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Ron Hart on Haiti

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Columnist Ron Hart on Haiti:

When Haiti suffered a massive and tragic earthquake, our politicians ran to the microphones to make speeches and promises. That's what they do. They pledge more and more of our money to make themselves seem humane. What would really make them look nice would be spending their own money on the relief effort, like real Americans are doing.

Still, not a penny of federal support has officially been spent. The $100 million Obama promised is not even close to being approved. Help for Haiti so far has come from those great Americans who have volunteered and donated money and intellectual capital to help the dysfunctional nation survive. So far Americans have donated more than $250 million.

More here.

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  1. Still, not a penny of federal support has officially been spent. The $100 million Obama promised is not even close to being approved. Help for Haiti so far has come from those great Americans who have volunteered and donated money and intellectual capital to help the dysfunctional nation survive. So far Americans have donated more than $250 million.

    The Right-wing corporate plot to undermine Obama continues!

  2. Still, not a penny of federal support has officially been spent.

    Point taken, but perhaps a little rhetorical sleight of hand? The federal troops, transports, materiel and foodstuffs didn’t wait for Congressional approval. The price tag must be well over $100 million at this point with no sign yet of the federal spigot being choked off. Then again, it’s all borrowed money.

    1. You beat me to it. Dudes in uniforms = money being spent.

    2. Well, yeah, but some (large) fraction of that is a fixed cost. Those soldiers, sailors, and equipment were all going to cost even if they weren’t sent to Haiti.

      Sure, there’s a marginal cost of sending them there and putting them to work, but I have no idea what it might be.

      1. Sure, there’s a marginal cost

        Variable Costs:
        Feul
        Depreciation on Equipment (accelerated from use)
        Overseas deployment wage increases
        Wages for calling up reserves
        Food
        Medical equipment + Services

        1. And their devastating carbon footprint? Gore should foot that.

      2. You’re smarter than that RC.

      3. I said there were marginal costs, but I wouldn’t underestimate either them or the enormous size of the fixed costs that a standing army represents.

        I’d be curious to know what the breakdown is for something like this. Wouldn’t you?

        How much extra fuel are they using? What reserves have they called up? What is the overseas deployment bonus? That kind of thing.

        Keeping aircraft carrier sitting at a dock is enormously expensive. Sending it to Haiti is, I’m sure, more expensive. But how much more?

        1. If God has an accountant we might get a figure, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

      4. And all the MRE’s (food) and water they are handing out cost something.

  3. This just in: Politicians are opportunistic fuckwads.

  4. “They pledge more and more of our money to make themselves seem humane. What would really make them look nice would be spending their own money on the relief effort…” Not to mention that they have no legal or moral authority to give away money pilfered from American citizens.

  5. I have never understood the $100 million pledge for this reason. Currently, the United States is well BROKE! We are borrowing money for China and other sources along with printing more dollars to fund this ongoing spending binge that includes two open-ended wars.

    So our country is going to borrow $100 million from China and give it to Haiti. How about China directly gives this amount to Haiti? Let’s cut out the middle man.

    1. How about China directly gives this amount to Haiti?

      Altruism requires a human face, and our overlords want that face to be white?

      1. Or, a light skinned Negro without the dialect. Huh?

    2. The U.S. may pay China back. Haiti never will.

      1. Fat chance.

  6. This just in: Ron Hart still sucks.

    As do his sockpuppet legions.

    1. This time, I have to agree with you. He’s all over the place in this column. Focus, Ron, focus.

    2. As do his sockpuppet legions.

      You say that like it’s a bad thing!

      1. Good point, Glenn!

  7. I feel so sad with what happened at Haiti. I wouldn’t be surprised also when there would be volunteers and the whole charity work will be used for commercial production. It’s not that bad when it can help a lot.

  8. Still, not a penny of federal support has officially been spent. The $100 million Obama promised is not even close to being approved. Help for Haiti so far has come from those great Americans who have volunteered and donated money and intellectual capital to help the dysfunctional nation survive. So far Americans have donated more than $250 million.

    If it was an earthquake in France or Iceland I bet Obama would have sent the money. Frigging racist teabagger!

  9. I won’t be surprised when people start to help, they will be publicized and may be used for video commercial production just like some clips at http://www.showboatentertainment.com

  10. Im very sad about what happened at Haiti. I won’t be surprised if footages will be used for commercial production just like the clips at showboatentertainment(dot)com. It’s not that bad as long as it’s helping the victims.

  11. Stop subsidizing corn, stop subsidizing American sugar and lift tarriffs on Haitian sugar. If you want to really help Haiti start there.

    1. Choir, meet vanya.

  12. I think this highlights a tremendous issue: We, not the government, do most of the heavy lifting in this country. Even in areas where the government is supposedly involved. It’s a fact I wish we could get people to truly understand, as it shows that civil society can do things, voluntarily and collectively, without government interference.

    1. No, no, ProL. We wouldn’t have a civil society without the beneficient hand of the government guiding us along the path. Why, with no government we’d be Somalia! All good things are due to government.

      Now that I’ve gotten that canard out of the way, we can move on, right?

      1. Oh, you’re right. I must’ve been in one of those libertarian dazes again.

        1. I bet you were thinking again. That gets you in trouble every single time.

        2. TEH LIBERTARIAN DAZE is oppressing me!

  13. You can give too much. The Tsunami collected $ than the damaged caused.

    http://aidwatchers.com/2010/01/too-much-of-a-good-thing/

    1. They also sent such useful items to that area as ski pants and ice skates. Can you imagine?

      I noted with amusement that Clinton and others are being very explicit that people should send money this time. As in “Don’t send these people all the crap in your garage, please”.

      1. Why not? With the surplus, Haiti can restore its economy by selling the stuff back to us at a hefty profit.

        1. Via eBay and Craiglist.

    2. So keep the excess as a reserve for the next crisis.

  14. Hart is talking about Obama promising $100 mil and the fact that citizens have given $250 mil so far.

    The “$100 mil” has not even been appropriated yet. \

    Hart writes PJ O’Rourke type humor and I really like it.

  15. I loved the “Sammy Sosa’s face turned white” quip.

    This guy is funny.

  16. Tiger Woods reportedly donated three million dollars Monday to the Wyclef Jean relief organization for rebuilding Haiti. He gave the money without thinking twice about it. Whenever the earth moves it costs Tiger Woods another three million dollars.

    Fine column, I am starting to really like this writer Hart.

  17. I must’ve been in one of those libertarian dazes again.

    Snap out of it!

    You can’t just take it upon yourself to enter into an agreement without government assistance; that’s crazy. Didn’t you read Hobbes?

    (You know which “Hobbes” I mean)

  18. Great line, “we gave $250 mil , or as Tiger calls it, divorce money.”

    1. I suspect Leno’s writers are moonlighting.

  19. (You know which “Hobbes” I mean)

    “Calvin And,” right?

  20. The Cosmo model Scott Brown apparently , in looking at his nude pic, is anti-Brazilian!

    Funny column by this guy from the South Ron Hart. He is in our paper in LA now and folks are digging him.

  21. I think we all agree, P Brooks is a dick head of the highest order.

    Must he trash everyone? I like this guy Hart…me thinks P Brooks has a man crush.

    1. P Brooks is *not* a dick of the highest order, but Ron Hart clearly cut him off in traffic or something.

  22. “So far Americans have donated more than $250 million.”

    Will any reporter have the guts to ask Obama if he STILL thinks it’s a good idea to fuck with charitable-donation tax deductions?

    1. No, Air America is gone so there’s no one left to speak truth to power.

  23. Everyone here is totally missing the point of the article:

    Bush hated black people!

    Going to the HuffPo where they understand stuff. Everyone wants single-payer, Bush destroyed the economy with Wall Street Fatcats single handedly, President Obama needs to be a little more clear on health care, etc.

  24. In Ralph Nader’s new book where the super rich (those families making a million dollars a year) save Haiti, Michelle and Barack Obama donate $15,000.00 to Haiti.

    You would think with Big O’s new populist angle, he would have given that absurd Nobel Prize money to Haiti. Instead he invested it in his favorite charity – Goldman Sachs. He made 40%.

  25. The personal dollar’s enough, govt/our $ stays at home

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