South Dakota ranchers, who were in favor of the government shutdown, are now bemoaning the fact that the shutdown means no federal assistance following a devastating early blizzard that wiped out much of their livestock.
What’s worse is that the ranchers don’t sound like they’ve changed their minds about the shutdown.
Rather, they think that their welfare checks from the government are the only good the government actually does. So while the rest of the government should still be shut down for you and me, we should make an exception for them.
The LA Times reported on the freakish early blizzard, which followed 80 degree weather, a few days ago. 80,000 head of cattle were killed by the blizzard. It’s being called the states’ “worst economic disaster in decades.” Some ranchers lost all the cattle they had. Clearly a devastating disaster.
Yet Washington’s shutdown has deprived people here of a traditional safety net: Congress hasn’t passed a new farm bill to subsidize agricultural producers, and the lockout means legislators won’t be voting on the topic any time soon….
Still, he’s frustrated and feels that federal lawmakers have turned their backs on the nation’s heartland in a time of need.
“We’re just a bunch of ranchers from South Dakota — it’s hard for our voices to be heard,” he said, sitting at the kitchen table at dawn Friday, drinking coffee, fielding calls from fellow cattlemen. “You see crises across the country, the hurricanes and tornadoes, and officials are right on top of it. But something of this magnitude, that has just about leveled this part of the country, and there’s nothing.”
Many residents in this conservative region had supported the government shutdown as a way to make Washington more fiscally responsible. “But one appropriate role for these guys is to lend a hand after disasters like this,” Christen said, “and they’re not here.”
They’re not here.
No sh*t, Sherlock. What part of “you shut the government down” are you not understanding?
These guys are no different, and no better, than the Tea Partyers, led by Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, who protested at the White House to express their ire over their own shutdown shutting down the World War II memorial in DC. Cutting off cancer patients from possibly life-saving medicine is a necessary evil, but don’t shut down their memorials.
Or their corporate welfare.
Isn’t this always the way it works? What everybody else wants is “pork” and “wasteful spending.” But what you want is “appropriate.” And you want it now.
Polls have often shown that while people – including Republicans – want the budget cut, they’re not terribly in favor of specific programs being cut. Here’s one from PEW back in 2011:
Budget cutting is a top priority for the GOP, with 70 percent of Republicans in a new survey by the Pew Research Center saying the federal government should focus on reducing the deficit, not new economic stimulus. And in many cases, more Republicans now support cuts than did so two years ago….But across 18 areas of federal spending, a majority of Republicans support decreasing spending in just one: aid to the world’s needy. In one other area, unemployment assistance, 50 percent of Republicans polled said they would decrease spending (far higher than the 11 percent who said they would increase it), but in all others the number saying funds should be cut is under the 50 percent mark.
Now who’s the “taker”?
Keep in mind that the last time the Republican party threatened to shut down the government, in 2011, part of the deal reached to avoid shutdown was cutting FEMA by nearly a billion dollars.
And GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney ran on a platform of abolishing FEMA.
So it’s not like the pro-shutdown South Dakota ranchers weren’t put on notice about what was coming, and what they voted for.
It’s really quite a sad read. Families have lose their entire fortunes. I urge you to go read the entire story over at the LAT. But Republicans, including these ranchers, really need to get over their sense of selfish exceptionalism. Everybody else is crazy, everybody else is selfish, and the rest of the government, the rest of government spending, is all waste and abuse.
And even after they’re faced with a horrific disaster, these ranchers are still singing the Tea Party tune.
Good luck explaining that one to your kids.