Thursday, October 27, 2005

Congress and Bush Won't Increase Aid for Heating Homes in North


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

With nearly the entire deep south voting "no", the emergency heating aid increase bill failed in the Senate yesterday. While pouring money on themselves, they go Mr. Scrooge on the north. Time to cut America in half and let them swim on their own.

From the Washington Post:
The Senate decided yesterday the money was not there for a substantial spending boost for the federal home heating program, deflecting arguments that soaring energy prices could force the poor to choose between heat and food this winter.

Senators voted 54 to 43 in favor of a proposal to boost the fiscal 2006 budget for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program from $2.2 billion to $5.1 billion. A 60-vote majority was needed to approve new spending not coupled with equivalent spending cuts.

Northern senators who pushed for increased spending for the program, led by Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), argued that low-income families would be particularly hurt by the surge in fuel costs.
It is worse than that! The south is where the energy comes from and they allowed the oil and gas giants to reap huge literal windfall profits due to the hurricanes and now, as the south rubs their greedy little paws together, mapping out the wonderful building boom they will now enjoy at our expense, they get nasty with us in the north, asking for some help.

I was very angry when I saw FEMA paying private contractors to put tarps on middle and upperclass homes in the south after a storm. This was ridiculous. I already had a gloomy article about how they plan to "freeze a Yankee" and sure nuff!

They do exactly that. They are also cutting student aid and money for medicine and other essentials. This "cut important things to the bone so we can build resorts and palaces in hurricane alley" prioritization is killing our country. This is insanity. We don't need federal funds to build casinos and vacation homes and resorts. This is wasteful spending in a huge way.

Easing the financial crush of high fuel bills while funding insulating and fixing homes and apartments in the north is sane. Why?

Because if we don't, cities will burn! Last time we went through this, when the poor couldn't heat their homes, when landlords no longer made any money on apartments because fuel bills ate up everything, cities literally burned. I watched hundreds of thousands of housing units in NYC burn, for example. The loss of housing in New Orleans and the south is nothing compared to this great destruction that ran from 1974 to 1979. It was terrifying and people died in those fires!

David Broder:
Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, another of the DLC panelists, said the principle on which Democrats should approach the next campaign is a simple one: "Anything worth doing is worth paying for." Carper said that implies restoring the old budgetary rule of pay-as-you-go for both tax cuts and spending programs -- something Bush and the congressional Republicans have refused to do.

It also implies a greater readiness on the part of Democrats to reexamine the entitlement spending that poses the long-term danger of unsustainable deficits.

This message was spelled out by Maya MacGuineas, a panelist from the New America Foundation and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. As one who has worked with Republican moderates as often as with Democrats, she was particularly insistent that Democrats must ante up for any bipartisan solutions to become possible.

Specifically, the Democrats who have profited politically this year (as in the past) by opposing any change in Social Security must, she said, recognize the necessity of reforming the country's retirement system before it becomes an impossible economic burden on working-age Americans.
This is ridiculous.

Social Security taxes are a hidden tax. This extra money, for it is a lot of extra money right now, it is the only federal system running in the green, is used to hide the true nature of the budget mess for the $150 billion is counted as profit when they lie about the deficit, claiming it is falling when it really isn't.

The disasters and wars that are eating up all our money these days are predictible as well as a waste. One can predict, if you build resorts and playlands on land that is at 1'-10' above sea level where massive hurricanes regularily scour everything away, this is insanity. If one insists on doing stupid things, they do it on their own dime, not mine.

My village, a tiny place with a small tax base, pays for its own snow removal. We have a crew and trucks for winter. We make plans for the inevitable snow falls. No one helps us. We build our homes to take snow loads and modern homes like mine are well insulated at great cost for the same reason.

The extra costs, dealing with winter, are substantial. Why don't southern states tax themselves and lay aside hurricane funds? Eh? Huh? What? They should prepare for the inevitable. If they don't want to save or fix properties that are build on really stupid places, they should forbid it. Instead, they see a sand spit and build as fast as possible, as I have detailed here.

What is going to happen now to America is, we will go bankrupt rebuilding over and over, vacation resorts and casinos while destroying the industrial base. We will make ourselves weaker and sicker and work the working class to death while pouring all our wealth into the hurricane zones. Like Iraq which is a bloody sponge soaking up money, all wasted on nothing.

Iraq: the spending rise on fuel aid is about 2 weeks of Iraqi hell. If we withdrew troops today, we could rebuild the south so it can be wrecked next year, and heat the north and let the baby boomers retire, too! Amazing.

But no one in power suggests this. PNAC and AIPAC are against this. The war machine lobbyists are against this. They would blythly kill off all of us if this makes them rich or protects Israel. The born again Christians can't wait for Americans to get mad at the Jews for this. This is part of the Apocalypse plan, to herd all the Jews into Israel and then destroy it in WWIII.

The news fed chief, Barnacle Bernanke, is OK with the deficit as it stands.
Concerns that new Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will prove dovish are likely to prove unfounded. But some of his most widely quoted speeches suggest that he is relatively relaxed on the US’s bulging current account deficit and booming housing market.

There is little evidence from Mr Bernanke’s record as a Fed governor or past writing to suggest he will be be soft on inflation, assuming he wins Senate confirmation to replace Alan Greenspan. Mr Bernanke is an advocate of inflation targeting, and is likely to be intolerant of it either accelerating above or plunging below his preferred range.

Confirmation hearings are likely to draw plenty of questions on inflation and targeting, not to mention sparring between lawmakers on fiscal policy and the administration’s record.

On the current account, Mr Bernanke sees little role for the Fed in directly addressing the US deficit, which stands at 6 per cent of gross domestic product. Rather, his view is that the trade deficit should largely be left to take care of itself, and that the Fed should act only if a sharp financial market adjustment threatens to destabilise the economy – a similar view to Mr Greenspan’s.

In the Fed’s analysis, the drag from the trade deficit has required looser monetary policy, to stimulate domestic consumption and to prevent an unacceptable drop in US growth.
Ouch. Such monumental stupidity. We are running a trade deficit with the world so the answer is to make loans cheaper than savings so we can increase consumer spending so our economy can "grow"? Trade deficit "take care of itself"? It will, like building a casino in a hurricane zone, it will be taken care of, all right!

If the new Fed Head and the old Fed Head are OK with the deficit, why is Congress madly cutting aid to the North? Why the alarm bells? If all is well, why do they need to cut over $50 billion this fall, right now? Is it perhaps because China is no longer buying our debts? Eh? Har.

Further, the excuse for cutting off much of the money that keeps the North running is so we can pay for the South so they can build more casinos after hurricanes wreck them. They will also build other forms of housing, but the vast majority of the funds will flow to the big lobbyist's pet projects. As we can see with the Abramoff scandals, there is big money in those southern casinos! There is excited talk of totally re-engineering the entire Gulf coast to make it exactly like Las Vegas, no more off shore casinos, they will be firmly planted on land and surrounded by the nice homes for casino workers and the rich, the workers set back on undesirable landfills and the rich right on the ocean where they can enjoy themselves and get sparkling new homes every other year or so, after ten years, it is wrecked and Uncle Sam will cheerfully rebuild. Note how Bush and Barbour joked with Lott about this.

"Can't wait to sit on the porch of your new vacation home!" Bush gloated. Hahaha. Hey, you dopes. Give me a new vacation home. Hell, give me a vacation home.

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