Friday, August 26, 2011

Eric Cantor and Other Conservatives Praise Hurricane Irene as Potential Boon to Economy

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- While nobody knows with certainty where Hurricane Irene will strike or with what force, broad swaths of the East Coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina are likely to be hit as the storm barrels toward the U.S. mainland. AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe modeling organization, estimated on Friday that the hurricane had already caused upward of $1.1 billion in insured losses across the Caribbean. For the United States, AIR Worldwide estimates that $4 trillion worth of insured coastal property lies in Irene’s path. The White House advised Americans in vulnerable areas to prepare, then get out of the way. “I cannot stress this highly enough,” President Obama said in statement from his vacation compound in Chilmark, “if you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. Don’t wait. Don’t delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst.”

But a group of far-right politicians led by Eric Cantor called Obama’s “Chicken Little” scenario a cat’s paw for taking swipes at the economic disasters his administration created. Carlisle Olden-Whitely, chairman of San Narciso’s Association of Republican Seniors, Wives, Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (ARSWYPE), said, “Irene might be the best thing that’s happened to the U.S. economy since Katrina.”

FEMA No Different Than Socialist Relief Organization That Ruined Germany in 1940s
Since last weekend, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has placed response teams along the Eastern Seaboard. Millions of liters of water have been collected and meals prepared, all at great expense to tax payers. The federal government also spent the better part of last week working closely with officials in communities that could be affected by this storm.

“The government’s off on another spending spree, and nothing’s even happened yet,” Olden-Whitely complained.

But concerned and fiscally responsible conservatives have apparently been fighting to stop the premature expenditures. Many Republicans, according to reports, have advised their constituents to “not be hasty” in turning to the government for assistance as Irene looms.

Hallie Bethard, one of the FEMA administrators stationed in Virgina, said her office received a disturbing memo on congressional letterhead that urged her teams to abort the mission. Bethard confessed that she could barely decipher the message, which she described as “packed with confusing language, almost like earmarks, promising political favors to local businessmen.”

“Somewhere in all that,” Bethard told reporters, “was a note warning that FEMA’s presence might be sending an anti-American message. I couldn’t tell who actually wrote it, but it sounded a lot like Eric Cantor.”

Indeed, Eric Cantor on Friday said that federal aid should not be doled out unless it could be offset by tax cuts. Political insiders with behind-the-scenes access to House Republicans from strongly conservative districts said a group of representatives had unanimously agreed on the seemingly bizarre decision to stop FEMA from taking action. A partial transcript of the letter read:

We need to stay focused on the issues. And as Republicans, whom you elected to represent your best interests, we understand that reducing the deficit and cutting taxes are still the biggest challenges facing us today. Asking FEMA to rush in here like a bunch of Stormtroopers is inviting more government intervention, federal spending, tax hikes, and socialism. That’s more detrimental to your welfare than a natural disaster, no matter how epic. It’s World War II era Germany all over again.

Some analysts believe Cantor may be right. Before World War I, Germany was a prosperous country with a gold-backed currency, expanding industry, and world leadership in optics, chemicals, and machinery. The German Mark was strong. But that was 1914. In 1923, at the height of German hyperinflation, the exchange rate became one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would scarcely buy a loaf of bread.

“Cantor knows precisely what he’s talking about,” said Olden-Whitely. “After Germany lost World War I, it was forced to make reparations payments to France under the Treaty of Versailles. The economy was a mess, but then a ‘savior’ named Adolf Hitler road into town on a horse called Hope. Nearly 50 percent of the country’s working population was unemployed by that time. So Hitler created a series of publicly financed work programs, bringing unemployment down from 6 million to 302,000 over a six-year period. But how did he achieve this? The same way every socialist does: by eliminating capitalism, free enterprise, and creating a nation of indentured servants. And those of us who’ve read our history books know how that turned out. I agree with Mr. Cantor’s ‘wait and see’ attitude. Before we turn to another socialist dictatorship disguised as federal relief, we should let the free market save us all, as has been its role throughout history.”

Socialist Scare Tactics Ruining Potential Gift from Above
“Whenever God closes a window, He opens a door,” Cantor told supporters in Virginia. “Irene might smash a few windows, but she could be kicking down a few doors too. If we let free enterprise do its job, we won’t need to pay the government for inferior workmanship.”

Cantor then cited Katrina as proof of this concept. Devastating as the disaster was, all government funded relief organizations failed horribly in their responses, which led to unfathomable economic distress and loss of life.

“But look at New Orleans now,” Cantor said. “Halliburton, a private company, donated its time and resources to rebuilding the damaged infrastructure -- faulty systems, I might add, designed by government engineers. The original ‘construction capabilities contract’ given to the U.S. Navy was $500 million. Halliburton’s contract was only $61.3 million. That’s a savings of about $439 million to tax payers. It’s simple math, nothing fuzzy about it.”

Cantor also praised Senator Jeff Sessions, who had bravely sought to repeal detrimental estate taxes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. On September 9, 2005, Sessions said, “[Arizona Sen.] Jon Kyl and I were talking about the estate tax. If we knew anybody that owned a business that lost life in the storm, that would be something we could push back with.”

With the cost of damages soaring, and the tax burden on Americans threatening further danger to the faltering economy, Sessions’ plan was to locate as many dead business owners as possible and help their struggling families cope with the losses by eliminating the death tax.

“In that spirit, I say we let Irene do what she will,” Cantor concluded. “After the storm sweeps through with its biblical flood of destruction and mayhem, there will be more opportunities for Americans than President Obama has produced. This could be America’s clean slate, its fresh start.”

Cantor prophesied an end to the unemployment crisis with the anticipated wealth of rebuilding and construction projects: “Irene is going to get people back to work. We’ll need home builders, electricians, plumbers, shop owners, grocers, contractors, engineers and new workers to replace all those who will probably be killed during the hurricane. That’s job creation, folks, right from hand of God.”

Irene Already Strengthening Economy
Although the full brunt of the storm has yet to make landfall, hurricane related business is booming, creating what Republicans have called the most promising sales figures in a long time.

Instead of wringing pennies from the coin purse to purchase discounted school supplies, clothes, and notebooks, shoppers spent hundreds stocking up on survival gear and essentials. Retailers such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart reported doing brisk business on Friday, selling water, flashlights, batteries, and other goods from the Carolinas to Massachusetts.

A manager from a Sears in North Carolina exclaimed, “We’ve got customers calling nonstop about generators. It’s fantastic. We haven’t moved so much merchandise in years.” In fact, consumers who would normally have avoided stores to take advantage of the final days of summer cancelled their beach trips to battle frenzied shoppers at Home Depot.

“Sure, nobody wants to lose his home or have his livelihood taken away by an act of God,” Cantor said, “but in these dire times, Americans must be willing to sacrifice. Sometimes you have to lose a finger to save a hand. But when this is over, we’re going to end up with a four-fingered hand adorned in diamond rings. I think that’s worth it.”

(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.