Hurricane Relief... What Government is For!
As over 50 million people affected by Hurricane Sandy struggle together we're reminded what America is all about. This storm is projected to cost between $10 Billion and $20 Billion... these are huge numbers but the high estimate works out to only about $65 a citizen.
Joining together in tough times is what America is all about. We are stronger when we are united. It is not only what disaster relief is about... it's what government is about.
Government's moral mission is to protect and empower the people. This week the Federal, State and Local governments are worked together to limit the number of people in harms way and are now are working to speed recovery as the winds die down. The important work of protecting people while empowering their recovery is the key to good government.
Time and again we've heard from Republican's that we should "starve the beast" to constrain government's ability to operate. Despite the rhetoric, both parties "tax and spend"! The 3 most important question's about taxation are 1)Who are you taxing? 2) How much? and 3) For what? Democrats strive to have a progressive tax where people who are doing better pay a little more so that we can have a strong government that is able to respond to crises. Republican's work to decrease taxation on the wealthy while continuing and calling for increasing spending on the military. Governor Romney has advocated privatizing disaster relief and called aid to the states "immoral", this is not a point of view you can see when you are under water.
Rhetorically, we all want a strong America. But often we forget that being the best costs something. When you pay your taxes you are patriotically contributing to a system that is able to cope with incredible devastation. You are supporting the work of a country who can talk about restoring order in just days and weeks. You are supporting efforts to harden our infrastructure and prevent future calamities.
Individual states, without the support of the Federal Government, cannot cope with these issues alone. It takes the combined efforts of all of us working together. Citizens of the 50 states appreciate that they are part of one of the strongest countries in the world. They rightly expect that they will be helped when disaster strikes. They are not being disappointed by the efforts of their government today.
This storm is historic. This storm was a combination of 3 weather systems that hit during the higher tides of a full moon. It was devastating The extent of flooding in the New York Subway system is unprecedented in its 108 year history.
Climate change continues to predict 'superstorms' and sea level changes, this is not the last storm we'll see. When we vote next week we are deciding if we want a country with a hardened infrastructure that can prevent disasters, respond to crises, save lives and speed America's recovery. Or we're deciding we don't.
P.S. Many of us want to help even beyond the excellent work of our Federal Government, donate to the American Red Cross at www.RedCross.org.