Ron Paul says that no national response to Hurricane Irene should be necessary.
He wasn’t commenting on the strength of the storm, which has thankfully decreased to a Category 1… or the abilities of local government to help their citizenry. No, he just doesn’t think FEMA is necessary at all.
His mistake was in referencing old Hurricanes… like the Cat 4 that hit Galveston in 1900. That storm left between 6,000 and 12,000 dead and countless others injured. But Paul, in his very tightly limited government scenario, would have had no help for the survivors?
[box]GILFORD, N.H. — After a lunch speech today, Ron Paul slammed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and said that no national response to Hurricane Irene is necessary.
“We should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960,” Paul said. “I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district.
“There’s no magic about FEMA. They’re a great contribution to deficit financing and quite frankly they don’t have a penny in the bank. We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states,” Paul told NBC News. “A state can decide. We don’t need somebody in Washington.”
I don’t know how FEMA is administered. Good stewards of our money? Again, I don’t know. Like any other government entity, it’s probably rife with corruption.
But regardless of what Paul says, there is magic in FEMA.
Have you ever been in a hurricane or other natural disaster? Has a tornado ever come through your town and swept away everything you ever owned and you sat in the rubble, crying over your pictures, of all things? Have you ever lost your roof? Have you ever gotten lost in your own neighborhood, looking for a sign or tree that looked familiar and not found them? Gone for weeks without electricity and water? Wondered where you’d live? Run to higher ground and watched your house float by?
FEMA’s business is money, but they’ve increasingly been tasked with numerous other things, like disaster preparedness, response, recovery and education. If there’s time to stage them, workers are standing by to leap in to action right after a disaster, just as extra electric company and cable workers from all over the country.
And the day after the disaster, maybe the next… that’s when the magic happens, Ron. Semis full of water are trucked in and the workers come by to ask you questions. ‘Do you have a place to stay?’ ‘Are you in desperate need right now?’ Then they cut checks so you can go to a motel, get something to eat.
You were pretty flippant when you said ‘We deal with hurricanes all the time’. No, you don’t. You deal with the threat of hurricanes and some storms in the Cat 1 and 2 range – though Ike, at a 2, managed to wipe whole neighborhoods off the map… What would have happened if you had your way, Ron, and a Cat 5 hit Lake Jackson… while you were at home? And there was no help…? Oh, wait… you’ve lived in D.C. since 1976!
Get your head out of your ass, you foolish, foolish man.