The California wildfires have so far destroyed an estimated nine thousand homes in Northern and Southern California. Thousands of men, women and children have lost everything except the clothing on their backs. Insurance is not going to cover all their needs.
In June 2017, I posted an article in Big Jolly Times on the Ike Dam. Most of the comments expressed strong opposition to the expenditure of any taxpayer funds to bail out people who are living in storm surge-prone areas since the government would be spending money it does not have. Rather than spending money on the Ike Dike, they suggested the people at risk purchase flood insurance. Most indicated that when you buy a home in a flood-prone area that’s a risk you have to assume. One comment even suggested I move to the Woodlands. The bottom line: No government expenditures to bail out those who lose everything to a hurricane.
Those comments are a good example of blaming the victim. Shame on them for moving into a flood-prone area. Shame on them for not buying flood insurance. Never mind that many of Harvey’s victims did have flood insurance. The attitudes expressed in those comments make conservatives appear to be insensitive to and uncaring about the losses suffered by flood victims.
If the areas devastated by California’s wildfires are declared a major disaster by the President, the fire victims will be entitled to the same federal aid as hurricane victims. But those opposed to the government providing aid to hurricane victims because they should not have moved into a flood-prone area must surely be just as opposed to the government providing aid to California’s wildfire victims.
Shame on those fools for buying homes in areas prone to forest fires. Losing everything to a wildfire is a risk they have to assume. Well and good. All of Northern California is forest land, much of Southern California is forest land and parts of Central California is forest land. The state has a population of about 40 million. I’m guessing at least half of the people in California are fools for living in or adjacent to fire-prone forest land. Shame on them! Screw them! They should have bought their homes in the desert.
If that is the attitude of Republicans, the GOP is headed for oblivion. Fortunately many Republicans do not believe that those who lose everything to a natural disaster should be left to fend for themselves.
We all believe the government should not be spending money it does not have. But if the government stopped spending money it does not have, it could no longer fund our military or provide welfare aid to the truly destitute … and no one is proposing that.
Sensitive and caring people, be they Democrats or Republicans, should not oppose providing federal funds for disaster relief aid to the victims of natural disasters.