Romney for Disbanding FEMA and Having Private Sector Handle Disaster Response

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posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 08:37 AM
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With this ongoing natural disaster a week before the election, let's re-examine Mitt Romney's proposed policies in dealing with disasters, while also noting how Obama has responded and how he has even received high praise from governor Christie of New Jersey, a Republican.

During the Republican primary debates, Romney said that he is for abolishing FEMA and leaving it to state and local government to deal with disasters AND that putting disaster response and relief in the private sector is even better:


During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA's cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response. "Absolutely," he said. "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?"


Romney on handling natural disasters

Seems FEMA is a good idea: having the federal government provide the resources and logistics for disaster response, relief and recovery. State governments do not have the resources (funds) to do so, and having each state create the logistical infrastructure and to have supplies on hand for an emergency would be a waste of resources, because states would be doubling/tripling/etc. up on material and organizations that the federal government would otherwise provide. Each state does not have a big natural disaster each year, but there usually is one or more in several states each year. Doesn't it make more sense for the Federal government to come to the aid of the states in need. In a sense, this is disaster insurance.

But worst still is suggesting that these matters be privatized. We don't privatize the police, the fire department, the National Guard or the military. Why should this facet of safety be privatized? Are companies just going to do this work out of the goodness of their hearts? No, they will only do it for profit, so they will charge a premium for it and not help those that can't pay. No doubt they will also try to get big government contracts to do it. Given the massive waste and fraud of corporations contracting to the US government in Iraq and Afghanistan, why should we believe the private sector will be any better and more efficient than the government at doing a job the government has considerable experience and skill with? Isn't relying on private companies to provide disaster response and relief risky???

And now with Hurrican Sandy happening, Romney isn't answering reporters' questions on what he said previously on the subject:


Mitt Romney refused to answer reporters' questions about how he would handle the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), after a Tuesday "storm relief" event in Ohio for Hurricane Sandy. From the Romney pool report: TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA. He ignored the qs but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the qs would have been audible to him.

A follow-up report noted the specific questions Romney ignored, as he was collecting hurricane supplies following his event: "Gov are you going to eliminate FEMA?" a print pooler shouted, receiving no response. Wires reporters asked more questions about FEMA that were ignored. Romney kept coming over near pool to pick up more water. He ignored these questions: "Gov are you going to see some storm damage?" "Gov has [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie invited you to come survey storm damage?" "Gov you've been asked 14 times, why are you refusing to answer the question?"


Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event

The best the Romney campaign can say is that state and local agencies should lead in disaster relief. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS ALREADY. FEMA merely provides supplies and funds and other logistical help. The Feds don't come in and tell the local/state government how to do things. So the Romney policy is to suggest that we should do what already is done. They really know what they are talking about.

I'll just add that we have a number of presidential administrations to look back on to see how they handled major disasters.

Bush I with Hurricane Andrew: not so good -- relief was slow in getting to those who needed help. Bush's proposed hurricane relief budget was increased significantly by congress.

Clinton with Hurricane Floyd: the initial response was praised, but additional later flooding swamped the relief effort. In general, however, post-hurricane and tornado relief by FEMA during the Clinton administration was considered competent and timely. No doubt Clinton, in part, learned a political lesson from his predecessor.

Bush II and Hurricane Katrina: Uh... do I really need to say anything?

This was the moment went the press finally gave up on the Bush presidency and no longer cut him the slack it did continually up to then, after 9/11. Clearly Bush II learned nothing about dealing with natural disasters at home from his predecessor or even his daddy.

Obama: his administration has dealt with past hurricanes and tornadoes with appropriate responses and there has been no widespread criticism of it. Now with Hurricane Sandy he is garnering praise from a Republican governor who never had much lover for him before.

would-be president Romney: wants to do away with FEMA and have the private sector be responsible for it. Just imagine your cable company or health insurance company being your disaster relief provider. Good times.

By the way, we've had experience with one president who was a president's son and came from the wealthy class: George W. Bush. Romney is even richer, and although his father didn't become president, he did run for president. And from what Romney says and the way he acts, he appears even more out of touch with the common man than Bush II. Do we really want the scion of another rich politician to become president? I really don't think so.

Or put another way: if your community/state suffered a major natural disaster, who would you want in office, Obama or Romney? Seriously ask yourself that question before you vote.
edit on 31-10-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 08:56 AM
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I think what Romney was getting at is it’s better to just write the state a check in a disaster so it has the extra money to fund and aid in rescue and rebuilding. Only the state would know what’s best for its people in that area.

We all seen how big of a F’up FEMA was after Katrina. Passing out debt cards to hurricane victims and having them be wasted on beer, cigarettes, gambling, and other wasteful items. Let’s not even bring up the thousands of mobile homes they brought in that all had toxic mold growing in them and ended up doing more harm then good.

If anything happened here in California, I would much rather have my local government help in the aid because they know the area, not some Washington insider 3,000 miles away who could not even find my city on a map.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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I agree, get the federal government out of it. They waste more then they help. Also FYI Obama is going to cut 900 million from FEMA.
edit on 31-10-2012 by jjkenobi because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I thought the government doesn't create jobs.
What's Romney thinking?



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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With global warming probably being the cause of bigger and bigger hurricanes happening later and later in the year, FEMA seems like a pretty important gig. I think shutting it down and replacing it with corporate safety goons sounds like a disaster.

"Would you like some help?"
"Sure."
"That will cost you."



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:15 AM
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It is a bit of a stretch to infer that the government can run any program without wasting huge amounts of money to graft and outright theft. I am for smaller government so i think privatizing FEMA could be a good idea. Anything that shrinks government is a good idea.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by jjkenobi
I agree, get the federal government out of it. They waste more then they help. Also FYI Obama is going to cut 900 million from FEMA.
edit on 31-10-2012 by jjkenobi because: (no reason given)

Obama cuts FEMA funding by 3 percent. Romney-Ryan cuts it by 40 percent. Or more. Or less.
Both propose cuts, yes
But a haircut verses a decapitation is what we are looking at here.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I thought the government doesn't create jobs.
What's Romney thinking?


The government doesn't create jobs. Romney is talking about a more efficient way to provide a government service.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by NavyDoc
Romney is talking about a more efficient way to provide a government service.
If you had Read the OP, you will find Romney ISNT Talking about it now.

The Term Flip Flop comes to mind.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by jimmiec
It is a bit of a stretch to infer that the government can run any program without wasting huge amounts of money to graft and outright theft. I am for smaller government so i think privatizing FEMA could be a good idea. Anything that shrinks government is a good idea.


Privatizing fema...

So...what happens if you didn't have the cash to get hurricane insurance in new york? (who the hell would)

What a dumb idea...ya...give insurance companies even more power.
Lets make sure to have meteor, earthquake, and second coming of christ insurance also..else no bottled water and temp shelter when tshtf.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I thought the government doesn't create jobs.
What's Romney thinking?


In the long run government doesn't create jobs. Government must first take money from produces through taxation to hire a government employee. It takes something like 3.4 privet sector workers to fund 1 government worker. This government work then uses his time to burnden the tax payers even more without even "creating" a good or service.

To create a good or service you must first make something out of nothing. when you make something out of nothing you create weath and grow the economy. The problem with government is it cant create anything without taking from someone else. This is not growth. This is wealth distribution, taking from one hand and giving to the other.

edit on 31-10-2012 by camaro68ss because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by camaro68ss
I think what Romney was getting at is it’s better to just write the state a check in a disaster so it has the extra money to fund and aid in rescue and rebuilding. Only the state would know what’s best for its people in that area.

We all seen how big of a F’up FEMA was after Katrina. Passing out debt cards to hurricane victims and having them be wasted on beer, cigarettes, gambling, and other wasteful items. Let’s not even bring up the thousands of mobile homes they brought in that all had toxic mold growing in them and ended up doing more harm then good.

If anything happened here in California, I would much rather have my local government help in the aid because they know the area, not some Washington insider 3,000 miles away who could not even find my city on a map.


Yes, we did see how bad FEMA screwed up after Katrina, under George W. Bush, a Republican and the son of a wealthy politician. We now have the son of another wealthy politician, who himself is even wealthier, wanting to be president and completely do away with FEMA and push its responsibilities onto the private sector. FEMA worked well under Clinton. Under Bush I not so much. It seems to have worked fine under Obama so far.

As it is, the federal government provides aid to the state and local government during disasters. This is why Chris Christie is praising Obama for having been on top of this and gotten the ball rolling right away. FEMA provides some organization and logistics to help the the local agencies. Seems like a mobile disaster relief task force that can help local and state governments is a good idea, rather than expecting the local/state government to organize/manage everything on its own. Like I said, otherwise there would be a vast duplication of effort for all the states and that would certainly not be efficient.

You think the federal government writing checks to contractors to do all the overseeing and disbursements of funds is going to be any better? Are you aware of the billions that the military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan have squandered? Do you think all states have the capabilities to take over FEMA's tasks?

I really wonder if your read my entire post.

But more to what you wrote, that you think Romney means for the federal government to give money to the states for disaster relief. This is not what he said. He wants the federal government to get out of the whole business of disaster relief.

But let's assume what you say is correct. As is, for all other federal grants to states, they go through federal agencies/departments. This is done to make sure that the disbursement is done with some oversight. You can reasonably argue that FEMA doesn't do the best job of oversight, but if you are claiming that just handing over federal funds to the state and local government to do with these funs as they wish, without any external oversight, will provide more efficient use of resources, then you have a very high estimation of state and local governments. State and local governments are notorious for misusing funds and/or disbursing them based on political choices. To wit, state funding of schools generally gives more money to schools in better neighborhoods, so poorer children in poorer neighborhoods are provided with less. The divvying up of federal disaster relief would also then be subject to the politics of state and local government, with smaller constiuencies losing out to bigger ones with more clout.

More likely what will happen is that if FEMA no longer exists, there won't be federal disaster relief being doled out. The states will be forced to take all the fiscal responsibility themselves. Even at $10-70 billion for FEMA aid, this is a small portion of the US budget. Even if all of FEMA was slashed, I don't see it affecting the overall federal budget and therefore the revenue (taxes) that the federal government takes in. So it won't be the situation that federal taxes are reduced so states can then raise their taxes to provide this disaster relief all on their own. As is state budgets are strapped for funds and making major budget cuts. And unlike the federal government, states can't just print or borrow more money; they can't print at all and they are limited in the amount they can borrow. So state budgets aren't elastic in the way that the federal budget is, which can borrow when it needs to for some major emergency.
edit on 31-10-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I thought the government doesn't create jobs.
What's Romney thinking?


Beat's me. Seems he's thinking he'll say whatever plays best to his immediate audience. Never mind how it plays elsewhere and at another time because he'll just say something different then.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:26 AM
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we've partially privatized welfare, and now it costs more money...
we've privatized parts of the prison system, and I do believe they've uncovered a few scams where innocent people are sent in so the profits and the bribes can be higher...
yes, let's privatize fema also!!!
right after we outsource the federal gov't to china!!!



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by jimmiec
It is a bit of a stretch to infer that the government can run any program without wasting huge amounts of money to graft and outright theft. I am for smaller government so i think privatizing FEMA could be a good idea. Anything that shrinks government is a good idea.


Are you aware of the billions wasted on military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the substandard services they have provided? Soldiers have been electrocuted because of substandard electrical work. The Pentagon Inspector General reports have shown massive waste and graft. And you want that should you have a natural disaster in your area, huh?

And do tell: do you also want the police and fire departments to be privatized and for the US military to be entirely privatized? You must since privatization is so much better.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by dawnstar
we've partially privatized welfare, and now it costs more money...
we've privatized parts of the prison system, and I do believe they've uncovered a few scams where innocent people are sent in so the profits and the bribes can be higher...
yes, let's privatize fema also!!!
right after we outsource the federal gov't to china!!!


Seems the trend is to profit from pain, fear, and suffering.

I am not a religious person, but I know when I see evil. If I was a theist, I would seriously be wondering who is behind the move to incentivise suffering.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


and debt, don't forget about the debt!! they profited so much from our personal debt that they've tanked the world economy!!!!



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by MrInquisitive

Originally posted by camaro68ss
I think what Romney was getting at is it’s better to just write the state a check in a disaster so it has the extra money to fund and aid in rescue and rebuilding. Only the state would know what’s best for its people in that area.

We all seen how big of a F’up FEMA was after Katrina. Passing out debt cards to hurricane victims and having them be wasted on beer, cigarettes, gambling, and other wasteful items. Let’s not even bring up the thousands of mobile homes they brought in that all had toxic mold growing in them and ended up doing more harm then good.

If anything happened here in California, I would much rather have my local government help in the aid because they know the area, not some Washington insider 3,000 miles away who could not even find my city on a map.


Yes, we did see how bad FEMA screwed up after Katrina, under George W. Bush, a Republican and the son of a wealthy politician. We now have the son of another wealthy politician, who himself is even wealthier, wanting to be president and completely do away with FEMA and push its responsibilities onto the private sector. FEMA worked well under Clinton. Under Bush I not so much. It seems to have worked fine under Obama so far.

As it is, the federal government provides aid to the state and local government during disasters. This is why Chris Christie is praising Obama for having been on top of this and gotten the ball rolling right away. FEMA provides some organization and logistics to help the the local agencies. Seems like a mobile disaster relief task force that can help local and state governments is a good idea, rather than expecting the local/state government to organize/manage everything on its own. Like I said, otherwise there would be a vast duplication of effort for all the states and that would certainly not be efficient.

You think the federal government writing checks to contractors to do all the overseeing and disbursements of funds is going to be any better? Are you aware of the billions that the military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan have squandered? Do you think all states have the capabilities to take over FEMA's tasks?

I really wonder if your read my entire post.


First, its difficult to teach the fundamentals of economics and smaller government to closed minded individuals. Heading down the path of bigger and bigger government is a tyrannical path you march towards blindly.

Second, what does wealth have to do with presidents? Why does it matter if there rich? There successful, big deal? Clintons rich, Obama is rich, their all millionaires and they deserve it because of their hard work. Why would that be a deciding factor in anything. When has it become a bad thing to be successful in America?

Third, who cares about the bushes? It’s an automatic default to attack the bushes when someone starts to pick on Obama. The fact is we have not had any good presidents for a very long time.
edit on 31-10-2012 by camaro68ss because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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Where does everyone think FEMA gets money for disaster relief? Obama's stash?

The states send money to Washington where the federal government divvies it up, usually based on political expediency.

So these states are essentially asking for their own money back.

Romney's point, which I agree with, is that the states should keep their money to begin with. Then in case of a disaster, they have the funds to take care of whatever is needed.

This idea that the federal government should gather as much of our money as it can, and then make decisions about how it's spent, is why we are in this mess.

Anyone who thinks a bunch of politicians in Washington should be trusted with all of our money hasn't been paying attention.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by camaro68ss
 


have you ever pushed asphalt for a living???
or carried shingles up a ladder to roof a church steeple??
I bet there's alot of people on those welfare roles working a heck of alot harder for that small paycheck than these politicians ever thought of working!!!

hard work isn't what get you to "successful""
backstabbing might... butt kissing might..... being born into the right family might.... having the right education might... working smarter might....

these politicians are spending more money to get a job that isn't even gonna pay them half as much during the duration of the job!!!
for some reason, I don't think it's the working smarter bit....
I'll go with the butt kissing, back stabbing, add in bribing and taking bribes, and pure 100% greed into the picture...






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