Rick Perry, among his other interesting attributes, has managed to unbalance the state budget of Texas, you know, the state with the miracle economy, to the tune of $2.5e10/annum; yes that is twenty-five billion dollars. Consequently, the forest service and the volunteer fire departments were among the services substantially defunded as of September 1, and some professional firefighters just recently lost their jobs.
The following is a republication (with permission) of an article from the Texas Tribune:
Fire Crews Straining Amid Devastation in Central Texas
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/texas-environmental-news/environmental-problems-and-policies/fire-crews-strained-devastation-in-central-texas/.
Who’s left holding the bag? Not the wealthy taxpayers of Texas who got a big tax break from Perry, presumably. In fact, nobody seems to know.
As a Texan, I have no hesitation drawing on my vast supplies of culturally encouraged hubris to propose that the Bastrop disaster (now approaching the scale of the Joplin tornado disaster with over 1000 houses lost, with the fire only “35% contained” as of this morning) be considered primarily a federal matter. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find the rest of the country disinclined to agree.
Update: Some comments at the LA Times fit my expectations nicely.
Stone_icon at 12:24 PM September 08, 2011
What kind of moron cuts the fire proctection budget in the midst of a long drought? You brag about your balanced budget and making hard choices, and then beg for aid when your foolishness bites you in the rear. Well good luck with that. Remember, there is no such thing as climate change.
JohnZ52 at 10:45 AM September 08, 2011
Perry slashed the budget for firefighters in his state. The majority are volunteers who pay for their own uniforms and equipment. Now Perry who foams at the mouth when government intrudes on business and regular folk is whining about not getting Federal Aid. Why should my tax dollars as a resident of CA go to assist a state and governor who are anti-gay, anti- choice and anti-immigrant? Perry once advocated that Texas seceed from the Union. Deal with it Gov, and quite crying that the rest of the United States isn’t bailing you out.
JasonFerguson at 10:39 AM September 08, 2011
A tax free state with affordable housing is the accepted trade off for living in states that are vulnerable to natural disasters. Bet hedging 101 would encourage them to buy the best insurance they can afford. Why do they deserve additional financial help? I’ve chose to pay additional taxes to live in California and enjoy the beaches. Will the government help me out if I can’t pay my property tax? No. They shouldn’t. I knew what I was signing up for and so did they. The government can’t continue to bailout nitwits. This is non-sense!
No. You guys are wrong. You should send us money because Texas! Texas, Texas, Texas! And oh yeah, because climategate.