Republicans Would Rather Red-Staters Die than Pay for Externalities Related to Oil

We’re on our second near-record tornado this year and summer hasn’t even started. Joplin, MO and Birmingham, AL have been especially hard hit, but much of flyover country is set to spend the summer hunkering down to hide from truly horrifying weather.

Yet Eric Cantor wants to hold disaster relief hostage to debt hysteria. (h/t Steve Benen)

The No. 2 House Republican said that if Congress doles out additional money to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters across the country, the spending may need to be offset.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”

The stance is all the more heartless given that most rational people believe there’s a tie between the increasingly volatile weather and climate change. That is, it’s not just that Eric Cantor wants to deprive fly-over country of any government assistance in the face of freak natural disaster, he’s demanding that communities suffering the consequences of climate change also pay the bill to clean up after climate change-caused disaster. He’s asking already-devastated communities to pay for our collective addiction to oil (and coal).

One obvious solution might be to impose a carbon tax at least big enough to pay for such disasters, which are likely to become more and more common.

But these same Republicans that want Joplin to pay the price of getting flattened by tornadoes are also heading in the wrong direction. They want debt reduction, they claim. But they also refuse to cut subsidies to the same carbon industry contributing so much to climate change.

We have enough money, apparently, to keep paying off the most profitable corporations in the world. But not enough to help our neighbors who pay the physical, emotional, and economic price for those corporations’ profits.

George Steph Wrings His Hands

George Stephanopoulos, clutching his pearls, wants to know why it was necessary for Alan Grayson to call out Republicans on the floor of the House for their stubborn defense of the status quo failed health care in this country (note, in his post, Steph uses Eric Cantor’s YouTube of this speech, which ought to tell you on whose behalf he decided to cover this).

Why Is This Necessary?

Rep. Alan Grayson , D-Fla., says GOP plan is for people to "die quickly." House Republicans are demanding an apology. Don’t they deserve one? Watch here: UPDATE: At Noon today. Rep. Tom Price plans to introduce a new resolution admonishing…

I’m going to pretend Steph is asking sincerely why this is necessary. 

Exhibit One: What Steph had to say about Joe Wilson’s outburst.

If you needed any more evidence that passions run high on health care and America’s partisan divide cuts deep, it came tonight.  When was the last time you heard a member of Congress (Joe Wilson of S.C.) call the President a liar during a joint session address? (Rahm Emanuel has already approached the GOP Congressional leadership and demanded an apology. John McCain has said Wilson should apologize, too. And just moments ago, Wilson bowed to the inevitable and apologized). For that matter, when was the last time you heard a President use the word “lie” in a joint session address? 

No mention of the fact that Wilson was the one lying here. Instead, an excuse for Wilson because "passions run high." No mention of Wilson’s lie–or those of his Republican colleagues–the following day, either (though, once again, Steph highlights what Eric Cantor wants out there). No mention of Wilson’s lie in Steph’s discussion of Wilson’s opponent’s financial bonanza for his outburst either.

Exhibit Two: George Steph’s "outrage" in response to much more incendiary comments from Republicans–such as when Mike Huckabee said that Democrats would have forced Teddy Kennedy to "go home to take pain pills and die." 

Mike Huckabee tossed a hand grenade into the debate over who’s politicizing Ted Kennedy’s death Thursday morning when he told his radio audience that under Obamacare, Kennedy would be told to "go home to take pain pills and die."

Which Democrat will toss it back first?

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