Hurricane Welfare

On Tuesday, September 28, President Bush made his third request for supplemental storm aid to help the victims of the hurricanes that have hit Florida and the surrounding states. The third request was for $7.1 billion dollars. The first two were for $2 billion and $3.1 billion, bringing the total amount of federal money spent on hurricane relief to a whopping $12.2 billion dollars.

My question is this: Why aren't the Republican residents of Florida (or any other hurricane state) up in arms over receiving so much free money from the federal government? Aren't they the ones who are always crying about welfare mothers living high off the hog on their tax money? Why aren't the Republicans in Congress opposing this relief? After all, they tell us, it's not the job of the government to constantly bail people out when they have problems that are within their means to solve.

I don't know if Florida Republicans are aware of this or not, but as far back as you can go in meteorological history, Florida has always been susceptible to hurricanes. It's what's known as a constant problem. The last big storm, Hurricane Andrew, cost the taxpayers $6 billion dollars. It's virtually a guarantee that in the future, the taxpayers will pony up for more relief because it's as certain as the sun rising each day that Florida will be pounded by another hurricane.

I just don't think it's fair that the Republican residents of Florida, ostensibly opposed to the notion of federal assistance, are now sucking up my tax money like Hoovers Gone Wild. It's not like they can't get up and move. Get up and move to Ohio you lazy fuckers! There has never been a hurricane in Ohio. Nobody from Ohio, or Montana, or any one of a plethora of states, has ever had their house uprooted by a hurricane. Sure, there are no sandy beaches in Ohio and the women don't generally run around in skimpy bathing suits all the time, but neither are the houses regularly blown away by hurricanes. You take the good with the bad. You have a choice in the matter. If you don't want to have everything you own blown away by a hurricane, I suggest not living in Florida. However, if you are going to live there, you take what you get. Don't come crying to the federal government and the taxpayers of America to bail you out when you are fundamentally against that sort of thing in the first place.

Why is President Bush so willing to write checks to people who are obviously too lazy to get up off their ass and relocate, yet so vehemently opposed to welfare for the poor? How is being hit by poverty any different than being hit by a hurricane? How many times does a person have to stand in the path of an oncoming truck before we start asking why he didn't get out of the way?

Where do we draw the line with disaster welfare and when will Republicans stand up for what they say they believe in and oppose this sort of thing? It's up to every Republican in Florida who opposes welfare to refuse any sort of hurricane relief that's tied to the federal government. Not surprisingly, I seriously doubt any of them will do that. Instead, they'll take the money, then continue on their self-righteous ways about "those lazy, good-for-nothing welfare cheats" and how it's not the poor who are victims, but the taxpayers.

Funny how Republicans' opposition to government assistance evaporates when they're the ones who turn out to be the victims.


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