Yes, I have a nasty turn of mind at times

In a previous blog post, I discussed the Tea Party Republicans  turning disaster aid into a political game.  Which led to the drama in Congress over FEMA funding, as well as keeping the government operating after the end of the month.  Finally, a bill has been passed by the Senate which means that hopefully there will be money for fixing up the damage.   Having listened to their posturing, along with any number of comments by their favored governors  about how wasteful this is,  unnecessary, etc., and talking about “self-reliance,”  I’ve been thinking about something.  On several other blogs, I’ve made some comments about letting the Tea Party Republicans have a chance in their states to live by their “principles.”   Yes, we should let them see it in action.

What I propose is that we let them get out of all those “horrible” federal requirements – and save money – by allowing them to opt out of them.  That is, you don’t have to worry about disaster preparedness requirements,  and you’ll get the opportunity to demonstrate just how unnecessary FEMA and other government disaster programs are.    You won’t get the money, but you don’t have to do the work, either.

The way I see it working is that the state legislature must pass an opt out resolution.  Each member voting for it must put their name on it.  The governor must approve it, and put his or her name down on it.  Then the majority of the state’s Congressional delegation must sign off on it.    Once that’s done, that’s it.  No federal disaster preparedness requirements or money, no FEMA aid in case of disaster.  No federal flood insurance, or  federal crop insurance.    Private insurance companies would have to provide that.  Just what they’re saying they want, and it would cut the federal budget.

Just to be even nastier, they can’t get out of it easily.   They pass this, they have to live with it for at least one state election period.  No “well, OK, we’ll let you off the hook” deals.   To get back on, they have to pass another resolution with exactly the same requirements it took to get them off of it, and they can’t change their minds again … ever.

Honestly?  I don’t think any state would ever do it.  But it’d be interesting to watch if they did, particularly if a disaster struck.  Which is statistically certain in most of the states with a strong “conservative” state government.   I even have a name for the program, based on what we can say when that disaster does strike:  Wow, it really sucks to be you!

I’m also of the same mind when I see various Republicans pontificating on removing environmental regulations, particularly, coal ash.  Yes, those regulations,  according to the coal-fired electric industry, are “burdensome.”  So, the House voted to let states “regulate” it.   Which of course, means that the states will do as little as possible or just look the other way.  OK, they want that?  Fine.  No, really.  But here’s the deal. It can’t ever leave the state it was created in.  You see, moving it between states makes it federal.  So, it has to stay right there, or the states have to accept stringent federal regulations.  Even more, if they make the decision to “regulate on their own,” then there will never be any federal money to clean up the mess – and there will be one.  That is going to fall on the local and state taxpayers, not the rest of the country.  Hey, they made the deal, they have to  live with it!

That’s been the problem with these politicians.  They’re perfectly willing to jump on a soapbox about things, or propose something, knowing full well that they won’t have to really deal with the consequences of their policies.  I saw that in aftermath of Hurricane Irene, where many Tea Party supporters and their favored elected officials suddenly jumped to screaming for federal help once the scope of the disaster sunk in.  None of them were saying “No, no federal help wanted, thanks,  but we’ll take care of it on our own.”   So I want them to have consequences for their choices.   Will I feel sorry for all the people who live there, many of whom didn’t vote for them?  Yes, I will, but you know what?  That’s why elections are important.  It’s not just the politicians who need to remember that.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Yes, I have a nasty turn of mind at times

  1. You are right, Norbrook. They would not pass these opt outs because when push comes to shove the big cardboard checks from the government are things that the Republicans like to be photographed with. Your congressman working for you!

    It does not seem fair, though.

    • Yup. Here’s a quote from the Albany Times-Union:

      “Following the tremendous damage done to farms by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, I have made it a priority to secure agriculture disaster relief funding in the next federal spending measure,”

      Some Democrat? Nope, that was the Tea Party Republican Chris Gibson, who beat Scott Murphy in NY-20. Funny how he was all over federal spending and getting government out of things when he was running. 🙄

  2. sjterrid

    I like the way your mind works!

  3. I have a nasty turn of mind myself that goes even further than yours. Let them opt out of all the federal money since they hate the Gov so much. I wonder just how long it would be before their constituents, even the teapotty had them all tarred and feathered!

    PS: Love that cat. He looks like one I had years ago who ruled his neighborhood with an iron paw until he took on two large dogs at the same time and lost that last battle because he would not retreat or surrender. RIP, Tinker. You were one in a million & I will never forget you!

    • The reason I didn’t go quite that far is that it’s virtually impossible to opt out of all federal programs or money. Disaster aid, crop and flood insurance are nicely discrete areas where the most people either don’t realize what federal government does, and expect it when it hits. I saw that quite clearly here this year. 😀

  4. I’d like to see GA go for opt-outs since many republicans here are always talking about states’ rights and how they hate federal regulations, pure Fox-speak 24/7/365. I think that if GA decides to opt-out it should be for a period of at least 3 years because, except for trying to win the Civil War and bringing back the Confederate flag to fly over our state capitol, these folks have very short memories.

    I read about an Alabama legislator today, a republican, of course, saying that he didn’t really understand all of the provisions included in the new immigration law. NOW, he feels “sorry” for the little kids being afraid to go to school and the millions of dollars in crops Alabama farmers had to leave in the fields because there was no one to pick them. HA!

    • Everybody loves to talk about how they hate federal regulations, until the day they can’t drink the water, breathe the air, or trust the food. 🙄

      I saw that reports out of Alabama, and I have remarkably little sympathy for the Republicans. It’s not even a case of “you weren’t warned,” heck, they got to see the state next door try it and it blew up in their faces. So from my perspective, it’s not just a case of ignorance, it’s a case of blatant stupidity. So all those farmers who lost out big time because their crops didn’t get harvested? Hey, sucks to be you. Next time pay attention to who is running the state.