“You’ve got to be __ing kidding me!” This perhaps crude but honest reaction sums up perfectly my feelings as to the decision Tuesday by federal officials that there is not enough evidence yet to say whether the dust and smoke clouds at Ground Zero on 9/11 caused cancer. This very simple reaction was the refrain of the day from rational, practical Americans who, in the midst of watching their government futz around over debt ceilings and the threat of insolvency, couldn’t fathom why there was any debate on whether first responders deserved our immediate financial help to reimburse health providers for a multiplicity of treatments required. Treatments for dreadful diseases including cancers that these first responders miraculously contracted after 9/11 when they selflessly gave of themselves after they were assured by their government that the coast was clear.
Starting at the end of 2007 during a 2½ year period, the Federal Reserve gave more than $16T in secret bailouts to banks and other companies around the world. It lost $12B in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills sent to Iraq on C-130’s and our government can’t account for over $2.3T in Pentagon transactions. And don’t forget about the mind-boggling $1 Quadrillion derivatives bubble. That’s 20 times larger than the GDP of the entire world. It is almost impossible even conceive of 1,000,000,000,000,000 dollars. No questions asked. But when asked to pay a de minimis amount by comparison not as a reward or payment but reimbursement for catastrophic injuries sustained by first responders and volunteers, my country balks.
“You’ve got to be __ing kidding me!”