The Republicans want to shrink government until they can drown it in a bathtub. They also say global warming is a liberal hoax. This article is just another example of how cutting government and hooting down the climate experts is combining to put large sections of the country at risk. This is just getting downright embarrassing...
As federal authorities confront the destructive start of what threatens to be one of the fiercest wildfire seasons in memory, they are relying on a fleet of ancient planes converted from other purposes to do the dangerous, often deadly, work of skimming the smoldering treetops to bomb fires with water and flame retardant.
The contractor-owned planes, refurbished from military use and leased by the United States Forest Service, have been hobbled by accidents and mechanical problems, leading to growing safety concerns and calls for a major overhaul. A decade ago, the government had 44 large tanker planes at its command. Now, with fires raging from California to Colorado to Wyoming, the regular fleet is down to nine.
Obviously the government doesn't have the money to pay contractors enough for them to buy newer and more effective aircraft. Why doesn't the government have enough money to pay for better firefighting capability? Because Grover Norquist is on a quest to destroy the government, and he is supported by a huge army of zombie Republicans who march mindlessly to his drumbeat.
What if we can no longer put out large forest fires? Should we care if some people lose their lives, thousands lose their homes, and insurance rates soar? But, lucky me, I might have an extra 50 cents in my pocket each month from lower taxes.