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Thread: Rand Paul Isn't a Hypocrite on Disaster Relief

  1. #1

    Rand Paul Isn't a Hypocrite on Disaster Relief

    Rand Paul Isn't a Hypocrite on Disaster Relief
    The senator's opposition to past disaster relief bills has always been on the grounds that congressional budgets should mean something.

    CHRISTIAN BRITSCHGI
    12.15.2021

    Destructive tornados have swept through five states in the South and Midwest, leaving 88 people dead and many more without homes or power. Most of the damage has been concentrated in Kentucky where at least 74 people have died. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear warns that the death toll could rise higher still.

    The ongoing pain and suffering in the state have focused the minds of more than a few liberal lawmakers and columnists on the alleged hypocrisy of its junior senator, Rand Paul (R–Ky.), for asking that President Joe Biden provide federal disaster aid to the state.

    In doing so, these critics are almost entirely ignoring what Paul has asked for in response to this latest disaster and what his criticisms of past disaster relief bills have been. The result is some inaccurate cheap shots that skate over the serious problems of federal overinvolvement in natural catastrophe response.

    ...
    read more:
    https://reason.com/2021/12/15/rand-p...saster-relief/



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  3. #2
    I dunno, spending money that has been "pre-approved" is still spending money that the government doesn't have.

    I get that there's a nuanced explanation for how it's not hypocritical, but its also not, not hypocritical...

    But I also get its a lose/lose situation no matter what position he takes on this so w/e its not like this $#@! matters
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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    I dunno, spending money that has been "pre-approved" is still spending money that the government doesn't have.

    I get that there's a nuanced explanation for how it's not hypocritical, but its also not, not hypocritical...

    But I also get its a lose/lose situation no matter what position he takes on this so w/e its not like this $#@! matters
    I agree with the sentiment. Not the most ideologically consistent move. Basically the best reasoning I could come up with would be how his father justified it. Rand is the state's senator and it is his job to submit for the government help even if he doesn't personally agree with it.

  5. #4
    Ron Paul always voted against disaster relief for his own district when it suffered from hurricanes. I always immensely respected that.
    There is nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency, but a globalism where free trade is competitively subsidized by each nation, a continuous trade war is dictated by the WTO, and the single currency is pure fiat, fear is justified. That type of globalism is destined to collapse into economic despair, inflationism and protectionism and managed by resurgent militant nationalism.
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  6. #5
    It's important to understand that the bills Paul was opposing were supplemental disaster appropriation bills that spent money well above the funds that Congress had already provided for disaster relief.

    In both cases, Paul proposed amending these bills so that they offset these supplemental appropriations—which ended up being $51 billion for Hurricane Sandy and a whopping $136 billion for 2017's disasters—with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

    Paul's position in both cases is entirely sensible and basically boils down to the idea that if Congress establishes how much it's going to spend in a year, that should actually mean something. Critics seem to believe that congressional budgets should in fact be a fiction that are enlarged whenever a new spending item pops up.

    The federal aid that Paul has endorsed thus far for disasters in Kentucky will come from the federal government's Disaster Relief Fund, which as of early December had $45 billion in it. It's projected to close out fiscal year 2022 with $10 billion in reserves.
    There are certainly immediate emergency needs that the Federal government could help with, and to get that help the congressional members from that State would sign on to the request. That would be expected.

    The fact that the funds are already allocated makes it much more justifiable.

    The real question is how much and for what Federal money ends up going. If you are paying to replace property or assets for uninsured entities when insurance was available and reasonable, it's a moral hazard. Why should anyone pay for insurance if the Federal government is willing to pay?

    Help should primarily come from people who want to help. That can be local volunteers or international charity fund raisers. Local and state government can certainly play a role, and should do that before the Federal government.

    To be clear, this doesn't make Paul a perfect libertarian on federal disaster assistance; the disaster response and relief system we have set up right now creates far too large of a role for the federal government. It's created a system of dependence in which state and local officials' first response is to turn to Washington for help when it should be them (as well as private parties) in the driver's seat. The individual assistance that Paul has requested and Biden has approved also arguably creates a moral hazard by paying to cover damages that people haven't insured themselves against.
    That.
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  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    I dunno, spending money that has been "pre-approved" is still spending money that the government doesn't have.

    I get that there's a nuanced explanation for how it's not hypocritical, but its also not, not hypocritical...

    But I also get its a lose/lose situation no matter what position he takes on this so w/e its not like this $#@! matters
    In the other cases where they had run out of relief money, he was trying to get them to make cuts in other areas of spending. That's a good thing. In this case, that wouldn't make sense because the money is already in the fund. Otherwise I am sure he would love the opportunity to promote spending cuts.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
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