GOP financial backer (and world-class asshole) David Koch, is flexing his muscle with the GOP legislators, many of which he helped to get elected. He wants to stop federal relief funding to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The top deputy of Koch’s group, Americans for Prosperity, had this to say.
New Jersey’s Americans for Prosperity State Director called on legislators to reject the bill, saying that aid would be a burden on the country’s taxpayers and would be misspent at all levels of government by officials glomming for every last nickel.
The bill, he said, would lead to a spending free-for-all and is merely an attempt to secure funding for wasteful endeavors by appealing to emotion.
“Tragic things happen every day to people – worse things than having your house flood – and we don’t hand them a check,” he said. “Having your shore house flood doesn’t rank.
“This is not a federal government responsibility. We need to suck it up and be responsible for taking care of ourselves.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s disaster estimate of nearly $37 billion is tantamount to a $119.51 tax increase for every single American, should the U.S. have to foot the bill, Lonegan said, adding that he doubted that much aid would even reach affected residents. With the country facing a fiscal cliff, Lonegan said Sandy aid shouldn’t be a priority now.
Yes, because rebuilding the country’s infrastructure after a disaster is not a federal responsibility.
Even if I concede that a significant portion of the money would be wasted (which I don’t), to a good and decent human being the solution would be to trim the waste. But AFP isn’t offering any suggestions like that or any details on how the money would be wasted, they are instead saying we should abandon all aid to the victims of Sandy.
Lee Fang hits the nail on the head.
It seems particularly cruel that the Koch political machine would use its vast network of paid activists and professional operatives to kill this bill. For one thing, this is David Koch’s community. From his Upper East Side apartment, Koch lives only a subway ride away from the devastation in Red Hook. Notably, Koch’s group gave away free gasoline during the election in a wide-scale anti-Obama stunt, yet had nothing to give to the victims of the storm. Now, Koch, one of the richest men in the world, is actually trying to take something away from them.
There’s another wrinkle to this political assault on the aid request that makes it even more heartless. (No, it’s not the rather arbitrary decision to target this piece of federal funding over others. Recently, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta identified $74 billion in unnecessary military spending, but AFP has not demanded that the government immediately axe these funds.)
The other tragedy of Koch’s decision to target Sandy aid is that his company is one reason we will increasingly face extreme weather events like hurricanes, flash floods, droughts and fierce storms. The Koch brothers, David and Charles, sit atop one of the world’s largest privately held conglomerates. Koch Industries is a sprawling company with interests in commodity speculation, timber, oil refining, ethanol production, chemicals, pipelines, consumer products, and fertilizer, among others. The Koch empire, by one estimate, has an annual carbon footprint of 100 million tons.
Not only does Koch’s business contribute to climate change through massive carbon emissions, as Greenpeace reported, Koch is the largest financier of climate denial political organizations and media groups. (As an aside, unlike AFP, Greenpeace ignored partisan politics and sent many of its workers to Queens to assist with relief efforts.)
And it’s easy to see the people to whom they spin this bullshit story. It’s plain who they have pegged as the segment of the population most likely to be heartless enough and gullible enough to nod their heads at abandoning American citizens who are the victims of the most powerful hurricane in history. The support they count on comes from the voters who, almost universally, believe they are the followers of the most loving god, and who claim we need Jesus in order to be compassionate.