• Eric Cantor Holds Hurricane Relief Hostage to Budget Cuts

    If you're among the millions of Americans picking through debris strewn yards, pumping out the basement, and recovering from the umpteenth game of Yahtzee with your in-laws, Eric Cantor has a message of hope.

    He'll give FEMA its precious disaster recovery funds, just as soon as Congress agrees to cut spending on whatever nonsense, like grants to first responders, the federal government is paying for these days

    Speaking on Fox News Channel, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said a natural disaster like Hurricane Irene is an "appropriate instance" for a federal role, but that the government can't go deeper into debt to pay for unexpected outlays.

    "We will find the money if there is a need for additional monies," he said. But "those monies are not unlimited. And what we've always said is, we've offset that which has already been funded."

    Cantor equated the situation to what an ordinary family would do in a crisis, doing without a new car to pay for the needs of a sick loved one, for instance.

    Whatever, there's no hurry; hurricane victims are just going to blow the money on replacing spoiled food and finding shelter.

    Besides, Cantor is right. This is exactly how families are supposed to manage emergencies. When your car breaks down, do you pay the mechanic with your credit card, like some kind of profligate socialist, so you can drive to work the next day? No! You stop feeding your children for a week or two and save that money until you can pay the repair bill, like a Real American.

    I hear your objections. "Government isn't like a family," you say, "My family isn't allowed to print its own money or borrow money at negative real interest rates." Perhaps you're not convinced by Cantor's logic because you're not an expert in disaster management like former Bush FEMA Director Michael Brown, who endorses the Cantor plan

    If you're trying to institute a new paradigm in the field of federal disaster relief, you could use a better ally than former FEMA Director Michael Brown, better known to most of you as "Heckuva Job" Brownie.

    He's the former International Arabian Horse Association Commissioner and the guy many blame for bungling the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He's also the first high-profile person in with experience in the field of disaster management to back the new GOP requirement that federal disaster aid be offset with federal spending cuts.

    I can't imagine how anything could go wrong.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Eric Cantor, FEMA, House of Representatives, Michael Brown, Natural Disasters, Republicans


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