Billionaire plutocrats blocking Hurricane Sandy relief


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

This is un-American. Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow citizens after a disaster. We don't ask "how much does it cost?," we only ask "how can we help?" Lee Fang reports at The Nation, David Koch Now Taking Aim at Hurricane Sandy Victims:

Hurricane Sandy was the second most costly in American history, leaving 100 lives lost, over $50 billion in devastation and tens of thousands
of damaged or destroyed homes. Legislative efforts to help those who
survived Hurricane Sandy’s wrath will reach a major stumbling block.

Earlier this week, AFP, which is chaired by Koch and believed to be financed
by several other plutocrats from the New York City region, released a
letter warning members of Congress not to vote for the proposed federal
aid package for victims of the storm that swept New Jersey, New York
City and much of the surrounding area in October. An announcement on the
group’s website says that the vote next week for the Sandy aid package will be a “key vote”—meaning
senators who support sending money for reconstruction could face an
avalanche of attack ads in their next election. Already, opposition to the bill is growing, although it passed one procedural hurdle last night.

There is some legitimate criticism with aspects of the legislation,
including the fact that some of the money will go to non-Sandy related
reconstruction efforts in disaster areas. For AFP, however, the whole
bill must die and victims of the storm deserve no help from the

Koch’s top deputy in New Jersey, a surly gentleman
named Steve Lonegan, who heads the local AFP state chapter, called the
aid package a “disgrace.” “This is not a federal government
responsibility,” Lonegan told reporters. “We need to suck it up and be responsible for taking care of ourselves.”

* * *

In this instance, there’s no payout to Koch Industries. Instead, it
appears the fight over the Sandy relief money is yet another proxy
battle with President Obama and his party. If the bill is significantly
sliced apart, or even blocked, Democrats will have a difficult time
finding the funds to pay for other programs over the course of next

Regardless of the politics though, it’s just kind of sad that a man worth $31 billion would spend his money this way.

Maybe Koch industries should give back all the federal subsidies it receives (corporate welfare) and not take advantage of the myriad corporate tax loopholes and tax avoidance schemes. They need " to suck it up and be responsible" for their own success or failure as a business.