As Americans in the North East are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the general response to how President Obama and the federal government have handled the situation has been positive. Though the majority of Americans approve of FEMA and their handling of the storm, Fox News has been quick to criticize them.
A new Washington Post/ABC poll shows that nearly 80 percent of the American people approve of President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy and 73 percent of Americans approve of how the federal government has handled the storm. With less than a week until the election, Hurricane Sandy has proved to be the October surprise that many people were waiting for. Following the endorsements of the Economist magazine and former Republican now Independent mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, President Obama is seeing the result of doing your job as president.
While many have approved of the response to Hurricane Sandy, the right-wing media has done what they can to spin the narrative. On the Thursday edition of “Fox and Friends,” co-host Steve Doocy criticized FEMA’s role in the clean up, stating that the government will just borrow money from China and add to the debt.
Guest: In essence, FEMA has an ability to print money. And as we were talking about before, Steve, who in the end will be paying for our flood damage in the short-term? Who will be putting up the dollars? Will China? Will we be becoming more indebted to China as a result of our floods on our coast?
Steve Doocy: That’s right. It’s never free money. You know, Congress can say okay, we’re going to come up with the dough and here is the thing, FEMA has this gigantic program with over a trillion dollars worth of property insured, but they only got $3 billion in the bank. That’s crazy. But because we’ve got such a gigantic deficit right now, Peter, you’re exactly right. If the Congress says okay, let’s put more money in the ’till for FEMA, that money is probably going to be borrowed from China.
What Fox News doesn’t seem to understand is that the main role of the federal government is to be there for “We The People.” Programs like FEMA are funded by taxpayers, the very same taxpayers who have no power, have lost their homes and are left in limbo wondering where their life will be headed. According to CNN Money, FEMA still owes the treasury $18 billion, mostly due to Hurricane Katrina, but still has access to close to $4 billion.
“FEMA already owes $18 billion to the Treasury Department, thanks to Hurricane Katrina. Currently, insurance experts say FEMA’s flood insurance program has access to funds totaling $3.8 billion, much of it in loans. If flood claims exhaust the fund, Congress may have to step in with additional taxpayer money. That will add to the already bloated national deficit, and anger fiscally-conservative members of Congress.”
While the argument over climate change is a divisive one, it shouldn’t be. When a storm like Sandy hits the north-east, it’s devastating, but not surprising. As the earth’s temperature continues to rise and the amount of carbon emissions being put into the air increases, climate change and the debate over global warming needs to be taken seriously. Fox News and the Republican party might like to deny climate change, but they won’t be able to deny reality for much longer.
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