Here’s my theory: Rick Perry was in New York City once and saw grownups wearing rain gear and riding on big red trucks and hooking up hoses every time a measly row of houses caught fire. And he said to himself, firefighting is for sissies, I refuse to waste another dime on it. A real man, a Texas man, puts out his own fire, or he shoots holes in it and watches it burn.
Perry is anti-fire departments, even when the firefighters aren’t getting paid. From The Raw Story:
Under Gov. Rick Perry (R) this year, Texas slashed state funding for the volunteer fire departments that protect most of the state from wildfires like the ones that have recently destroyed more than 700 homes. Volunteer departments that were already facing financial strain were slated to have their funding cut from $30 million to $7 million, according to KVUE. The majority of Texas is protected by volunteer fire departments. There are 879 volunteer fire departments in Texas and only 114 paid fire departments. Another 187 departments are a combination of volunteer and paid. For that reason, aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could be more important than ever to the state where wildfires have recently been raging. At a press conference Monday, Perry promised to seek federal disaster relief and said that FEMA would be in the state by Wednesday.
Fire departments cost money, you see, and that means taxes, which is why Perry was happy to gamble on the unlikely chance there would be no major brush fires in his increasingly bone-dry state. Small government is the goal. So who does the cowboy with the French cuffs call when the state’s burning down? The federal government, of course.
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Of course. You’d think that the memory of the mess left behind by the last cowboy in the White House would dissuade people from risking that again, but apparently not.
Even when you don’t have paid firefighters, you still need fire trucks and supplies. Those things aren’t cheap. You also need people to run the operations and manage things and those are often paid positions. The fire house has lighting, heating and cooling needs; utilities aren’t free. Fire trucks need fuel. The list of expenses is long. (I have friends who have been volunteer firefighters or rescue/medical members. They give a lot of themselves and deserve a high level of respect.
Is this why he said that in this time of crisis, we shouldn’t be worrying about politics? Because people might remember what he’s done?
I’m happy to say there is no love lost for Perry down here in Texas.