Flint Water Crisis

Obama's Phony Aid to Flint Lead Poisoning Victims

The president told them he has their back when he's showing them his back

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Obama Stamp
The PIX-JOCKEY (visual fantasist)

In the liberal worldview, Walmart is the anti-Christ for providing free drinking water to Flint's lead poisoning victims and President Obama is the Savior himself for releasing $80 million of other people's money to them.

"I want to thank President Obama for quickly responding to our request for federal assistance," U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, fawned.

"This is the type of leadership and action my community deserves," Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, gushed.

As it turns out, the president's aid is phonier than a three-dollar bill, because: It's not actually special; it isn't $80 million; it won't necessarily go to Flint's victims.

The 2016 omnibus spending bill put $1.4 billion in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund that Uncle Sam created decades ago to help states defray the cost of federal clean water mandates. It was clear from the start that the president was drawing from this fund. But what was less clear was that Michigan is getting only the money it was entitled to – not a penny extra.

As per standing law, every state gets a piece of the revolving fund pie as per a statutory formula that takes into account the state's geographical area, population etc. Michigan's share under this formula works out to 4.75 percent – or $66 million of the $1.4 billion. But in order to get this money, it has to put up matching funds of 20 percent or around $14 million. Add that together and you get the $80 million that Obama is taking full credit for.

But what's even worse than Obama's boasting is that, in reality, the bulk of the money may not even go to Flint residents. Why? It is up to state authorities to prioritize spending for various clean water infrastructure projects and the federal government doesn't have much say in it. That is not stopping President Obama from trying to strong-arm Michigan's leaders to divert this money to Flint. But to the extent that he succeeds, he'll potentially jeopardize the health of children elsewhere in the state, likely spreading, not containing, the tragedy.

If Michigan doesn't listen to him, however, Flint residents will get even less than the $1,000 each that I had previously reported they would, a slap in their face given how much they are suffering and how much they would have gotten if a private company had been responsible for a tragedy of this scale.

None of this is to suggest that Uncle Sam ought to feel compelled to hand Michigan extra cleanup dollars as some are suggesting (although the EPA has a hand in poisoning Flint residents too by staying mum when it knew that city water wasn't being treated for lead corrosion). That'll only create a moral hazard and make state leaders less accountable for screw-ups in future. Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash is entirely right that the state needs to take responsibility for the residents it poisoned and up its $28 million contribution. For example, it can divert the $30 million it spends on a totally useless Pure Michigan ad campaign to pay their medical bills.

But Obama shouldn't be pretending that he has – to use his words – "the back" of Flint residents when he's actually showing them his back. It would be far more honest and humane to tell them they are on their own.

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  1. So was I also wrong when I thanked Obama for making the sun rise this morning and saving me a good parking spot at work?

    1. Hugh, you have a job?!?

      1. Pimpin’ his mom is sort of a job.

        1. But that’s my job!

          1. I thought you were at the customer end of that transaction?! You’ve moved to the supplier side now?

            1. Shit rolls downhill. He’s near the bottom of the pile.

            2. I think he’s under the impression that the pimps are the ones who give the girls money.

            3. I…uh…have been known to get high on my own supply, if you know what I mean.

            4. Epi refers to EVERY action as ‘pimping,’ e.g. “I totally pimped the shit out of that bowl of Frosted Flakes this morning.”

    2. It depends on how you feel about Obama first taking that good spot from someone else.

  2. Democrats: Quick to spend other people’s money on not fixing the problem. This is called ‘leadership’

    Business: Voluntarily donating needed supplies to Flint’s victims. This is called making things worse in the long run

    Michael Savage is right – Liberalism is a mental disorder

  3. For example, it can divert the $30 million it spends on a totally useless Pure Michigan ad campaign to pay their medical bills.

    Irony so thick it can’t float in leaded water.

    1. But, playing the score to the Cider House Rules movie while showing pictures of lakes and apple fields is pivotal to helping people from IL choose Michigan for their vacations instead of Wisconsin.

  4. the Clean Water State Revolving Fund that Uncle Sam created decades ago to help states defray the cost of federal clean water mandates.

    So, the Feds create an onerous mandate that is expensive to implement. Then they tax the people of the various states so they can then send that money back to the states themselves to help pay the cost of implementing the mandate. As opposed to just letting the states decide if they want to tax their people directly to implement the mandate.

    The more middlemen the merrier, I guess.

  5. Step 1. Take Person A’s money
    Step 2. Promise that money to Person B
    Step 3. Promise the same money to Person B again (without actually increasing said promise)
    Step 4. Collect your Nobel Prize

  6. Has any other President been the object of as many creepy cult-of-personality type pictures as Barack, the First of His Name?

    1. I’ve talked to people who mention their parents had a picture of FDR in the house. I guess if you grew up with it there, it wouldn’t bother you, but YUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

    2. JFK?

      He was sampled in the song, at least.

      1. I’m glad I’m not a Kennedy.

      1. +1 everlasting covenant

    3. He is not the first of his name:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barak

  7. “…”This is the type of leadership and action my community deserves,” Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, gushed.”

    Well, no. It’s more like the type of leadership and action Obo commonly delivers; bullshit from top to bottom.

    1. Have you ever been to Flint? “No meaningful leadership or action” is probably exactly what they deserve.

    2. “This is the type of leadership and action my community deserves”

      That’s a pretty nasty thing to say to the citizens of Flint. That kind of leadership and action got them poisoned in the first place.

  8. I’m really unsure why the modern, nakedly partisan political con game that masquerades as stately leadership, has made me so cynical and jaded.

    It must be me.

  9. That settles it, Flint is going Dem.

    1. Never go full Democrat.

  10. Asshole Insults Congress on Twitter While Taking the 5th During Testimony

    i mean, he’s not ALL bad. OK, yes, he’s terrible, but that’s pretty sweet.

    1. This Tony Stark fellow is out of control.

    2. U.S. House Representative from New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham (@RepLujanGrisham), a Democrat, said: “With all of the smirking, does @MartinShkreli really take this issue seriously? #PharmaBro.”

      It sounds like Shkreli is treating the situation with the seriousness it deserves.

      1. Well, Martin Shkreli is an anagram for “real thin smirk”, after all.

    3. “During the hearing, Shkreli, whose youth and attitude have prompted some critics to label him “Pharmabro,” responded to questions by continuing to laugh, twirling a pencil and yawning.”

  11. It’s not actually special; it isn’t $80 million; it won’t necessarily go to Flint’s victims.

    Let’s not forget that it isn’t an aid grant or disaster relief plan either. It’s loan assistance/insurance. MI (and other states) have paid into this program and will continue to pay in long after the lead is gone.

    1. Lead, follow, or poison yourself.

  12. Enjoying all this cheap gas? Obama says FUCK YOU!

    1. Well, sure. People had no problem paying three bucks a gallon, right? They might’ve grumbled a little, sure, but they paid! So why not tax it back up to three bucks a gallon, and collect EVEN MORE delicious revenue. Doesn’t matter where it falls, at the pump, at the refinery, at the oil fields, wherever. Tax the shit out of it so we can pay for more free stuff!

      The bumbling idiotic incompetence of this administration boggles my mind.

    2. People are driving like reckless fools since the price dropped. Clearly the only want to control them is by bilking them. Since they voted for this I feel they deserve it.

  13. “I want to thank President Obama for quickly responding to our request for federal assistance,” U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, fawned.

    “This is the type of leadership and action my community deserves,” Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, gushed.

    Someone should tell them Obama’s not running this year.

    1. Don’t jinx it. There’s still time for Him to figure out a way

  14. For example, it can divert the $30 million it spends on a totally useless Pure Michigan ad campaign to pay their medical bills.

    You’re basically taking food out of some bureaucrats mouths just to give it to other bureaucrats who have proven to be fuck ups. Why do some bureaucrats have to suffer, through no fault of their own, to pay for the damage wrought by other bureaucrats?

    You know damn well they’ll just raise taxes. No bureaucrat left behind.

  15. Good story [along with previous detailing how this boondoggle of a fiasco was the result of stimulus, not cost cutting] and comments everyone; however, you know full well all the constituency will hear is:

    1. The poor and largely minority citizens of Flint have been deliberately poisoned.

    2. This is the fault of a Republican governor who was letting them die in order to save money.

    3. Cut to picture of big assed Michael Moore holding a pair of handcuffs.

    That’s about all that will get through. Que sentimental music heralding the saving graces of BHO to the rescue. And…

    4. Vote for Clinton to insure more of the same.

    1. Bern will get you double.

    2. And the proper word is “cue”.

        1. You cue sentimental music when you get read to play it.

          Unless you’re lining it up. They’re you’re queuing it.

          So if you prepare a series of musical numbers to play, you’re cuing the queue.

          1. Is there anything more annoying than someone who niggles with your comment?

  16. “Flint residents will get even less than the $1,000 each that I had previously reported they would, a slap in their face given how much they are suffering and how much they would have gotten if a private company had been responsible for a tragedy of this scale.”
    Not if the private company was as broke as the Flint local government.

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