The New Democrat Online

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Families Affected by Natural Disaster at Risk: Borrowing is no Substitute for Prioritizing



I heard Sen. Mary Landrieu Democrat from Louisiana last week on the Senate Floor, because I'm a Political Junky and I actually watch C-Span on a regular basis. Say something to the effect that the Federal Government can't plan for disasters. Meaning that they can't budget for them and put money aside to deal with them. Now if I didn't care I would've laughed at that statement, because America gets Natural Disasters every year. That comes from being as huge of a country as we are and the area that we are located in. We are prone to just about every Natural Disaster the World knows about. We get them every year and we have a general idea of the amount of damage they do and how much it costs to clean them up. This idea or joke that the Federal Government can't plan ahead for these disasters, is bogus. And sounds like to me an excuse for not planning ahead.

The Federal Government could either put money aside, prioritizing, cutting back on things you don't need or need as much. Or finding new revenue, when you don't prioritize, you don't have priorities. Another words when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. And everything is important and then nothing is important. The Federal Government has moved past prioritizing and has now moved to budgeting if you want to call it that. Its actually appropriating, budgeting meaning putting together a budget. This is what we need to do, this is the money that we have, if we don't have enough money to cover what we need to do. Then we cut back on things we don't need or we find new revenue, this is how responsible people budget. Appropriating is just approving money to spend on something whether you have the money or not.

I don't agree with the House GOP Leadership on everything, actually its rare when I agree with them on anything. But their basic message on Disaster Relief is sound, that we should help the victims of these storms and fund FEMA to do that. In the short term but at the same time, we should find a way to pay for our Disaster Relief. Cutting back on things we don't need or already have plenty of funding. Or raising new revenue to pay for the Disaster Relief and their are plenty of areas that we can cut back on. That wouldn't hurt anyone who doesn't deserve to be hurt or can raise revenue in areas that wouldn't hit anyone that can't afford to get hurt.

Congress used to pass what's called a Continuing Resolution, both in the House and Senate they would come together and pass one. Which lays out how much money the Federal Government can spend. And advises the Appropriation Committees on where to spend that money in the Federal Government. And then the Appropriations Committee would figure how to appropriate the money that the Budget Committees said they could spend. This system worked pretty well and we should get back to it.