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View Diary: Hurricane Sandy a grim reminder of Republicans playing politics with disaster relief (117 comments)

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  •  Teabag firefighting in Tennessee goes national (17+ / 0-)

    Remember the home in Tenn. that burned down because the owner hadn't paid his $75 "fire tax." The firefighters refused to do their jobs even when the owner had money on the spot to pay. This is the future of no government teabaggery.

    •  And the state has a means to collect this $75 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      Lien on the home with possible foreclosure if not paid, or withholding from any state income tax refund.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 09:17:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Romoney explained this well when he said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1, sethtriggs

      that sick folks with pre-existing conditions need not apply for health insurance with his smiling smirk...I was waiting for the "Are there no prisons, no workhouses"....

      "Round up the usual suspects"

      by NanaoKnows on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 09:18:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not firefighters' first choice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein, sethtriggs

      It's not the firefighters' fault. Just want to clarify. The health / liability insurance would not cover if firefighter was hurt in that fire once determined A) homeowner  lives not in danger and B) fire district tax not paid. Unincorporated "town" refused to contribute to nearby town's fire budget So taxpayers outside town where mandatory tax could choose voluntarily pay for fire coverage. Even if not paid tax, firefighters would have gone in to protect lives, but not property. Even if tax paid in advance of fire, still firefighter judgement to let property burn if lives not in danger.

    •  *sigh* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein, sethtriggs

      There's more to that story than that.

      The firefighters were in the position where they could not officially respond to the incident, which would have meant that if any of them had been injured they would not have been covered by insurance or worker's compensation as they would have been acting beyond the scope of their allowed activities.

      This was due to the small town they were based in being forced to cover the complete cost of running the department while most of their calls were coming from the much larger population living in the area outside of the town who (a) weren't willing to fund their own department and (b) refused to raise any money on their own to assist the town even though they were, by far, the largest users of said service. The town administration, quite reasonably, said that they couldn't continue to cover so many free riders and instituted the subscription service: you wanted firefighters to respond to your property, you paid the fee up front.

      They were, in essence, acting no different than an insurance company. You want insurance, you pay your fee. You don't get into an accident and then try to pay for the insurance to cover you. Trust me, there's no way $75 pays the cost of fighting a fire. And if they did fight the fire, all they would have done was encourage even more people not to pay because, hey, they'll come save my stuff anyway!

      The problem was that the people outside the town were acting like your basic Tea Partiers/Republicans. They wanted services but didn't want to pay taxes, and the homeowner in question was a classic example. And then when they find out the services aren't there any more because they had refused to pay for them, they are up in arms.

      While the incident is a great example of why privatization of emergency services quite often sucks, and sucks hard, the town and the fire department aren't the ones at fault: it was the people who forced them to adopt that policy because they refused to spread the risk around by paying a small amount of additional tax to operate the department.

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