More cuts in the aftermath of Irene?
IN RHODE Island, where I live, Hurricane Irene was barely felt--a bit of gusty wind and a few downed rotted trees.
Nevertheless, 112,221 residents--including myself--were without power as of the morning of August 31. Initially, 480,281 homes were without power when the storm hit.
After finally catching up on some television last night at a house I stayed in, I learned from the Ed Schultz Show (not a radical program by any stretch of the imagination) that FEMA now has less money in its coffers than is spent daily to occupy Afghanistan.
What was all the more disgusting was seeing the juxtaposed images of massive flooding in Vermont and many parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states, as Republican Party officials like Michele Bachmann and Eric Cantor were going on Fox News in their nice suits to say that their view is that Hurricane Irene proves FEMA must be cut more to the bone than it already has been.
On top of this, many workers from National Guard were laid off, and I read that workers from Midwest states were being sent to Rhode Island and other states on the East Coast. Contrast that to the fact that the nation's infrastructure is in horrendous shape as it is. Is there more proof needed what the system's priorities are?
The damage in Rhode Island is a far cry from the massive flooding in Vermont, but many areas may not see power restored for a week.
I wish more than anything that Eric Cantor, the White House and the CEOs who demand endless cuts lived for a week without power, worrying about food and being without lights or hot water. Would they be singing a different tune? Seeing this being repeated with every storm or minor or major disaster is a serious concern for our country's citizens.
Greg Morse, Providence, R.I.