Eric Cantor: “No Disaster Relief without Spending Cuts Elsewhere”

from Think Progress

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), however, said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs.
The Washington Times reports:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.

part and parcel of the modern Republican party – a deeply held belief that the economy is a zero sum game – what ever is spent by the government must mean some other entity no longer will benefit. The well-proven fact that government expenditures are often stimulative in situations where corporations see little to no reason for spending – such as in times of disaster – is ignored as it does not fit their world view. Then there is the failure to understand the value of investing for the future. Sure, the right is constantly promoting the idea of every American putting their money into Wall Street for future returns but for some reason, it refuses to accept the notion that benefits from government spending may also come in the future.

Here’s a recent example of the ‘thinking’ found in the modern GOP

May 1, 2011

Tornado forecasting saved countless lives this week. Too bad Congress, including Alabama’s entire GOP delegation, voted against maintaining forecast quality

more from meteorologist Dan Satterfield writing on the blog of the American Geophysical Union

I rarely pay much attention to federal budget issues, but this issue is on my turf. Having worked around TV-news folks for 31 years, I am rarely surprised by politics or politicians! You tend to get rather jaded because you end up seeing a lot of crazy things, day in and day out!

That said, this is one I really could not believe. It seems the House of Representatives proposed budget includes no replacement for the NOAA polar orbiting weather satellites. The orbiters up there now are not likely to last much longer, and I suspect the average person has no idea of just how critical they are to the forecasts made each day by private meteorologists like me (and the folks at the National Weather Service and Environment Canada) etc.

Here in Florida, the forecasts provided by those satellites save lives when they provide the data forecasters need to determine if hurricanes are headed our way. Tell me, Repub supporters, how much money is saved when a few hundred people are killed due to insufficient warning? In purely economic terms, what is the value of a human life? How much would one of those killed by a hurricane or tornado or flood have provided to the economy during a working lifetime of normal duration?

Along with cutting funding for severe weather forecasting, the GOP also proposed cutting funding for the west coast’s tsunami warning system.

G.O.P. Cuts Could Hit Tsunami Warning System

A spending bill passed by House Republicans last month could affect the nation’s tsunami monitoring system, which issued warnings in response to last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, opponents warn. The plan cuts $126 million from the 2011 budget of the National Weather Service, which runs the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

The cuts amount to about 15 percent of the National Weather Service’s $900 million budget, but putting them into effect now would require the agency to reduce spending by nearly 30 percent through the rest of the year.

Talk about “penny wise and dollar foolish”

OH yeah, remember all that whining in Texas about how Obama wasn’t sending them enough money to fight the brush fires? As wildfires burn, Texas lawmakers look to slash firefighting budget

Republicans are either incredibly short-sighted OR they are willing to do and say anything to get that black guy out of the White House.

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