September 4, 2011

Your tax dollars at work in North Korea

These two headlines caught my attention this morning:

Big Storms Cause Money Problems for FEMA  and 

US flood aid shipment arrives in North Korea

A brief summary of each:
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has money trouble. It has less than $800-million dollars on hand to get through the end of the fiscal year, when ends September 30th.In the federal government's ledger books, that's not much, especially when you consider that the cost of Hurricane Irene may exceed $10-billion, and the federal government will subsidize part of that.
Note that this assessment was written before Tropical Storm Lee parked himself over the NOLA area.
And regarding the aid to North Korea:
The United States has provided a small yet symbolic shipment of emergency relief items to flood-hit North Korea, in the latest sign of thawing ties between the wartime foes.
Heavy rain and tropical storms have pounded North Korea in the past few months, leaving dozens of people dead or missing and displacing thousands of others. Washington has not responded with food aid, but pledged to provide emergency help for the flooding.
A cargo plane loaded with $900,000 worth of food, medical aid, soap, blankets and cooking kits from the United States touched down at Pyongyang's Sunan airport late Saturday...
This is a classic example of financial ed 101, that my kids first learned around a Monopoly board.  I can't buy something if I don't have the money.  I need to keep some money stashed away in case I land in jail, or have to pay a fine.  If I spend/loan/get a Chance card from hell and then land among my brother's strip of hotel-laden properties, I won't have enough money to cover my own debts.  

What the reporter termed a 'small yet symbolic shipment' could should be going to Vermont, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri.  I drove through Joplin just over two weeks ago.  It is still a disaster area.  What so many have put out of their minds is still very much a real and daily challenge for those still cleaning up from the tornado.  How dare our government send $900,000 worth of aid to a foreign country - not to mention a Communist enemy of the United States - when there are so many here that could use it?

Even if there weren't a single natural disaster to recover from in the United States, where the hell does our government get off sending anything to a foreign country?  WE ARE IN DEBT.  WE HAVE 9+% UNEMPLOYMENT.  Every dime that we have should stay right here.  Screw foreign relations, especially with our freakin' enemies!  It isn't a tough sell, to point at our national debt ticker while explaining that we have nothing to give.  
One senior Capitol Hill aide tells Fox that the Obama administration likely will have to ask Congress for more money to fund FEMA's expenses through the end of this fiscal year. And with the economy so tight, that may not be an easy sell.
House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Fox, "We will find the money if there is a need for additional monies. But..those monies are not unlimited. And what we've always said is we offset that."
Meaning spending cuts somewhere else. And that likely is setting up another battle on the Hill for this fall.
'...if there is a need...'.  In my opinion, there is never a need to spend American taxpayer's money to feed, clothe, doctor or provide any other sort of aid for another country's natural disasters.  There are voluntarily funded humanitarian organizations with the same mission and they do a better job of it.  Show me the candidate that will end this madness.  End it, not cut it, not talk about it - END IT.  That will be the person who gets my vote.

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