Monday, October 29, 2012

Mitt Romney Proposes Gutting FEMA and Leaving Disaster Relief to States. Or Privatizing It (VIDEO)



With Hurricane Sandy set to make landfall in the Mid-Atlantic, Mitt Romney's policies for federal emergency management seem as relevant as ever. And the candidate's budget, as described below, isn't the only indication Romney would slash funding: As the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim noted, the presidential candidate suggested during a GOP primary debate that he would diminish the agency's role and leave responsibility for helping imperiled Americans to the states:


Under a Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan administration, FEMA's ability to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters could be severely inhibited. In a 2012 report on Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" roadmap (which Romney has said is similar to his own), the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that, due to the severe cuts to non-entitlement, non-defense spending, the costs for things like emergency management would have to be passed on to the states—which, with just a few exceptions, are currently in an even tighter financial bind than Washington.

"FEMA also helps states and local governments repair or replace public facilities and infrastructure, which often is not insured," the CBPP report explained. "This form of discretionary federal aid would be subject to cuts under the Ryan budget. If it were scaled back substantially, states and localities would need to bear a larger share of the costs of disaster response and recovery, or attempt to make do with less during difficult times."

The Ryan budget makes no mention of FEMA or the Department of Homeland Security of which it's a part. In fact it makes no mention of any specific cuts to non-entitlement programs. We can't say for sure, in other words, the extent to which disaster funding would be scaled back. But the overall math suggests that it would be drastic. The Ryan budget proposes reducing total non-entitlement spending from 12 percent of GDP to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2050. As my colleague Kevin Drum put it:

Defense spending alone amounts to 4% of GDP, and it's vanishingly unlikely that this will ever fall much below 2-3% of GDP. This means that all domestic spending will decline from about 8% of GDP to 1-2% of GDP by 2050. That's prisons, border control, education, the FBI, courts, embassies, the IRS, FEMA, housing, student loans, roads, unemployment insurance, etc. etc. It's everything. Whacked by about 80% or so.

Romney's own proposed budget (which like Ryan's fails to identify specific cuts) would create much the same bind. Between 2013 and 2022, Romney would cut between $2 to $5 trillion more than Ryan from programs other than Social Security or defense. As the CBPP noted, "Romney's cuts would shrink non-defense discretionary spending...to between 1.1 percent and 1.6 percent of GDP." That's on top of the scheduled cuts agreed to in last year's budget deal.

Just as Ryan's proposed Medicare expenditure would fail to keep up with rising medical costs, the GOP ticket's likely cuts to disaster management and weather forecasting budgets would come at a time in which, fueled by climate change, natural disasters are becoming increasingly more potent and expensive. There were 14 billion-dollar disasters in the United States in 2011—the most on record


—By Tim Murphy

13 comments:

  1. FEMA is a vast, bloated bureaucracy that spends more then they are budgeted with every 'disaster,' and wasn't effective after Hurricane Katrina, and never was worth the money.

    If he guts it and starts over it will be a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I concur with peeps.Mr. Romney is correct.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Iconcur with peeps, Mitt Romney is correct.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Katrina was such a disaster because FEMA was headed by inexperienced and incompetent Bush crony Michael Brown. You obviously haven't lived through or followed any major storm disasters if you think "gutting" an organization like this is a good idea.

    Now if you want to deal with pure bureaucratic waste that is hopelessly ineffective, try the Office of Homeland Security.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In 2004, Romney vetoed funding for flood prevention in recently flooded Peabody, Massachusetts. Romney claimed he didn't have enough information about the project, though local officials said they had given him lots of information. In 2006, Peabody flooded again. Romney was there for a photo op after the flood, but Peabody probably would have preferred to have had the funding to prevent flooding in the first place.

    When the city of Greenfield flooded, in 2005, Romney was too busy traveling the nation positioning himself for a presidential run to find out the extent of the flooding or declare an emergency. The most senior person in his administration, the city's mayor, could get in touch with was the lieutenant governor's chief of staff. Without help from the state, Greenfield faced an example of what America can look forward to if Romney becomes president.

    ReplyDelete
  6. first off......i have now lost 2 homes and had another severely damaged by natural disasters.....and in all 3 events, FEMA was USELESS!!! The first two hurricanes back in 04 and 05 we were given a check from FEMA for "immediate needs" such as chainsaws, gloves, tarps etc. we used the money....and God as my witness, we received a letter a month or so later saying they "overpaid" us....and wanted it all back, ALL of it, and they wanted it within 30 days of they would charge interest. so there we were with nothing....and now we had to come up with money to pay FEMA back. turn ahead to 2011.....we were hit by a tornado here in southbridge.....we were told sevral times to apply to FEMA even though i kept saying no because of past experiance....but i was told to apply anyway so we finally did. we received a check for $456.....we used it to buy a couple chainsaws to cut up the 50 or so trees we had in our yard....guess what, in August we got a letter in the mail....you guessed it, FEMA "overpaid" us, and wanted their $456 back. $456 friggin dollars....when we send billions to Haiti???? FEMA is useless as far as i'm concerned.....but i will defend Brown...he was the ONLY one screaming about the potential levee failures and nobody listened to him

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Southbridge’s whiner in chief speaks out. The government didn’t do enough to help me so I’m supporting those who want the government to do less to help others in the future.

      Delete
    2. Oh really? What I heard him say was that FEMA was useless, and then he gave substative, personal examples of why. What you're implying is that if we don't continue to throw good money after bad it proves we are whiners who have no compassion. To me, throwing away money for a government program that is actually hurting the people it is supposed to help does not make you a compassionate society.

      Whiner in chief. Really? Did you make that up or did you hear it from Rush Limbaugh?

      Delete
    3. so i post a true story about how inept FEMA was to my family 3 times......and you "anonymous" think what i wrote is "political"??? please tell me where in my statement i supported or didn't support either candidate??? how sad that your first thought is to call me names, i pray that you never have to go through a life altering natural disaster....i wouldn't wish it on anyone. Ultimately it's God and fellow Americans that gets us through these situations.

      Delete
    4. Dan as always is right. Pissing money away is something that should be stopped. Thanks for standing up to our town bullies and morons, Dan. Now if you could just report that Durant still hasn't helped you out either, that would go a long way to showing him for the inept fool he is.

      Delete
  7. Jesus, is this part of the charm of Southbridge? Give the guy a break, I don't agree with all that he says, but until you've walked a mile in his shoes, you don't know how it is. I realize put downs are the norm in Southbridge, but have any of you any heart or soul?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Puhleez. He made it political. So let’s support the people who want government to do less, or better yet turn it over to the private sector. It’s not me who lacks heart, it’s those who want to exploit his problems as an excuse for the government to do less you hypocritical fool.

      Delete
  8. Let's see, I said nothing hypocritical, so, using you're limited (Southbridge?) education, please feel free to try to make a case (you can use the online dictionary for that big word, case) for all the world to see (ok, the five or so lugheads that write on this site) how anything I said was hypocritical? You'd have to either know who I am, but you don't, since like you and everyone, I'm ANONYMOUS--or have something in my writing that WAS hypocritical, which you don't. Sir, your site is not the National Enquirer of town--that's insulting the Enquirer--it's the World Wrestling Federation of Southbridge, with a bunch of gutless morons posting. Yes, I'm writing my final post too (thank God--beat you to it!), as you don't promote intelligent thought. You promote a perverse sense of discourse that isn't discourse or intelligent thought. It's the equivalent of watching two people with frontal Lobotamy's argue in public with a moderator who's defensive when challenged and offensive to those who challenge him. I hope Mr. Abrahamson is right, and you have to cough up your "sources". You know how you can tell this site is pitiful? When people long for the days of Speak Out Southbridge and that OTHER boob. But at least when he was wrong, he said so, or would occasionally apologize, but at least allowed for real disagreements. That was an atmosphere, although not entirely to my liking, that was 1000% more professional than this worthless garbage that you call a blog. See you later as in never again (thank God--got you again, morons)!

    ReplyDelete

All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.