OK…I apologize…I got carried away with the paraphrase in the headline.
What Mr. Romney actually said is the federal government should pass disaster recovery on to the states or even better on to private enterprise where ever possible. So those of you on the east coast who have lost power, have had to evacuate, or are seeking shelter from the storm, SANDY. Just keep in mind what the chances of a safe and speedy recovery your neighborhood could expect under a President Romney.
Details are here! A few nuggets are here:
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?”
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent adds: “There’s another nugget here worth highlighting, though. In that appearance, Romney also suggested it would be ‘even better’ to send any and all responsibilities of the federal government ‘to the private sector,’ disaster response included. So: Romney essentially favored privatizing disaster response.”
7 thoughts on “Mitt Romney: We don’t need no stinkin’ FEMA”
Anyone who has any familiarity with security and the federal infrastructure for disaster relief (and incidentally I do have that experience) knows that what Romney is proposing is blistering ignorance and unconscionably irresponsible. He is unfit to be commander in chief of the United States of America. Were his plan seen to conclusion, America would be the biggest soft target in the world. His suggestion indicates that he is an immoral man whose interests are not those of human beings and human lives.
If this anti-government, anti-federalism, pro-privatization agenda of Conservatives comes to fruition we will cease to be a world power. Period. End of story. What we need is a strong central government more so than any other time in our history.
Thoughts and prayers to everyone on the East Coast.
A FEMA update: Download the FEMA app from your Blackberry, iTunes, or Google Play. It currently shows a number of open shelters all along the East Coast or text “Shelter” and a zip code to 43362.
There are just some services provided by the government that are best left in the hands of government, and disaster relief is one of them. The absolute worst thing we could do is leave disaster relief in the hands of for-profit companies who are less concerned with disaster relief and more concerned with their corporate bottom lines.
Absolutely right. And then there’s the communication and coordination factor. The principle in the private sector is competition not cooperation. In order to adequately respond to and prevent terrorist activity, natural disasters, or any emergency we need the most updated information and the most coordinated method possible to engage multiple response agencies. FEMA and Homeland Security are two of the slickest operations ever devised by mankind, they both have the most current and the most thorough information available, and horror of horrors…. all that information is entirely free to the public AND to the private sector. The federal government will assist any business in developing the most sophisticated plans for any contingency – active shooters, natural disasters, you name it. Devolving it to the states is inane and relying on “charity” as Romney implies is equally inane. Maybe grotesque describes Romney and his plan better – repulsively distorted.
And this morning, the Romney campaign is doing its damndest to walk this one back:
Pretty pathetic walk back, entirely insincere, and just incoherent.
The Red Cross has attempted to kindly inform the public about Romney’s misinformation concerning Red Cross disaster relief. They’ve issued press releases urging people not to follow Romney’s advice to donate canned goods and what nots to their organization because the Red Cross isn’t equipped to sort, sterilize, transport, and do all the logistics… they don’t even accept donated items, it’s not part of what they do. Having to do that actually impedes their mission and their ability to provide relief.
I reiterate: Romney’s ignorance is jaw dropping, eye popping, and nauseating. He’s unfit to govern.
I’m reminded of Oscar Wilde’s assertion that charity is not a viable replacement for infrastructure, though he put it more elegantly than I, calling a substitution of this kind a “ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution…”
Romney is proving more and more ridiculous deserving of more and more ridicule.
“FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen.
The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.
Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.”
From the NYT:
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