The Agitator #49
by Oliver_Halle
 The Agitator
November 07, 2012 02:25 PM | 1124 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I always enjoy listening to conservative/reactionary talk radio. Actually, I don’t really enjoy it, but I think it is important to try and understand viewpoints that are different than mine for the most part. Hurricane Sandy caused a lot of damage, made people homeless, put people out of jobs whose businesses were destroyed, and otherwise caused devastation to people’s lives. The costs of trying to restore some semblance of normality to the communities affected by the storm are staggering. Amazingly, there are reactionaries out there who don’t think that the federal government should pick up a large share of the bill to do this.

I am from Brooklyn and Staten Island. I have several relatives who still live on Staten Island, and I am intimately familiar with the geography of the island. I have been stunned by the flooding and devastation. It defies my imagination. People who have paid taxes all their lives find themselves facing staggering costs of repair, to rebuilding their homes, to rebuilding their lives. We haven’t heard yet how many people have temporarily or permanently lost their livelihoods, but we will and the numbers won’t be pretty. Reactionary radio and their followers never fail to talk about the need for staying in Afghanistan, to spend money on weapons that the Defense Department says we don’t need, to keep military bases open that the Pentagon says are obsolete, and more. But now there seems to be resistance to having the federal government contribute toward the cleanup costs of the storm. If I understand this thinking correctly, it’s okay to spend money to rebuild countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, but our own citizens are leeches for asking for help, the same citizens that have paid for the these foreign commitments and unnecessary defense costs.

The Bush administration began the bailouts of the banks and auto manufacturers. As distasteful as it was, I supported it. Sometimes you have to do things that go against every fiber in you just because it means survival. The banks have shown their gratitude by their extremely conservative lending policies. Recall too that Rush Limbaugh defended the bonuses that some of the beneficiaries of taxpayer largess took for themselves. But somehow it is “liberalism” and “typical tax and spend” Democrats who are now under attack because the states that have suffered the most from the storm need help from the federal government. Something is very wrong with this kind of thinking. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue; it should be an American issue where all of us support our fellow Americans who are desperately in need at the moment. To offer less goes against what once united us and made our country great.

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Big Tony
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November 12, 2012
Comrade Halle: I do agree that that those who advocate our never ending spending in foreign wars are intellectually inconsistent for opposing any domestic spending to help those devastated by natural disasters. However, I do not believe the government should assist those in rebuilding in the same location as their destroyed homes. I didn't support rebuilding New Orleans and spending all this money on levees when we could give those who's homes were destroyed a check and tell them to build some place else. If someone has a home in a 100 year flood plain should we rebuild it with our tax dollars if it floods? You are commended for your compassion but government bailouts have to be sensible and not emotional. If it makes sense to not rebuild in the same location then I hope the government will stand up for common sense and assist those in rebuilding someplace else. Your goombah friends may have to enjoy their chianti and zeppoles further away from the ocean from here on out. Sincerely, Big T
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