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Rick Perry Asks For Help From Washington For Texas Wildfires—Where Are The Tea Party Volunteer Disaster Relief Teams?

Texas Governor Rick Perry wants President Barack Obama to declare parts of Texas as disaster areas because of ongoing wildfires.

( Above—2011 Texas wildfires.)

From CNN

‘Texas Gov. Rick Perry is asking the federal government to declare the state a disaster area, a bid to spur assistance during a particularly potent wildfire season that has imperiled lives, structures and livelihoods in 252 counties, his office said in a statement Sunday. In his letter written late Saturday to President Barack Obama, sent through a Texas-based Federal Emergency Management Agency official, Perry said that above-average temperatures, lack of rain and low humidity have “caused extreme fire danger over most of the state.” “The wildland fire risk potential has reached a critically high level,” the governor wrote. These conditions “present a serious hazard to the lives and property of the citizens of the state.”

I see.

Texans need help from the federal government because of things beyond their control.

I thought the conservative Texas ethos was that a man or woman controls his or her own fate.

This call for help from Washington is being made by a Governor who has engaged in treasonous speculation about secession, and who is pushing savage budget cuts on the most vulnerable Texans.

We should recall that while those suffering from the impact of wildfires merit quick help, many in Texas nursing homes or many Texans who are sick due to no fault of their own also need help.

Of course, it is no surprise that Rick Perry wants help from Washington. According to a map prepared by Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs, Texas took almost $28 billion dollars in federal stimulus money.

I’d also like to know when the Tea Party volunteer fire companies and the Tea Party disaster relief teams will be rushing to assist people impacted by the fire? Where are county Republican parties in Texas organizing teams of citizen-volunteers to help out our fellow Texans so that they will not have to turn to government?

Are we going to allow socialized fire companies of public employees team up with Washington to do the job that everyday Texas citizens should be doing?

People who have been harmed by the fires should be helped. However, since many of our political leaders in Texas would rather people die than use the Rainy Day fund or raise the taxes needed to meet the legitimate needs of Texans, it is fair to comment when these same officials declare that some Texans are indeed worthy of help from government.

Let’s be clear about the facts—

1. Despite all the tough talk, Rick Perry calls on Washington and Barack Obama for help to solve problems facing Texas.

2. Despite all the criticisms of the federal government from Republican political leaders, Texas received many billions of dollars of Barack Obama approved stimulus funds.

3. While I’m certain many very good citizen volunteers are helping out with the wildfires, the Tea Party movement and other Texas conservatives who sing the praises of citizen action are no place to be found in any organized fashion when help is needed most.

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Key Texas Republican Admits Medicaid Pullout Will Leave People Homeless—What We Can Do To Fight This

Texas is facing a budget deficit of at least $ 18 billion.

Texas Republicans say pulling the state out of Medicaid is an option for the 2011 legislative session to address this deficit.

While some Republicans maintain the fiction this can be done without making people homeless, the chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, Jim Pitts, at least tells the truth.

From the Houston Chronicle

“Some Republicans who talk about Texas potentially opting out of Medicaid are quick to say the changes wouldn’t throw people out on the street — but not House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts. Pitts didn’t advocate the change in health care for the poor at a meeting of the Ellis County Tea Party, just noted that it will be discussed by lawmakers. But unlike others who have painted a rosy picture of a potential health-care restructuring without filling in the details, Pitts gave a stark answer when an audience member asked about an ill friend who is on Medicaid. The questioner reacted with concern when Pitts said the state is looking at getting out of the program. What will my friend do then? Will you throw him out in the street? “If we did exactly what we’re doing today, we wouldn’t be throwing him out in the street. But if we have any savings in getting out of Medicaid, we will have to throw some people out in the street,” said Pitts, R-Waxahachie. He noted, “I’m not telling you that your friend would be.”

If pulling out of Medicaid takes place and when, as a consequence, people are out on the streets, who do you think will pay for that? The medical costs and likely police costs of such persons will be paid for by cities and counties.

As you see from the newspaper article above, even Tea Party followers are concerned that they and the people they know in life will be impacted by these cuts. (Though what did they ever expect?)

Texas has a so-called Rainy Day Fund that could help address this budget crisis. There is over $8 billion in this fund right now.

And let’s be clear, the reason this big deficit did not occur in the last legislative session in 2009 was because of federal stimulus money and money from other federal funds.

What can be done to prevent these types of deficits and these proposed radical solutions from taking place in the future?

Here are some ideas—

* We could have a tax structure that meets the needs of the second largest state in our federal union. An income tax would make a lot of sense.

* Texas Republicans holding public office  could truthful about the fact that we take plenty of federal money all the time, and Texas could work in partnership with the federal government instead refighting the Civil War.

* Rank and file Texas Republicans could acknowledge to themselves that they use public services all the time in daily life and that many Republicans in Texas use Medicaid program.

* Hispanics in Texas taken as whole could start to meet the personal responsibility of voting and of taking full part in the politics and the public policy debates of our state.

* Progressives in Texas could begin to really fight instead of being resigned to Republican rule. We are not meeting our obligations to Texas and to the nation.  Where is the organizing and the energy from our side that we saw from the Tea Party people in this last election?

* We could all understand that taxes are a necessity in life and that we have obligations to others in this world. Realizing these things in no way conflicts with the need to have a job and to meet your obligations to yourself and to your family.

* All Texans could decide that we want to live in a decent state where we do not toss people out on the street because they get sick.

(Fellow Houston & Texas blogger Charles Kuffner also addresses these issues. Also, Tea Party blogger David Jennings sees no value in Texas leaving Medicaid.)

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment