Romney is on record, transcript below, saying he'd like to turn FEMA over to the states... or even the private sector. He justifies this idea based on devolution of power from Washington and also claims it's essential for deficit reduction. So is Romney proposing NO federal disaster management funding go to the states? If not, where's the savings?
There are reasons to move away from state-based solutions. If left to themselves poorer states are incapable of funding anything from quality education, to health care, or their own highways.
By turning over these FEMA function to the states... these
state-based "FEMAs", are not going to benefit from the deep pockets of
the federal government. How will poorer states deal with
disasters? How will tiny Rhode Island deal with a dead on hurricane strike? What if it's hit twice in a year? Who covers disasters that span state lines like superstorm Sandy? How would states
coordinate such efforts? Without federal funds does Romney envision nationwide disaster bake-sales to raise the
If federal money does go to states... how will it be allocated?
The East coast state has more hurricanes. Northern states might have more blizzards. The southeast more drought. So will money be weighted to
states with more potential disasters or given out by population? The questions
Romney's proposal raises are endless.
While Obama needs to be careful about playing politics with Sandy, it
IS a legitimate for his campaign to ask what would Romney's disaster
relief plan look like if he were president now having only the resources
This is an area that calls into question Romney's judgment and fitness for office. Here's Romney on June 13, 2011 during a primary debate speaking with CNN's John King:
KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a
state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and
Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s
the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of
money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis
and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here
that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with
something like that?
ROMNEY: Absolutely. 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 ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We
should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what
are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things
we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this
year than we’re taking in. We cannot…
KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot—we cannot afford to do those things without
jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view,
for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on
to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.