By James Boyne
Stuck into the middle of President 's speech last night on the plight of New Orleans he made a rather remarkable and a very revealing request of the American people---- "Send cash ".
Is the President of the United States of America some kind of beggar hanging out on a street corner panhandling for a little cash. "Hey buddy, got a dollar "?
Is it me or does the President 's request for cash from the American people sound both preposterous and idiotic under the circumstances?
After promising that help was on the way for the people of the Gulf Coast he basically laid the onus on the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. I guess if things don 't go well with what should be one of the most massive rescues and clean up efforts in our history we can blame it on the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
There is a crisis of mammoth proportions developing and President Bush says, "Send cash ".
Don 't get me wrong. I think the Red Cross and the Salvation Army do excellent work. The Red Cross is excellent at providing a much needed cup of hot coffee to rescuers and soup and a hot meal to the homeless victims of natural disasters. They are excellent at the logistics of providing blankets, tents and fresh bottled water; medical supplies and first aid for injuries too.
I 've always donated to the Salvation Army. They provide basic subsistence provisions for the homeless in time of need. And we all know that the Salvation Army does an excellent job at redistribution of clothing that Americans routinely donate to them.
But give me a break. This is a disaster of immense proportions never seen before in an American city and in an American region. An entire major city with no electricity, no running water, no sewage system, and no refrigeration for food. An entire city where there may be thousands of people dying, holding on for dear life, waiting in the darkness of their attic for the ever rising water to recede. This is a city where corpses are rotting in the streets and floating by in the putrid water that has flooded the streets and made them impassable.
Tens of thousands are wandering homeless with no food, clothing, water, medical help, or means of transportation. Hundreds of thousands are trapped----somewhere, either in their home or far away from their home---separated from their loved ones and their friends. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished.
Why should Americans send cash? What good would it do?
This is a job for the Federal Government. Yes, Mr. Bush, the organization that you are Commander-in-Chief of----the Federal Government of the United States of America.
Send cash? Don 't be preposterous, Mr. President. You have already given back to the rich and famous more than $350 billion in your infamous tax cut for the wealthy. Why don 't you ask them to give the $350 billion back. They can "send cash ".
And Mr. President, how about the $300 billion you have already spent in taxpayer 's money on the war in Iraq. Haven 't we Americans already sent enough cash for that cause. Now, you want more cash? It 's been widely reported in the press that there is $9 billion in funds missing from all the money we have sent to Iraq----and you want us to "send cash "? You must be kidding. I 'm not sending any cash while you 're in charge. Our entire National Treasury is disappearing under your fiscal leaderlessship.
We are sending about $2 billion a week in cash to Iraqis every week. They must be rich as hell by now. Why don 't the Iraqis send some cash to the people of New Orleans? Sounds like a sensible idea to me.
And now that we are on the subject of "cash ", why doesn 't the drug industry that has just been given a $750 billion windfall revenue gift by your Medicare Prescription Reform Plan send some cash to the people of New Orleans? Do they really need all $750 billion. I heard that one drug company was going to donate $1 million. Give me a break. Could they spare it?
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