David Koch wants to stop relief funding to Hurricane Sandy victims.

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.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • smrnda

    Nothing worse than a billionaire telling the rest of us we need to ‘suck it up’ when disaster hits. Members of the ruling class are nicely insured against calamity, while the rest of us have to rely on this thing called ‘government’ – an entity we pay taxes to with the idea that it will DO something when disaster hits.

    • Fed up

      You weren’t insured yet you want those of us who are responsible enough to maintain insurance to pay for your lack of planning? We are the ‘government’ – your fellow Americans who take responsibility for themselves. No, I’m hardly a member of the ruling class and live on less than the average New Yorker. Before we pay out a dime, let’s be sure that all political ‘pork’ is removed from the bill and that not one thin dime goes to pay to rebuild someone’s second home on the Jersey shore until every American has a home of their own – one that they should insure!

      • smrnda

        Um, I do not live in the affected regions, but as a taxpayer (and these days I’m getting into higher and higher brackets, and feel that the increased rate at which I am taxed is totally justified), citizen and part of the government, I am perfectly willing to approve of my tax money assisting people who have this sort of thing happen to them, provided they are truly in need. I agree with you that I’m against rebuilding the second and third beach homes of plutocrats, but oftentimes ‘insurance’ comes out to be far less than what is promised, particularly when events happen which are largely unforeseen and uncommon enough that people may not have such circumstances specifically covered. I look at government as a kind of insurance policy to fill those gaps. Plus, what happens to renters? Focusing on home owners alone is pretty classist.

  • unbound

    I think this is a great quote to keep around for the future. The next time someone tells you that the Republicans have your back…break out the quote. The next time someone tells you that if only the taxes were removed, the rich would donate massively to the unfortunate…break out the quote. The next time someone tells you that the rich and the Republicans care the least about the well being of this country…break out the quote.

  • BabyRaptor

    I doubt he’d be singing the same tune if his property were hit.

    • Loqi

      Well yeah, but he’s a job creator. That’s a totally different situation. He’d have earned that federal money.

      • oskar

        Good point Loqi. As for the job creator sarcasm, I’d like to point out that the Koch Industries fired over 17, 0 0 0 people when they wanted to unionize for better pay and benefits. All that cuts in these SOBs wealth accumulation. It’s no wonder they such documented assholes, they learned their craft from their father, a founder of the John Birch Society ( Or Birch John Society as they are called in Belmont Mass, their headquarters.

  • Mark

    Here is an exchange related to me by a Katrina “victim”:

    FEMA temp: [Knock, Knock]
    Hurricane “Victim”: Come in
    FEMA temp: Good afternoon sir, our records show that you applied for disaster relief.
    Hurricane “Victim”: Yes, here is our documentation and our receipts. We spent $282.00 out of pocket for fuel and lodging.
    FEMA temp: Very well, we will write you a check for the max reimbursement, $2000.00.
    Hurricane “Victim”: Oh, no, no, we were only out of pocket $282.00
    FEMA temp: For me to take your receipts and process the documentation will require more paperwork on my part and delay your reimbursement. Just take your check, and I just endorse that you had sufficient damage to merit the maximum amount.

    And this is someone trying to be honest about it.

    • baal

      Interesting. What did your wife’s 2nd cousin’s hairdresser have to say on the matter?

    • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)