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Constitution doesn’t provide aid

I really have to sympathize with Editor Mike Dobbs’ struggles to get his home repaired after the tornado, which he describes in September 5th’s Reminder. It sounds frustrating. It’s no wonder his view of Congressmen Ron Paul and Eric Cantor in his Opinion piece is a little biased.
Dobbs implies that Cantor and Paul are heartless when they remind us that the Constitution says that relief should be a local or state matter, not a federal responsibility. But no one is saying there should be no aid; they’re only saying that states and municipalities are the appropriate entities for providing aid, and would do it more swiftly, more efficiently, and targeted more appropriately. They know that FEMA’s huge bureaucracy wastes a lot of tax dollars that have to come from the people in all the states.
Dobbs goes on to imply that Cantor is a hypocrite for asking for federal aid in 2004 for his state of Virginia, but is singing a different tune in 2011. We need to recall that in 2004, the federal debt was less than half what it is today, and so the government could easily afford the aid at that time. Also, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, and they weren’t about to consider eliminating FEMA, or any other expensive or wasteful government program. Things are very different in 2011.
Dobbs criticizes Cantor for suggesting that aid be paid for by cuts elsewhere. If the government is broke and borrowing money, doesn’t it just make sense to look for the money somewhere? Again, no one is saying the aid shouldn’t be allowed; they’re only suggesting that it be paid for. Why is that a strange concept? Does anyone still believe that federal aid money is free and in endless supply?
R. Patrick Henry Jr.
East Longmeadow
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