Republicans, busy coddling the rich with ever more and greater tax cuts, tax breaks and tax subsidies have found another excuse to slash federal spending and hand more money to their rich cronies and patrons.
Hurricane Irene ripped through the eastern seaboard, cutting a swath of misery from North Carolina to the Canadian border, and killing 43 people. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) figured any money the Federal Emergency Management Agency spent to pick up the pieces needed to be offset by cuts elsewhere.
Disgraced former FEMA head Mike Brown, who did a heckuva job tending to his stable of fancy horses while Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, figured Cantor was on the right track. The nation's worst emergency responder told - who else? - Fox News, "We have to start making these hard decisions facing the fiscal reality that the country is broke."
Or, the nation could make the hard decision to stop coddling the rich, and make them pay their fair share in taxes, as more than six in ten Americans consistently tell one poll after another. After all, when America collected a proper amount of taxes from the rich back in the day, it had been able to rebuild Europe and Japan after World War II, build a whole new America, educate a whole generation of Americans, invent the computer, the internet and the cell phone, and put Neil Armstrong and eleven of his buddies on the moon.
But America has coddled its rich to the point where it couldn't clean up after a single Category 1 hurricane.
"We're just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to continue to do so," Cantor told - who else? - Fox News. Cantor explained America just had to keep coddling its ultra-wealthy magnates and moguls by saying, "just like any family would operate when it's struck with disaster, it finds the money it needs... then goes without trying to buy a new car..."
Apparently, when disaster struck a Republican family, everyone struggled to make ends meet while Dad absconded with all the money and flew off to the Seychelles with his mistress.
What the Republican family needed was to divorce Dad and nail his philandering posterior with an enormous support settlement.
As long as there were Republicans like Cantor philandering with trans-national corporations and oil magnates and hedge fund tycoons, America needed to slam them with enormous settlements as well. Any spending offsets for Hurricane Irene should come directly out of Cantor's Seventh Congressional District in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any spending offsets for disaster relief should come out of congressional districts that elected Republican lawmakers who figured there ought to be spending offsets for disaster relief.
To begin with, for every dollar in federal taxes the Commonwealth of Virgina sent to Washington, D.C., the Commonwealth of Virginia was collecting $1.51 in federal spending. Already, Virginia was getting way too big a slice of the federal pie anyway, while California and New York were only getting about 75 cents for every dollar in federal taxes they raised. Already, Dad was slathering his sleazy mistress with Chanel and Tiffany while Mom and the kids were stretching last night's Tuna Helper.
So, Cantor was right. America needed to cut Virginia off.
Cut off every Social Security check going to Virginia. Cut off every Medicare reimbursement going to Virginia. Cut off every government paycheck going to Virginia. Cut off the Pentagon. Cut off the CIA. Cut off the Navy bases.
Make I-95 and I-64 and every other freeway, highway, byway, boulevard, avenue, street, and alley built and maintained with federal dollars a toll road for local residents. Carve Virginia airspace out of the FAA's air traffic control system.
Pull every phone, fax, modem and pager number out of Virginia, and yank its ten-plus-one dialing out of the Federal Communication Commission-administered North American Numbering Plan. You didn't know the federal government owned all the phone numbers, did you? Tough tiddlies. Get your own numbers, and see if anybody will recognize them.
Repossess every conscious thought federally-funded education instilled into every brain in Virginia.
Every congressional district that elected a lawmaker who wanted disaster relief spending offsets should have those offsets come out of his or her district.
While we're at it, every state, every county, every district, township, hamlet or burg that's been spending more federal dollars than it's been raising should start looking into going without that new car Cantor figured everyone should go without. Every state, every county, every district, township, hamlet or burg that's been slathering itself with Chanel and Tiffany on the nation's platinum-plus card should get its line of credit cut until it paid back every red cent.
Alabama had been getting $1.61 in federal spending for every dollar it raised in taxes. Cut it off until it paid back every deficit penny for the past thirty years. Relief for last Spring's tornadoes? Quit dreaming.
Alaska had been getting $1.81 in federal spending for every dollar it raised in taxes. Cut it off.
Arizona had been getting $1.20. Cut if off.
Arkansas had been getting $1.41. Cut it off.
And, those were just the 'A's.' Virginia was way at the other end of the alphabet, with a ton of blood-sucking mostly solidly deficit-hawk Republican red states in between.
At least FEMA had already suspended tornado clean-up payments to Missouri. Missouri was getting $1.32 in federal spending for every dollar in federal taxes it raised even before it got Uncle Sam to start picking up the trash left behind when tornadoes trashed the state.
Or, Republicans and their constituents could begin to show a little appreciation for all the care and attention California and New York and Massachusetts and Illinois and New Hampshire and New Jersey and the handful of other primarily Blue states carrying this country had been lavishing on their spendthrift backsides. Or, Republicans and their constituents could stop coddling their oil tycoons and coal magnates and big pharma moguls and all the other plutocrats and their multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations, and make them kick in a few more scoots to keep the neighborhood picked up and freshly painted before running off to the Seychelles with their diamond-encrusted bimbos.
New car indeed.