Monday, November 28, 2005
Katrina & Fiscal Responsibility
Recently I wrote my Congressman Senator Mel Martinez in regards to my opposition to budget cuts to Programs such as Student Financial Aid, Pell Grants, and Stanford Loans, Medicare, Medicaid, and other Social Programs such as those that fund Church -Faith Based Community Services.
Here is what he had to say:
“Dear Mr. Brooks:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the federal budget. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.
The devastation wrought by the recent hurricanes to the Gulf Coast states has left a natural and human disaster the likes of which our nation has never seen. At this point in time, the federal cost of providing assistance, aiding in the recovery, and rebuilding in the affected areas cannot be determined.
In an effort to maintain Congressâ€™s commitment to reducing the federal deficit, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget, has asked each of the Senate committees to consider policies that would increase mandatory savings beyond their instructed level in the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Reconciliation.
The budget reconciliation process is an optional procedure that operates as an adjunct to the budget resolution process. The chief purpose of the reconciliation process is to enhance Congressâ€™s ability to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution.
The devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes have produced an unanticipated, negative impact on the budget deficit. Each committee is now considering additional policy changes that can be used to help contain the massive federal recovery costs associated with these disasters. Congress is in the process of making tough choices to ensure that the federal response to these disasters is conducted in a responsible manner.
I understand your concerns regarding our federal deficit. Please know, in the coming weeks I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to find fiscally responsible ways to maintain our commitment to reducing the federal deficit notwithstanding the challenges posed by recent events.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me.
If you have any other further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition if you are interested in learning more about policy issues, please feel free to visit my website at http://martinez.senate.gov.
United States Senator”
Initially I wrote Senator Martinez about fiscal responsibility not specifically about Hurricane Katrina but that is what he focused on in his response. No because of a lack of courtesy for my concerns I am compelled to elaborate more fully on what I see has happened after Hurricane Katrina.
The current Republican led Government is a conscious participate in Structural-Institutional Injustice. My friends do you realize that these people in charge of your and my Tax Dollars in Congress have flat out failed the residents affected by Hurricane Katrina? Believe me if this were New York, Beverly Hills, or even my little City of Sarasota helicopters would have picked up victims within hours and the government would have had these folk in new homes by the end of the month. But we are now approximately 3 months past Katrina and not only are victims still in hotels, they are being kicked out.
I’ll be frank! I’m not only talking about poor people on government assistance but middle class working folk that owned their homes. Is it cause many were black? Is it cause they were from New Orleans? It is cause they were from a Democratic state?
This failure of our government to provide for its citizens is certainly is no the victim's fault. Do you, my fellow citizen realize we have supported President G.W. Bush is creating the Dept. of Homeland Security after 911 and it with the Billions of our Tax Dollars it has utterly failed when most needed! Natural disasters can strike anywhere, and next time it may be your family, and your children, stranded on a roof top for 7 days and kicked out of hotel 3 months after loosing your home.
I don’t want to hear Congress people tell me about the deficit. It is about how they prioritize the spending of our money. Money that is there, sitting in line items for the Dept. of Defense and Special Appropriations for the Iraq War. I want to see Congress and the President take care of our people.
I am no mathematician but I calculate approximately $30,000 will be spent per family victim of Katrina for hotel rooms. Correct me if I am wrong, but what idiot politician decided to waiste our money on hotels and not permanent housing for these victims. This money could have been put into reconstruction, created needed jobs. $30,000 could equal a new house, a permanent trailer, a long-term apartment.
Homeless for the Holidays: