LONEGAN URGES CONGRESS TO REJECT “RIDICULOUS” $60.4B SANDY AID REQUEST

BOGOTA – Calling “ridiculous” a $60.4 Billion aid request for Hurricane Sandy relief, New Jersey Americans for Prosperity State Director Steve Lonegan said that politicians were using the hurricane as an excuse for a free-for-all on the U.S. Treasury.

“Few residents of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut who suffered damage from the storm will see even one dime from this aid package,” Lonegan said, “but every one of them will pay to support this open-ended taxpayer rip-off,” he noted, “whether through higher taxes, more interest on the national debt or a deflated currency resulting from printing money out of thin air by the Federal Reserve Bank to fund this knee-jerk response to a natural disaster.”

Lonegan, who served as Bogota Mayor for twelve years before his stint at AFP, noted that Governor Christie’s $36.9 Billion estimate of storm damage amounted to nearly $4,200 for every man, woman and child in the state.

“This number is so ridiculous as to demand scrutiny,” Lonegan said.  “Broken out around the whole country, New Jersey’s request alone comes to $119.51 for every single American and $478.04 for a family of four.”  This ‘estimate’ was created by a bunch of government bureaucrats sitting around a room and imagining up any possible thing they could fund, using the hurricane as an excuse.

“The cost for the entire package is even more mind-boggling.  Dividing the entire $60.4 Billion package into the population numbers has this costing each American $195.63 or $782.56 for a family of four,” Lonegan explained.

“The President, who will be submitting this request to Congress, needs to explain exactly how this money will be spent and how many New Jersey residents should expect a check for $4,200 or more and exactly who these people are.”

“He also needs to explain to the more than Three Hundred Million Americans why he wants to make them pay nearly $200 each to fund this disaster relief boondoggle.”

With the deficit the number one issue facing the Congress, Republicans need to turn off the open-ended disaster aid spigot.

“There are many legitimate federal responsibilities that will require federal assistance, and then there are people who didn’t buy flood insurance looking for a bailout courtesy of the overburdened taxpayer.  Disaster relief should not become the next one of Obama’s bailouts,” Lonegan added.

“Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans who had to pay to remove damaged trees, or who had lost power and had to stay in motels, or who had property damage covered by insurance will not collect one dime from this bailout,” Lonegan said.  “The only rationale for this bailout is previous bailouts for previous disasters, so that one open-ended financial disaster justifies future open-ended financial disasters.”

“It’s simply ridiculous to make people who insured their investments properly pay for those who didn’t,” noted Lonegan. 

“If Washington wants to do something to help the people in this region, it’s getting rid of Prevailing Wage laws like Davis-Bacon that artificially increase the cost of reconstruction after a disaster,” Lonegan said.

“And Trenton politicians should end Governor Jim McGreevy’s Executive Order Number One that imposed Project Labor Agreements on every town, requiring they pay high union wages for the many reconstruction projects they are facing.  This law alone is going to almost double construction costs”.

“There are a lot of people who will take what I say very personally and talk about how heartless and cruel I am, but those people should contribute to the Red Cross or another charity rather than attacking me for speaking out against this attempt to scam three hundred million citizens out of billions of dollars to feed a select group of politicians, union hacks and connected insiders.”

Lonegan was criticized nearly a decade ago when he spoke out against a proposal in the New Jersey legislature to donate $1 Million for Tsunami relief.  “It is this kind of thinking that has given us trillions in annual deficits,” he added.

“If Congress is serious about cutting these deficits, they will bring this package down to a tiny fraction of what it is today and end the practice of turning disasters into money-making opportunities for politically-connected insiders.”

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 2 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states.  AFP has 34 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

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"I’m an undertaker by trade, so when I bury somebody, they don’t come back."
—Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato