Hurricane Sandy’s Big Government Saviors

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Governor Andrew Cuomo made an absurd mistake two days ago and no one took him to task for it. He said that he would have gas brought to five armories, four in the boroughs and one in Freeport, Nassau County, and they’d give away free gas to everyone!

Can you just see all the freeloaders jumping at that cost prohibitive measure when people who really need help can’t get to the armories because they don’t have gas in their cars?

More importantly, it would have created an impossible mess at a time when transportation is a significant factor.

The National Guard covered for him, saying that it couldn’t be set up. Cuomo got a pass as usual. Cuomo is now saying that he wanted to dispense fuel to everyone but with first responders having a priority, we saw what the demand was and decided we had to provide only for first responders. The gas was always only meant for first responders. Does anyone really believe the National Guard didn’t know they needed the gas?

People think FEMA is doing something extraordinary and they think FEMA is something it is not. When people envision FEMA, they envision relief workers who roll up their sleeves to help as they carry in bags of cash. Not so, they are pencil pushers being sent out from an unwieldy bureaucracy.

Think of what FEMA stands for – Federal Emergency Management Administration – Management – that’s pencil pushers!

They have been roaming around Staten Island (which has been devastated along the shoreline) with clipboards. They are writing down what they observe. They were doing that Friday while they watched volunteers uncover more bodies under house wreckage and while people were saying they ran out of food and water. Some people were rationing food and one woman said she hadn’t eaten in three days.

FEMA bragged about the $170 million they so quickly got out to 120,000 people. You do the math. That is not even $1500 a person. These people have lost everything in many cases, assuming the money went to the right people. How far will that get them?

FEMA is not a big deal in emergencies. People have to realize that big government stands in the way of help.

On Long Island, people are enraged over LIPA and what they view as a slow response. FEMA owes $10 million to LIPA for Hurricane Irene and that was over a year ago. LIPA has 6,000 people working, more than they have ever had I believe. Perhaps if they had their $10 million from FEMA, they could do a better job.

In Suffolk, the big government savior, who by the way had his house lit up like a Christmas tree from day one of the storm, is Congressman Tim Bishop who is bragging about getting us a million gallons of gas. Duh, that is enough to fill up 6 gas stations. That won’t go far or long.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mayor Bloomberg and his crazed pursuit of the marathon in the immediate wake of Hurricane Sandy while bodies were still being uncovered in Staten Island. He set up generators in the park for the runners that could have heated 400 homes.

There is nothing more that people want to see after losing their home than a sweaty runner in a bear costume drinking water and tearing across the bridge.

Bloomberg even had the nerve to compare his actions to Mayor Giuliani’s, who held the marathon two months after 9/11. There is no comparison.

Now the runners are angry with Bloomie for saying he would hold the marathon after they’ve spent the money on the plane tickets and the people suffering don’t like him either, especially those who were made homeless by the storm and who were thrown out of NYC hotels for marathoners.

The real heros and heroines are the people out there volunteering and let me tell you it’s not the Red Cross which has become another bureaucracy with top heavy, overly-paid administrators. It’s regular people, firemen, police, and other volunteers. It’s not the government. Andrew Cuomo can yell at utility workers and managers all he wants – he’s blowing smoke.

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