Monday, April 27, 2009

About that Money for Flu Epidemics

Now that the swine flu appears to have reached Livingston County, I wonder if Republicans are still proud as peacocks that one of theirs knocked out funding for pandemics from the stimulus bill.

After all, any self-respecting independent American ought to be able to fight a flu pandemic single-handedly.


kevins said...

Even more inane than your typical post. You think there is a crisis, so it's time to take advantage of it.

A few observations:

1. If it was important, why wasn't the funding put into the budget rather than the stimulus bill?

2. If it was go great, why did Democratic U.S. Senators mock it?

3. Exactly what pandemic do we have in place? There are concerns, as there frequently are. But swine flu is nothing new. Last year, we had 36,000 Americans die from influenza. Total American deaths from swine flu this year: zero. Could it be a big threat? Yes. But so far, it isn't.

4. Had the funding been put in place in the stimulus bill, just how would life be better or safer today? What impact could something passed less than 2 months ago have done to help out in this case?

5. If it was so important, then why wasn't something else dropped in favor of the pandemic funding? Are you saying that Obama and Democrats thought there were $780 billion worth of priorities that were more important than pandemic funding? Or are you saying that everything and anything should be funded at the highest-possible level?

Trust you to try and make a political point out of a public health problem. When you get down to it, there isn't that much difference between you and Rush Limbaugh...except he's funnier.

Jordan G said...

Kevin, seriously. Are you saying that someone who rates "funding for potential health pandemics" lower on their list of priorities than, say, economic recovery funding, is somehow more wrong than the person who doesn't even have it on their list at all?

Turn it on its head from a conservative standpoint. Who would you feel is worse, someone who has prioritized a pro-life agenda low on their list, or someone who is pro-choice? To be pro-life and then get mad at the former rather than the latter is illogical.

And in regards to your point #4, a disaster from global warming wouldn't be stopped overnight either, so I guess we shouldn't plan for the long term by putting policies into effect now that may aide us latter. Ohhh, yeah. You may not believe humans have any impact on global warming, so that point may be lost on you.

kevins said...

I'm not saying that at all.I'm saying that out of $720 BILLION in stimulus, it should have been possible to find a spot for $780 MILLION in pandemic flu funding (one-tenth of one percent)...if indeed it was all that important and vital. You seem to be saying that the only way to get that funding is to first spend $720 billion on a myriad of other things and then spend another $780 million for pandemic flu prevention/response. I'm saying that if it is important, find $780 million to cut from the stimulus bill, and give my children and their grandchildren a break on the enormous debt they will inherit.

You also didn't indicate what that spending would be how can you justify its importance? You seem to be saying that any amount of spending is justified and it can be spent on anything. Otherwise, pandemic flu wins.

Here's a fact you may want to ponder. Back in 2006 under that evil Bush administration, $7.1 BILLION was allocated for pandemic flu causes. As of today, a sizable chunk of it has still not been spent. By chunk, I mean more than the $780 million in the stimulus bill.

So any stimulus money to fight/respond to/educate/prevent pandemic flu is already there...and sitting unused.

Further, some $5.6 billion of that $7.1 billion has been spent...but I'm wondering if anyone can tell what effect that has had? Maybe it's been great. But maybe people are just patting themselves on the back because they allocated money for a "good cause" without ever seeing if there were any positive outcomes from the expenditure.

It's not enough just to throw a lot of money at something...there needs to be some accountability. But that's not as much fun as spending other peoples' money.

I want protection and good response against the pandemic threat. But I don't think that's the goal of free-spending politicians who are really looking for ways to spend more taxpayer dollars.