Hurricane Relief: Government Assistance Helps Rebuild after Harvey and Irma

I wish I could spend another article talking about climate change and the effects we are now seeing. I’ll let this one go, but just know [1]. Regardless of what to blame, the entire country is now dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the pending relief of Hurricanes Irma and Jose. Believe it or not, we are actually only halfway through Atlantic hurricane season. If Texas and Florida don’t concede soon, they might have to deal with Hurricane Zebediah before the season ends in October. Weather is actually really cool; it just sucks when it gets too strong to deal with.

I don’t have to be another person telling you about the destruction of these unusually powerful and frequent hurricanes. And I definitely won’t be asking for money or donations to help those affected. It’s heart-warming to see the millions raised by organizations and even sports teams. The assistance is appreciated, but is it enough? The total costs of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are estimated to be up to $300 billion, with Harvey being the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history at $190 billion [2]. So thank you Red Cross for  raising $250 million (then paying executives millions and giving needy people the scraps) and thank you J.J. Watt for raising over $30 million, but again, is it enough? Where’s the rest of the relief funds going to come from? The government.

You read right, the government is needed to step in and help the needy. Ironically, most of the money is going to Republican-run Texas, where they believe in small government, free enterprise, and no government assistance. For months, Republicans pushed to cut FEMA and disaster relief budgets by close to $1 billion. This past week, Congress passed a $15.25 billion aid package to go to response expenses and helping rebuild homes and businesses [3]. That’s a lot of federal assistance going to needy people that don’t believe in federal assistance going to needy people. Then again, I guess hurricanes are out of their control, where as losing your job, where you’re born, and not having enough money to feed your kids is totally a life choice.

hurricane trump

The relief bill contained an extra measure negotiated between President Trump and Democrats to keep the government running until December. With this addition, the bill was voted against by over 100 Republicans, including four from Texas [4]. These republicans were unable to put aside their political retardation for the good of their own constituents. For many years, the GOP has fought against government intervention and federal assistance programs, arguing that it shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility. Now, when there is no other option for help, these politicians still can’t even break from their beliefs. The government is the only entity that can help, but Republicans would rather see their people suffer.

The season isn’t over; more hurricanes are coming and more political drama will follow. Continue to support relief efforts in the Gulf Coast, but don’t forget about the people that are in charge to help. We elect politicians to make the decisions that will keep our country running. Sometimes these decisions involve providing assistance to those in need, but we can’t let some politicians push that government intervention and assistance is wrong. The government may be bloated and overcomplicated, but the government is here to serve and assist. From hurricanes and other natural disasters to safety net programs, government is not the problem, government is part of the solution.

Written By: CJ Wilcox (@CJWilcox7)

1: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/did-climate-change-intensify-hurricane-harvey/538158/

2: http://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricanes-harvey-irma-cost-us-economy-290-billion/story?id=49761970

3: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/09/08/four-texas-republicans-just-voted-against-harvey-disaster-aid/?utm_term=.30c06964b0b6

4: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-passes-disaster-relief-sending-trump-sign-n799796

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed by this writer are solely his own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Couch Guy Sports, affiliates, or other contributors. Yeah, I’m surprised I can get away with it too.

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