California spends billions rebuilding burned towns. The case for calling it quits
Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget request to lawmakers includes funding for California to reconstruct some of the state’s most devastated towns, including the site of the Carr Fire. But the case for rebuilding continues to mount.
Kieran Delduc / AP
Originally published on February 2, 2019 5:08 am
At the start of the Trump administration, President-elect Donald Trump told people who worked for him that they should be fired and that he would hire people he preferred to replace them — a vow to make America “great again.”
Trump took on his critics in the media, saying he had been “foolishly misunderstood” by the press. His first press secretary, Sean Spicer, said the president made “mistakes.” And Vice President Mike Pence said, “If I were president, I would tell the press the same thing.”
Now, less than six months into the Trump administration, he has made the exact opposite promises — to the American people — to rebuild our cities, our suburbs and our rural communities.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who is considering a presidential bid, has not backed off his criticism of Trump. But he’s also not budging.
Brown’s comments have often been interpreted as a hint that he is open to changing his stance on federal funding to rebuild towns across the state.
“I think that the federal government would do a better job if it didn’t rely on local governments to shoulder this burden,” Brown said in an interview. “And so that’s what I’ve said, I think.”
But there are some in the Legislature who are skeptical about Brown’s claim, and they are not the only ones who disagree with him.
“It’s very important for the state of California to rebuild.”
The governor’s comments could affect federal tax payers, but also the residents and businesses in his state, said state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica.
“My constituents are angry.”
At one level, many of the state’s residents are angry about the cost of rebuilding, which has put California on the short list of states that have spent $150 billion to rebuild after natural disasters.
At another level, many of the people in those rebuilding communities are