One Year Of Tax Hikes On The Rich Is Promptly Spent As $60 Billion Sandy Relief Aid Bill Passes

Tyler Durden's picture

After more than two months of political grandstanding, finally the $60 billion pork-laden Sandy relief aid bill has passed through the House in a 241-180 vote (with 1 democrat and 179 republicans voting no), with the vote passing courtesy of just 49 republicans who voted with the democrats. The reminder objected in protest "against a bill that many conservatives say is too big and provides funding for things other than immediate relief for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut" Politico reports. Specifically, the House approved a $50 billion relief bill, after several hours of contentious debate in which scores of Republicans tried unsuccessfully to cut the size of the bill and offset a portion of it with spending cuts. $9.7 billion had been already voted on January 4th for a flood insurance lending facility.The biggest winner today? Chris Christie whose anti-Boehner soapbox rant drama two weeks ago may have been just the breaking straw that forced the passage of this porkulus bill.

From Politico:

Republican and Democratic supporters of the bill argued throughout the day that everyone should support it, or run the risk of losing votes for future disaster bills that might help people in their districts.


"Florida, good luck with no more hurricanes," Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) shouted to any member who might oppose the bill. "California, congratulations, did you get rid of the Andreas Fault? The Mississippi's in a drought. Do you think you're not going to have a flood again?


"Who are you going to come to when you have these things? We need this, we need it now. Do the right thing, as we have always done for you."


Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a similar warning to members who oppose the bill."


I hope that we can have an overwhelming bipartisan vote," she said. "I think that ideally… that would be the right thing to do.


"But as a practical matter, you just never know what mother nature may have in store for you in your region, and you would certainly want the embrace of the entire nation around you and your area, for your constituents, for your communities, for our country."

In other words, let's cut spending... but not when that spending may involve me being the benficiary. Incidentally, this is precisely why the US government will never, ever address the true cause of its insolvency: spending. Because doing so may mean being unable to rely on other, generous taxpayers when push comes to shove.

Scores of Republicans ignored these warnings and voted to either cut the bill or offset parts of it with cuts elsewhere. But there were not enough deficit hawks to overcome the many Republicans who favored the bill as it was presented, along with nearly every Democrat.

And yet another reason why the debt ceiling deal has no choice but to be enacted, with the usual theater, is the following:

The other big vote was on whether to offset the $17 billion baseline bill with a 1.63 percent cut to discretionary government programs. The sponsor of this language, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), argued that while prior disaster bills did not have offsetting spending cuts, Congress is now operating in the context of a $16 trillion debt.


"The time has come and gone in this nation where we can walk in here one day and spend nine or 17 or 60 billion dollars and not think about who's paying for it," Mulvaney said.


But Mulvaney was rebuffed by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who opposed the idea of subjecting discretionary programs to an across-the-board cut. That left Mulvaney asking all members why Congress can't find cuts to fund important disaster recovery aid.


"Just tell me what you are willing to do without," said Mulvaney. "Are we willing and able to do without anything so that these people can get this money this year?"


Mulvaney's amendment failed 162-258, as Republicans split on the proposal 157-71. The vote split GOP leaders, as Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) voted for it, while Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) voted against it.

So, basically, there is nothing that the House was willing and able to do without. But yes: spending cuts.

Funny stuff.

And putting it all into context, $60 billion just happens to be the annual benefit from the Obama tax hikes on the rich. And just like that, the entire first year's budget benefit was spent in under 2 weeks.

Because if you tell them there is more money, they will gladly take it...

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nmewn's picture

La Nina & El Nino have nothing to do with CO2, cow farts or whatever hell you put yourself through trying to interpret what you think you see, Dante.

A picture, really is worth a thousand words.

Flakmeister's picture

Yep, I should have known better, any understanding of nature that involves math or abstract reasoning is far beyond your comprehension level...

Here you might enjoy the pretty cartoon that explains it:

nmewn's picture

The only abstract reasoning I've ever seen you do is trying defend the indefensible deletion of emails & manipulation of data by the "climate scientists" of East Anglia ;-)

Flakmeister's picture

That was a lame reach even for you...

fuu's picture

"Nothing like dealing with a national disaster to get a true read on the pulse of the Hedge."

You were trolling pretty hard that week as I recall.

Flakmeister's picture

I would argue that the fuckwads like nwmeeme saying that Sandy was going to be a nothingburger were the reall trolls.. Unless having a balanced view based on facts is the new definition of trolling....

I was pointing out that the models were predicting major damage.... sue me... 

fuu's picture

I think this is one of my favorites:

"Clarity of logic, not to mention internal consistency, was a never a strong point of the Black Helicopter crowd....

I think the chin strap on the collander tends to be too tight thereby restricting blood flow to the brain..."

That's pure gold right there. Perhaps counter-trolling would have been a better word.

Flakmeister's picture

Glad you enjoyed those... 

Much obliged... 

Zer0head's picture

Dreamliner has just become a Japanese nightmare

all passengers are safe

Dr. Engali's picture

So that's like what...21 days of printing for the Bernank? Pfffttt he can do that in his sleep.

shovelhead's picture

How about "The No Guidos Left Behind" bill?

Northern Lights's picture

Last I heard, the house where the Jersey Shore was filmed was spared by the storm.  Go figure.

Papasmurf's picture

I heard that house had a nasty crack-up.

Son of Loki's picture

Rich pay taxes? LMAO


Rich pay accountants, not taxes.

Tombstone's picture

I hope this year Hurricane Barney blows into the big W and cleans up.

Bryan's picture

What's the big deal?  Just get the Bernanke to print the 60 bills and move on.


Better yet - mint a $60B aluminum coin and then spend it on the hurricane.  Problem solved.  Sheesh, I don't know why the gov't boobs can't figure this one out.

Mark123's picture

A massive storm gets $60 billion.


A handfull of wallstreet crooks gets $15 TRILLION.


The people sleep, cashing their food stamps and taking out government backed loans, shopping, watching TV.


A civilization quietly, painlessly dies.

secret_sam's picture

Innumeracy could explain a lot, but that would never happen *here*.

SilverFish's picture

Great, the "rich" get to pay for poor people to live close to the ocean.




Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Looks like S.A.G and HAARP are paying dividends.

Look up people and wonder why the skies are never blue....
You is being Chemtrailed.

Falconsixone's picture

NO! Those are contrails..... That's the con stich you ants

Pemaquid's picture

These people didn't have insurance? Why must we pay to rebuild in areas where housing should never have been built in the first place? Now they will throw up new housing so that the next storm can take it all back down. And what? We pay again?

secret_sam's picture

You realize that lower Manhattan hasn't flooded like that in over a hundred years, right?

We're not talking about the Midwestern floodplains...

Widowmaker's picture

You realize everything in Manhattan is insured to the sky, right?

Might as well call it the $60B giveaway to insurers.

Pemaquid's picture

I repeat, these people didn't have insurance? No? Tough shit!

secret_sam's picture

        Now they will throw up new housing so that the next storm can take it all back down.

If the "next storm" occurs in 2113, I doubt anyone will remember you mentioned this. 

Do you have earthquake and flood insurance, yourself?

The whole take-home point from rare events is that they're *rare.*  If you live in Denver and have flood insurance, more power to you, take advantage of every benefit you can with your discretionary income. 

SOME folks would consider that a poor spending choice.

(I'll sell you some *comet* insurance, by the way.  How much coverage would you be needing?)

Pemaquid's picture

You obviously do not buy into global warming, otherwise you would know that the 100 year storm is a thing of the past. And yes, I have earth quake insurance, but not flood insurance, because I know not to live in a flood plain. Anyone foolish enough to live there and NOT have flood insurance deserves what they get. The rest of us should not have to pay for their ignorance.

secret_sam's picture

You'd have a point if Manhattan and the Jersey Shore are flood plains.  But they're not.  You might consider taking a look at a map someday.

Clowns on Acid's picture

You might consider taking a look at the concept of actuarial tables you dumb fuck.

secret_sam's picture

This is the best you can do?  No wonder your life is such shit.

djsmps's picture

Have you ever heard of 100 year floods?

secret_sam's picture

Yes.  When was the last flood of NYC and the Jersey Shore?  You're just clueless on the subject.

If you want to be specific and bitch about Coney Island and Far Rockaway, that's one thing. 

But this idea that folks in MOST of the area fucked up by Sandy "should've known better" is just idiotic.  That asshole above doesn't even have flood insurance.

Clowns on Acid's picture

Presumably that 100 year stat was reflected in the insurance premiums you dumb fuck.

secret_sam's picture

OK, dick-breath, given that you felt compelled to come at me with this bullshit not just once, but TWICE, I'll drop some knowledge for your worthless uninformed ass.

I'm friendly with a couple who own a house on Long Island who actually HAD THE FLOOD INSURANCE and haven't gotten paid yet because the insurers were waiting for the Feds to make a decision about whether there was going to be an aid bill passed.

Now shut the fuck up you stupid fucking cunt and go back to molesting your neighbors' inbred children. 


azzhatter's picture

i hope that fat fuck christie chokes on a chicken bone when he chowing down with schumer and obammy

devo's picture

Imagine what GDP would  be if we could cloud seed hurricanes and rebuild demolished towns at will. Keynesian wet dream.

Falconsixone's picture

I'm still waiting for relief from the devastating Hurricane Banker that got downgraded to a congressional shrug in the shitter by the weathermen nobsucker.

Say What Again's picture

I'm OK with helping people recover from disaster.   I'm NOT OK with people rebuilding in a known flood zone. 

I just watched a special on PBS about how the ocean levels are rising.  If someone wants to get financial aid, then they can not rebuild in a flood zone (e.g., next to the beach) with TAXPAYER money.  If someone wants to rebuild on the coast or in a flood zone, then use your own money, and good luck getting insurance.

MyBrothersKeeper's picture

Insurance conpanies refuse to offer flood insurance in those the government provides it to an extent....although i'm not sure if the residents pay anything for it.

earleflorida's picture

Does anybody hear, remember the... 'Big Dig'?

Jeepers Creepers's picture

How about the fact that every single Democrat (except 1) voted for this?  At least a majority of Republicans voted against this farce.  I'd like all of them to be like Ron Paul, but at least there's some Republicans that aren't gun grabbers or pork lovers.

TheObsoleteMan's picture

Get a load of this: This is a true story. I live in a small town that was nearly leveled in 2004 by Hurricane Charley. Since it was an election year, {and other reasons I won't get into}, the Federal money {taxpayer money} poured into the area the next day. FEMA and a whole host of other agencies came in like the cavalry. They issued "ATM cash cards" to anyone who's zip code was on the disaster list. All that one needed to do, was take that card to any ATM, and you could get three withdrawals of $400, for a total of $1200. NO DAMAGES EVEN HAD TO BE PROVEN. Many of the people who got these cards, in fact MOST of the people who got these cards, had no damage at all. Some lived as far as sixty miles away from the storm! I was volunteering at the time at a substance abuse center. I heard over and over from the junkies there that they had got these cards, and went straight to their drug dealer, TRADING THEM FOR DRUGS. This is why it is best that disaster relief is best left to the Salvation Army {who was first on the scene} and the Red Cross. Let the Feds give them half as much money, and they could do twice as much relief as the Federal agencies can. When the Feds are involved, the money ALWAYS gets pissed away and mis-spent, or even worse, in the hands of criminals. I'm sure a fair amount was outright stolen too.

rodgerleanne's picture

That does it!  Tomorrow I go to the county offices and change my party registration from Republican to Libertarian.  They are all venal and the USA is finished.

MyBrothersKeeper's picture

3 Things:

1.  The new taxes generate about 120 B a year not 60 B as Tyler states.  The spending cuts in the new deal is only 15B.  So while it is not true that this bill wipes out all of the revenue from new taxes, it is true that it increased spending by double of the "spending cuts" in one bill. One thing conservatives can do better is to make sure their facts are facts and verifiable.  Over time it creates trust as the liberal math is usually pur bs.

2. I have been at odds with Grover Norquist at times but the reality is he is right.  What i'd like to see is more out of election cycle facts being projected to the public in real time.  I mean i got 50 flyers from them during the fall but why not air a tv commercial now right after this Sandy bill passesd and show all of the pork in it the bill and ask the question why is US so far in debt?  Then answer it with the pork in this bill and ask people to demand more from their elected officials. Name names.

3. I have been saying for weeks that the Dems will keep finding babies to hold up to put pressure on everyone to pass flawed legislation.  It was middle class taxpayers for the cliff, it was victims for the hurricane bill, now it is social security recipients for the debt ceiling. Again, conservatives need to do a much better job of making sure they bring up, every time, what the fight is REALLY about and not just the moniker that the DEms put forth.  The Dems have become masters of PR spin.  The GOP/conservatives need to combat that much better and until they do they will keep being painted into a corner with lose/lose propositions

More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

I know I have a longer memory than the Average American, but can anyone tell me where 1 dime of the trillion dollar stimulous went? Shit that money just vaporized! And no one gives a rats ass.  Its comical

Coldfire's picture

World class performance. Third World, that is.

Bee's picture

Why is $9.7 B needed for flood insurance?  Flood insurance has mandatory premiums paid by the homeowner.  Has the past money paid just gone into the General Fund?  I guess it must have been in the same lock box as Social Security.

secret_sam's picture

     the same lock box as Social Security.

There's no such thing.  The Supreme Court made sure the guy who made noise about that lockbox didn't get to be Prez, remember?

Joshua_D's picture

The spice must flow.