Trump and GOP Shortchanging Disaster Response - the New Normal
Did you know that the Trump administration has sent far fewer people to help with disaster recovery than it claimed. They actually have sent 5,000 fewer people than they claimed they were sending to assist in Hurricane Harvey response.
Are you shocked? Are you shook?
These craven GOPers lack all empathy and will instead offer that people should donate to charities to help. Charities can’t do what USG can
From The Hill’s tweet:
U.S. Northern Command said Thursday that the U.S. military had deployed more than 6,300 active-duty troops but had actually only deployed 1,638 as of 7 a.m. Friday.
Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis told CNN that “an accounting error” caused the miscalculation. Some National Guard forces were double-counted as active-duty troops, he said.
“In a fast-moving response such as this, some people were inadvertently double-counted on a spreadsheet,” Davis said in a statement. “We have corrected our process to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Davis insisted that “an accounting error doesn’t lessen the impact of our response.”
As of Friday morning, the Pentagon had deployed the 1,600 active-duty troops and 1,254 civilians and contractors to help with relief and recovery efforts.
They join troops from the Texas National Guard, activated in its entirety by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday, as well as National Guard troops from Virginia, Arkansas, New York, Iowa, Georgia and a number of other states.
Another 1,050 active-duty service members could deploy, according to the Pentagon.
The inability to do basic things - like knowing how many troops are working on disaster relief has real world consequences. We’ve seen the Trump admin repeatedly screw up basic communications - typos, grammar errors, etc.
This is a math error that gets people killed or delays a disaster response.
Everything this administration does is awful, and this is just the latest example. Trump and Texas Gov. Abbott are trying to do disaster assistance on the cheap, and the consequences are that people suffer and it takes longer to get out of immediate danger.
GOP isn’t interested in helping victims of natural disasters. They don’t care at federal level. @GovAbbott doesn’t care to help Texans.
Abbott’s refusing to tap in to the rainy day fund, the purpose of which is to deal with these very kinds of situations.
Rather, the GOP wants to dump this all on to charities, which can’t do the heavy lifting and can’t do the kind of work that the government can do.
Charities like the American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity or any other charitable group are supplements to a government’s disaster response. They can’t rescue thousands of people. They can’t bring people to higher ground. They don’t have those resources.
All the same, the GOP is looking to gut and filet the FEMA funding and National Flood Insurance Program, both of which are key elements of a federal government response to natural disasters like floods. Trump’s proposed budget called for significant cuts to FEMA. Trump also called for cuts to the Coast Guard - the very first responders whose helicopters and boats were on the front lines of rescuing people in the hours after the storm hit.
Everything the GOP is doing is an attempt to abdicate the government (at all levels) responsibility to the citizens of our country. It shows the GOP actively ignoring the Constitution’s obligation to provide for the General Welfare, and instead we’ve been “treated” to repeated stories that the GOP is fixated on pushing tax cuts. Trump spent the week proposing significant corporate tax cuts at a time when the stock market is at all time highs and the corporate profits are likewise at record levels.
There’s no crisis calling for tax cuts. But tax cuts during a crisis means there’s less money available for disaster response, and that’s the point - the GOP wants to cut funding and devolve from disaster response and recovery.
George W. Bush’s notion of compassionate conservatism is well and truly dead. This GOP, led by Trump, is all about pushing tax cuts for the rich and shifting the burdens to everyone else.