Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Texans Flip-Flop on Federal Aid

A few days ago, around the same time as the Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt for the suspects, a fertilizer plant exploded killing 35-40 people with 60 missing. I didn’t pay much attention to that incident as the media coverage of Boston was pretty much all that was being reported. However, once the second suspect was picked up, the events in Texas came to my attention.

The politicians representing Texas are seeking Federal aid for their disaster, because the situation is dire. The explosion all but leveled the town of West, Texas. As with any other disaster, I find myself sympathetic to their cause out of compassion for all the innocent victims. However, I also find myself ticked off. The same people, namely Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Bill Flores, and others in this Republican state, who are asking for Federal money for their own state’s disaster, voted against the Sandy Aid package. It’s amazing to me how quickly some flip flop on issues when an issue hits home. It reminds me of the blog I did on Rob Portman, who changed his tune on gay marriage after his son came out to him as being gay. Or another blog mentioning Connecticut republican, James Winkler, who was outspokenly against government handouts until his home was devastated by Sandy, then he was willing to accept government aid “just this one time.” How nice of him? By the way, I read Texas has had 75 disasters since 2009 and has been asking for Federal ad for all of them. Sandy happened six months ago and people are still waiting to get help.

I don’t get it. Either you are for something or against it. You can’t take one position and fight to the death for it, and then change your mind when it doesn’t suit your own circumstances down the road. That’s why we are supposed to have compassion and empathy for others. We are supposed to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and imagine how it must feel to lose everything you own through no fault of your own. That’s why the government has programs in place for disaster relief. One minute you want to do away with these programs and let people figure out how to help themselves, the next minute you are requesting aid for yourself or your political constituents when the need arises there? Does this seem fair? How does one justify this flip-flopping to themselves to make it sound okay?  To me it sounds very hypocritical.

Unfortunately, we seem to be facing more and more natural disasters of one kind or another.  I don’t know exactly why weather patterns are changing and becoming more severe. It may have to do with more carbon dioxide and destroying the ozone layer and other man-made causes. What I do know from experience is each year we seem to be facing bigger and more damaging storms. New disasters are inevitable. People are gong to need help. If you are a lawmaker who plans to take advantage of Federal Aid for your state, then maybe you shouldn’t vote against aid for another state’s devastation?

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