Just how low will Mike Pence go with offset spending for disaster relief?
As the Trump administration tries to figure out how to pay for the catastrophic damage Hurricane Harvey has wreaked on Texas, don’t underestimate the cruelty Mike Pence may try to inflict on the entire country. Remember that Mike Pence, as a congressman in 2005, was the architect of offsetting disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina victims with cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other programs that help the non-millionaire class.
As Fox News noted back in 2005 after Katrina hit, Pence was eager to take as much as he could from Americans’ payroll-deducted earned benefits that Republicans call entitlements like it was a dirty word.
The 20 House Republicans at the news conference highlighted programs that could be either eliminated or reduced. Among the savings options were delaying prescription drug benefits and increasing premiums under Medicare (search), increasing co-payments for Medicaid and limiting grants for first responders to large, at-risk communities.
“Our analysis suggests that there is more than enough room for cuts in the federal budget to pay for Katrina,” said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., study committee chairman, indicating a pile of papers representing the federal budget flagged with yellow Post-It notes.
In the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton also pointed out Mike Pence’s shameful record on disaster relief funding.
Pence championed an extreme proposal to potentially cut Social Security, Medicare, and other parts of the budget to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief: According to the Star Press, “Paying the tremendous cost of rebuilding the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina could come from entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, Congressman Mike Pence suggested Friday … During an interview, Pence said he would support budget reconciliation that could take $20 to $30 billion from entitlement programs to support disaster relief spending. ‘It would be marginal cuts,’ Pence said referring to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” Pence’s proposal ended up proposing to cut Medicare, school lunches, and other basic programs for hard-working families.
There is no reason to believe that Pence won’t try to use the suffering of the victims of Hurricane Harvey to advance his despicable agenda. If he was even close to being the ‘Christian’ he claims to be, he’d know that Jesus never said, people who’ve lost everything in a flood should pay for it by losing their health insurance and retirement funds.
The best way to stop Mike Pence is to let every member of Congress know that a better way to fund disaster relief is through tax increases on people like him, Trump, and their cabinet full of billionaire snakes.
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