29 October 2012

Mitt: Disaster Waiting to Happen

General Election Mitt would like you to forget Primary Mitt, who during a debate just after the Joplin tornado advocated closing FEMA in favor of state disaster relief. That's stupid enough. (Every state should maintain duplicate fleets of temporary housing and mobile hospitals, because a disaster could hit any one of them!) But what chaps my fanny is the Randian nonsense herein (emphasis mine), and I'm including his fatuous crap about passing on debt just to ensure that no one accuses me of taking this out of context:

"Absolutely," he said. "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?"

"Including disaster relief, though?" debate moderator John King asked Romney.
"We cannot -- we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids," Romney replied. "It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all."

Did you get that? He thinks a good way to trim the deficit is private-sector disaster relief. So people with a bundle of dough can buy rescue when hurricanes hit, but for the feckless lazy crowd that doesn't have tens of thousands in cash ready to hand -- sheesh, just die already!

Private insurance? Don't even start. Two reasons: Profit will siphon far more out of the risk pool than "government inefficiency" ever will (see "VA Hospitals"). The flip side of the same coin: Insurers' duty to shareholders compels them to evade claims in any way possible. If their lawyers can find an escape from funding a rescue mission for your family, then you're going to be treading water for a long, long time. In contrast, the Coast Guard, firefighters, EMTs, and SAR teams see rescue as their mission, and put their lives on the line because rescue, not profit, is what they do.

Free-market fundamentalists make me just as sick as the kind who put bombs on airplanes, or the ones who murder doctors. Markets are a fine tool -- for some things. But they are the distilled essence of selfishness, and those who worship them unconditionally are consigning people to die to satisfy their fetish.

Think I'm being too harsh? Consider the millions fossil-fuel profiteers have pumped into the so-far-successful effort to delay climate-change action. Those people share culpability for everyone who dies during this storm, and the ones to come. To wail that relief must be cut, for the suffering they helped cause, in order that their obscene piles of money grow a little bit faster -- that is evil in its essence.


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