly challenge the establishment.

    Personally I'm a fan of the idea of firing all of our political leaders and starting over. The problem is... how do we keep the bad eggs out and get people into those roles who are willing to do what it takes to make this nation great again (while maintaining fiscal responsibility)?
     
  13. RiverOfIce

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    When was it "great", and "great" for whom. On the firing thing, I think this says it best.

    Bottom line, those that run for office have to be a little off plumb to want the office. The only person that would be great at the job, would never, ever want the job.
     
  14. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Sadly, I think you're right about that. At least in national politics. Sometimes I see some quite decent, honest folks in local elections (city council, air port authority in smaller cities, etc).
     
  15. noah way

    noah way Android Enthusiast
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    I'm with you on all except the flat tax. This is just another ploy by the rich to further lower their tax liability. In most versions this is a consumption tax, and as lower income people spend all of their money they would be taxed a lot more proportionally than higher income people, who spend far less. Plus the flat tax exempts investment income, which is already taxed well below labor income. Which is why there aren't any jobs, because more money is "made" with less expense (including tax) on money (investments) than on work (labor).

    But of course this just highlights the problem of money in politics and the fact that nothing can be changed until that is.
     
  16. noah way

    noah way Android Enthusiast
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    The vast majority of those who run for public office do so for personal gain and with the backing of corporate interests that are invariably well-rewarded for their assistance.

    Again, money in politics.
     
  17. keale18

    keale18 Well-Known Member
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    Thats another thing id change is money in politics. Whether we like it or not right now those people or organizations that have deep pockets have a the most influence over policy making and id look for ways to limit that influence.
     
  18. JRich8389

    JRich8389 Well-Known Member
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    Network Engineer/Corporal, USMC
    Jacksonville, NC
    Let me give you an example of over spending in the military. I work in the IT field in the USMC, we have hundreds of civilian contractors that we work along side. The networking guy that works right next to me, doing the same job as me, makes 5x more than me. No exaggeration.

    There is an Enterprise Admin from Microsoft here, he is a civilian contractor. He is getting paid $400,000 for his 12 month contract in Afghanistan. Microsoft is billing the US Government 1.4 million dollars for him. Maybe I'm crazy, but it looks like we're getting robbed hardcore.

    Cutting the defense budget doesn't have to mean cutting jobs. If you chop the salaries of these contractors in half they will still make more than half the country makes.

    In the IT department the DoD is horrible at spending. I have personal experience in this department and I have seen the price tags on the gear we get. We pay 2-3 times the worth of the equipment just in warranties...budget cuts don't have to mean job cuts, just smarter spending.
     
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  19. keale18

    keale18 Well-Known Member
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    Not like this is surprising we have heard these things before like paying 10k for a bolt or something like that. Thing is this is military spending and for some reason no one questions it. You can cut and trim every program but I havent heard anyone suggest cutting back on military spending nor has anyone mentioned the enormous waste......i dunno....maybe we just love war so much that we ignore the costs associated with it
     
  20. noah way

    noah way Android Enthusiast
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    Nah, it's just very, very profitable.
     
  21. JRich8389

    JRich8389 Well-Known Member
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    Network Engineer/Corporal, USMC
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    Not sure if that was sarcasm or not, I'm gonna assume it is o_O

    Blowing up something then paying to rebuild it is a pretty crappy business plan lol
     
  22. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...
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    Sadly that knife cuts both ways... For over 5 years I was a civilian contractor working in I.T. for the Army. The Federal Civilians I worked with all made at least 20k more than I did... I know this because they openly bragged about their rates, something I was constantly counseling my employees to NOT do. From what I recall the vast majority of the Federal Civilians we worked with were GS12's, GS13's, and GS14's. The part that always annoyed me was that they sat at their desks all day surfing the net while my team worked our behinds off.

    While I can understand that civilians in a war zone are likely going to be paid more... a 400k salary is a little excessive! :eek:
     
  23. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
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    Can we just dispense with one of the myths being talked about here. Oil companies do not get subsidies. They have tax breaks. Farmers get subsidies.
     
  24. JRich8389

    JRich8389 Well-Known Member
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    Network Engineer/Corporal, USMC
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    Yeah, very excessive. The price tag Microsoft put on him is even more ridiculous though. There aren't very many GS people out here, mostly just contractors and they have learned to keep their mouths shut about salary around us lol

    You better believe that if the government wants to be stupid and pay contractors that much then I will be right back out here making 5x my salary, too. You'd have to be crazy to not take advantage of it, the contractors are all but useless since they only do EXACTLY what their contract says they have to do. Anything more and they blow you off, god forbid they work more than 8 hours a day. *slam forehead against desk*

    Anyways, there is a major draw down in number of deployed military members right now. The first cut that was just passed to us is 15% and I'm sure there is more to come so we may be closing in on wrapping this baby up. Been here twice already, Iraq once. I'm tired of deserts, lets get back and try saving our own country instead of every other one.
     
  25. noah way

    noah way Android Enthusiast
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    Not when you are paid for both with no-bid contracts.
     

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