Mr. Obama is missing a golden opportunity in this debate about benefits for 9/11 First Responders.
In usual fashion the Congress is considering more spending legislation, pursuing the same old discredited path of throwing tax dollars at a situation. Trouble is, we’re broke.
Republicans who object are correct: we should hold the line on spending, even reduce it. (And they will be cast hard-hearted by Democrats, as usual. Bottom line: it’s all politics.)
Democrats who promote this funding are also correct, in a sense. We should step up and help First Responders. Obviously, 9/11 was an extraordinary event bringing catastrophic consequences. We take care of our own.
So we have another political battle, as usual, where combatants are fighting largely to score political points, and we have a President who is likewise looking to hit a three-pointer, desperate to regain serious ground lost especially this year.
Here is a solution that would provide a four-way win.
President Obama should appear on national television and call on all Americans, especially the well-to-do, asking them to dig deep and contribute to the First Responders’ medical and economic fund to help them for the next ten years. The bill calls for a $6.2 Billion allocation. Check it out:
$6,200,000,000 divided by 100,000,000 people = $62.00 per person
Ask everybody to kick in an average of $100. The People will step up. Achieving this we’ll provide the First Responder’s with $10 Billion, and we’ll do it without Congress, without spending more money the government does not have, and without all the political wrangling and stupidity.
The First Responders win.
The taxpayers win.
The government wins.
And the President wins.
He’d show real leadership, acting above and beyond partisanship, and in so doing he would be demonstrating faith in The People instead of constant reliance on government. Doing this he would also be demonstrating a serious commitment to reducing spending, thereby dealing with the deficit.
Be a First Responder Mr. President.
Clarification from Michael Medved:
Allan, only one problem: they’re not really “first responders”: the great majority of the people covered by this bill are construction workers and trash haulers who were nowhere near the site on September 11, and nearly all of whom started their work on the site in 2003 or later. In fact, the bill (as I understand its current form) only covers claims filed AFTER September 11, 2003. So we’re not talking “first responders” here, or federal workers either.
A caller to my show made another clever suggestion: why not simply give all these people who are claiming disability from “WTC dust” access to the VA system? If it’s good enough for our heroic combat veterans (like your boy), then it should surely be good enough for the construction workers who toiled at WTC!
Further, the Republican counter argument thanks to Medved: