People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center Tuesday after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city. The evacuation center which is overcapacity has already received more than 9,000 evacuees with more arriving. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

KADNER: If Texas disaster spending is good, why oppose it elsewhere?

Everyone who opposes government spending speak now or forever hold your peace.

Now’s the time to make a stand, before the government “wastes” another dime helping all those people in Texas who are trying to survive in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Is that silence I hear? No. There’s a familiar voice bellowing. It’s U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the conservative Republican and a leading opponent of government spending. But this time he’s actually demanding federal disaster assistance for his home state.

In fact, most anti-government folks would be appalled by my suggestion that people oppose assistance to Texas. Who could be so heartless?

The same people who would deny health insurance to people suffering from brain cancer, heart disease and diabetes, I’m guessing.

Or the same people who would argue that poor children don’t deserve a top-notch public education.

Yes, these are the same people who oppose government regulation (it makes life so difficult for businessmen), but cry out in anger if cell phones explode, shards of glass appear in baby food, or toxic chemicals end up in our drinking water.

“Somebody do something! Help! Where’s the government?”

That’s what the public shouts in unison whenever there’s a crisis.

The government ought to spend whatever it takes to prevent a terrorist attack, spend as much as needed to make sure North Korea can’t hit us with nuclear weapons and be prepared to help its citizens when a natural disaster strikes.

I think we can all agree with that.

Bridges should not collapse. Baby cribs should not pose a hazard to infants. Children should not be sexually abused. No one should experience discrimination because of their race, sex or religion.

I could go on but even if you find a few things you wouldn’t want the government to support, they would be outnumbered by the programs you … all of us … demand.

If there’s an epidemic, we want the government to find a cure, or at least a treatment.

If illegal immigrants are arriving from Mexico, we’re prepared to have the government spend billions of dollars to build a wall on the border.

Even if our people are the greatest consumers of illegal drugs in the history of the world, all of us want the government to spend our tax money on the federal, state and local levels to battle the drug lords. And many of us are willing to spend billions of dollars more on treatment for the addicts including special injections to save the lives of overdose victims.

But we don’t like government spending. We hate taxes.

And we love to complain.

Yes, there is waste, there is corruption and there is incompetence in government. I can almost guarantee that some government official is going to make a whopper of a mistake dealing with the Hurricane Harvey disaster and there may be millions of dollars wasted building temporary housing for the homeless in Texas.

Someone is going to find a way to fill their pockets with money at the expense of those in need. Some of those in need will find a way to defraud the government programs.

Knowing this, how many of you are willing to stand up and say, “Don’t waste my tax money on those people in Texas”? Are you willing to say at this moment that government spending for disaster relief, on FEMA, ought to be cut?

The plan was to cut billions in spending from the federal disaster agency’s budget. Now there’s a rush to make sure more money is available for the people in Texas.

Our government does some great things. Give yourselves a pat on the back for helping your fellow Americans. You are generous, kind and unwilling to let others suffer when your tax money can help.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

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