SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Pushing the Sandy Relief Bill, to the next Congress< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
EastieTrekker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mar. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 1:05 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, I didn't see this discussed anywhere else, and was interested to hear some opinions on the topic.  

I don't have a ton details, but the gist of it is that the Senate had passed $60.4B Sandy Relief bill (which I think was about 50% for short term needs and 50% for longer term relief efforts), and it was on the House to move it forward.

Apparently, Boehner had told interested members of his party (mostly from NJ and NY) that a vote would be held after the "fiscall cliff" issue was resolved, but after that vote Boehner was nowhere to be found.  Then, there are quotes saying Boehner said that this bill would be high priority for the new Congress and that they would get it passed in the next 30 days.

I mean is this political suicide or what?  Why on earth would they put this vote off?  Did we learn nothing from Katrina?  But maybe I'm missing something here...perhaps there were some "extras" in the bill?  I don't know what's worse, holding the country hostage over taxing the top 0.6% (individuals over $400k and households over $450K) or not serving our most helpless and in need brothers and sisters...

Either way I find it despicable...Personally I think they all knew where they were ultimately going to shake out on this "fiscal cliff" vote all along, so I see no reason (with my limited information) for putting off the relief vote.


--------------
I request all the possible consumer protection organizations, and fight with their injustice.   ???
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43957
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 1:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There were what could be judged as "extras" at the least (those "longer term" items): as to what's worse there's also the conundrum of exploiting a tragedy to get some goodies for the home state.... are long term infrastructure investments appropriate in an "emergency" bill? That's where the differences lay from my impressions of it.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
EastieTrekker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mar. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 1:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I can see that being a problem.  Though in some ways you could justify investments in infrastructure as a way to forgo damage if a similar disaster struck in the future, but I could understand some hesitation from the house to jam this thing through before the new Congress.  

I also just read, that FEMA still has plenty of funds and is out there working with victims (don't know the validity of that statement, can anyone from NY and NJ weigh in?).

At the end of the day, our legislative process is so exhausting.  And I suppose that's why we have FEMA, because our political leaders freeze anytime there's something important to act on...


--------------
I request all the possible consumer protection organizations, and fight with their injustice.   ???
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
KenV Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7324
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hmmm.  Hurricane Sandy hit its peak on Oct 25 and most of the damage was done by Oct 30.   If there is anything "despicable" about all this it's that its taken more than two months just to get the legislation this far.  But that's how Congress works.  They're slow.  Which almost always is good, and why we have FEMA and other agencies who already have funds and other resources to provide relief.

Secondly, authorizing funds and releasing those funds are two different things.  Plus, even after the funds are released, actually spending the funds can take quite awhile.  For example, not all the "stimulus" funds allocated, authorized, and released were actually spent even two years later.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
EastieTrekker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mar. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 1:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KenV @ Jan. 02 2013, 1:23 pm)
QUOTE
Hmmm.  Hurricane Sandy hit its peak on Oct 25 and most of the damage was done by Oct 30.   If there is anything "despicable" about all this it's that its taken more than two months just to get the legislation this far.  But that's how Congress works.  They're slow.  Which almost always is good, and why we have FEMA and other agencies who already have funds and other resources to provide relief.

Secondly, authorizing funds and releasing those funds are two different things.  Plus, even after the funds are released, actually spending the funds can take quite awhile.  For example, not all the "stimulus" funds allocated, authorized, and released were actually spent even two years later.

No doubt about the speed of Congress and the point of FEMA, and to be sure, I'm not pitching this as a Republican problem, more of a Boehner problem, for promising members of his party a vote, and then pushing it to the next Congress.

And I understand the difference between the authorization and corresponding release of funds, which is why I think a vote for monetary relief from a natural disaster on our own land should not be delayed any more than it has to be.  This vote should have taken place a while ago...JMO


--------------
I request all the possible consumer protection organizations, and fight with their injustice.   ???
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
KenV Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7324
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 4:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EastieTrekker @ Jan. 02 2013, 1:38 pm)
QUOTE
No doubt about the speed of Congress and the point of FEMA, and to be sure, I'm not pitching this as a Republican problem, more of a Boehner problem, for promising members of his party a vote, and then pushing it to the next Congress.

And I understand the difference between the authorization and corresponding release of funds, which is why I think a vote for monetary relief from a natural disaster on our own land should not be delayed any more than it has to be.  This vote should have taken place a while ago...JMO

And one I largely agree with.  The biggest problem with "rush" and "emergency" bills is that politicians take advantage of the "rush" and the "emergency" to slip in all sorts of pork.  Both sides are guilty of this.  Compassion is seldom if ever real.  It is just a word used for political advantage.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43957
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 4:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KenV @ Jan. 02 2013, 1:05 pm)
QUOTE

(EastieTrekker @ Jan. 02 2013, 1:38 pm)
QUOTE
No doubt about the speed of Congress and the point of FEMA, and to be sure, I'm not pitching this as a Republican problem, more of a Boehner problem, for promising members of his party a vote, and then pushing it to the next Congress.

And I understand the difference between the authorization and corresponding release of funds, which is why I think a vote for monetary relief from a natural disaster on our own land should not be delayed any more than it has to be.  This vote should have taken place a while ago...JMO

And one I largely agree with.  The biggest problem with "rush" and "emergency" bills is that politicians take advantage of the "rush" and the "emergency" to slip in all sorts of pork.  Both sides are guilty of this.  Compassion is seldom if ever real.  It is just a word used for political advantage.

The term, IIRC, is "Christmas Tree Bill": one with a lot of room under it's branches for gifts to be tucked....

Though, to be fair, so much of our political system is prompted less by rational and logical argument than reaction to an eye-catching event that finally highlights the significance that the dry information had not. So there's possibly a well meaning decision to take the steps that are known to be prudent to go beyond the status quo that was shown to be vulnerable with a recent catastrophic and possibly tragic failure. The New Orleans levies come to mind. Warned about for years as inadequate, so the question arose: fix them back to their inadequate former state or fix them for the future? Say a flood takes out a decrepit 99 year old bridge: replace it with another decrepit bridge to "fix" just the flood damage? Now there'd be a waste of money I'd say.

Haven't looked at the Sandy proposal so I can't judge what's proposed.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 24019
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 02 2013, 4:08 pm)
QUOTE
The New Orleans levies come to mind. Warned about for years as inadequate, so the question arose: fix them back to their inadequate former state or fix them for the future? Say a flood takes out a decrepit 99 year old bridge: replace it with another decrepit bridge to "fix" just the flood damage? Now there'd be a waste of money I'd say.

Although my state stands to benefit from relief, I'm very concerned about this issue.  Just building things back the way they were is a waste of money.  I'm also against using it to buy out folks who just discovered why the Jersey Shore wasn't lined with million-dollar second homes before latest building boom.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43957
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 9:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Gov. Christie seems quite miffed.
http://www.politico.com/story....87.html

If there were questionable items attached to the bill why not have the adult discussion? Ducking the calls of a state's governor seems petty.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
wwwest Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6763
Joined: Dec. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 9:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I heard there was a broadcast request that all donations to the Republican Party in New Jersey and New York be withheld until the funds are approved!!

Right wing cannibalism is a great spectator sport!!  LOL

Should be some positive action before long now.


--------------
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 24019
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2013, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 02 2013, 9:31 pm)
QUOTE
Gov. Christie seems quite miffed.

Well, it's an ugly bottom-line problem for him.  Whatever the feds don't cough up will have to come from the state and the towns, not to mention the affected individuals and businesses.

Balancing the budget (constitutionally required) is an especially tricky problem in NJ because of constitutional constraints on how different kinds of tax revenues can be spent.  The kinds of taxes and fees that are most applicable to infrastructure restoration are the most politically untouchable (and regressive) among them.

NJ's credit rating was already bad before the storm.  Some municipal bond ratings will go to junk status if they haven't already.   It won't be so bad out here in the sticks, , although power bills will eventually go through the roof.

On a positive note, this could finally drive consolidation and efficiency in local governments and school districts, which are ridiculously small and costly.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43957
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 12:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From a distance I've never understood New Jersey's rather constant fiscal issues: the state with the third highest median household income in America and the second highest per capita annual income? Just odd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...._income

But yeah if the bond ratings are tanked then there's no where to go for long term capital infrastructure repairs costs...

ETA: Boehners not had the best of weeks...:
Amid backlash, Boehner schedules Sandy vote
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 24019
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 12:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 03 2013, 12:17 am)
QUOTE
From a distance I've never understood New Jersey's rather constant fiscal issues: the state with the third highest median household income in America and the second highest per capita annual income? Just odd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...._income

But yeah if the bond ratings are tanked then there's no where to go for long term capital infrastructure repairs costs...

It's all about the structure.  Many NJ residents pay more in property taxes than anything at the state level.  The income tax is constitutionally required to be used only for property tax relief, which means most of it goes back to the towns or to school districts, especially the impoverished urban districts.

That leaves the sales tax, gas tax, tolls, and user fees to cover infrastructure development.  The gas tax is politically radioactive, and ever-increasing tolls go mostly to pay the cost of their collection and prior construction bonds.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
12 replies since Jan. 02 2013, 1:05 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Pushing the Sandy Relief Bill
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions