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Thread: Romney Against FEMA

  1. #1

    Romney Against FEMA

    Wasn't the Bush's complete emasculation of FEMA partially responsible for the Katrina disaster? Even Republican NJ governor Christie has praised the President and FEMA's NATIONAL actions regarding Sandy.

    And yet Romney appears to want to dismantle the system and send it back to what failed catastrophically during Katrina? And private enterprise - in what universe would private enterprise function for large scale disasters since they operate on a profit motivation which is the antithesis of what is necessary in a disaster.


    Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states.
    He not only agreed
    , he went further.“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.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.

    Mitt Romney In GOP Debate: Shut Down Federal Disaster Agency, Send Responsibility To The States

  2. #2
    I was watching TV last night and I saw a segment that showed over 10 reporters asking Romney throughout the day his thoughts on FEMA, and whether he would disband it and have states take over (and ideally privatize it).

    He said boo, he completely ignored them. It was soooo obvious. In one case, they were just steps away and he absorbed himself in carrying a box of goods that will be sent to NY/NJ. His campaign said he asked supporters to bring donated goods to the rally. I've heard (who knows if its true, but it follows suit on how they acted in similar situations, how they staged the scene when Ryan helped at a shelter by making sure there were dirty dishes etc) that his staff actually bought a bunch of stuff and handed them to supporters, for them to "donate". Of course, most general public knows the American Red Cross wants financial donations, not a random couple of boxes appearing at their office.

    Oh, a spokeperson finally said something that they of course, aid would include FEMA and the fed govt (or something like that). But a far cry from what he said in the debate about returing emergency aid to the states etc. ANOTHER flip.

    How in the world can you trust this guy. And, know how he will actually act.

    How could a state handle such a huge disaster without outside support/aid? They can't. But in that debate, Romney would eliminate FEMA on the federal level since too costly etc.
    Last edited by applecrisp; 10-31-2012 at 07:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    most general public knows the American Red Cross wants financial donations
    Yes, so they can use the funds exactly like they did during Katrina. Do you not remember, people sent millions of dollars expecting the funds to be used for the Katrina disaster. The Red Cross finished, packed up, took their money ad left. To be used on the disasters of their choice (and their salaries).
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

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    You know, Obama is showing real class by not indulging in any low blows or partisan politics in the aftermath of this horrific disaster, as are Romney and the media. Perhaps we could follow their example here...
    The motive power of democracy is love. ~ Henri Bergson

  5. #5
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    And to be honest? We had an EF-3 totally devastate a town down the road from us. FEMA dropped in and denied any help to these people. They had insurance and were good to go. Their houses were blown to smithereens. They had no place to stay during the rebuilding process. Everyone in this area moved in to help and it was absolutely AMAZING to see the difference in the place, in less than one year! It was stated that they would do it without the D@mned government and by golly, they did! People reaching out to other people and helping . Sending it back to the private sector. Yes, these people would have loved to have had the low cost loans that FEMA could have offered them, but you know what? Those folks did just fine without FEMA. Maybe Romney just might be onto something. The folks here, did it without FEMA. Google the damage. Glade Spring Virginia 2010.
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarie View Post
    And to be honest? We had an EF-3 totally devastate a town down the road from us. FEMA dropped in and denied any help to these people. They had insurance and were good to go. Their houses were blown to smithereens. They had no place to stay during the rebuilding process. Everyone in this area moved in to help and it was absolutely AMAZING to see the difference in the place, in less than one year! It was stated that they would do it without the D@mned government and by golly, they did! People reaching out to other people and helping . Sending it back to the private sector. Yes, these people would have loved to have had the low cost loans that FEMA could have offered them, but you know what? Those folks did just fine without FEMA. Maybe Romney just might be onto something. The folks here, did it without FEMA. Google the damage. Glade Spring Virginia 2010.
    There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the role of FEMA. If they came in & determined that there were resources available to this community, they had no role. FEMA doesn't offer loans--they coordinate access to loans through other agencies partnered with the SBA (Small Business Administration). If the basic infrastructure (roads, power lines, etc) in the region (not just the town) were functional with repair, and there were regional financial institutions available, and most of those who suffered damage were insured, then FEMA would just get in the way. Why add another level of red tape to a situation that, while a real horror for those going through it, was manageable by your own assessment? FEMA coordinates efforts in extreme, widespread, comprehensive disasters. Having been through a pretty significant tornadic event myself, I know that if we had been constantly told to report to another agency before getting our insurance settled, our property repaired/cleaned up, etc, it would have been a nightmare. In a situation like there is now, with damage from Sandy, we are seeing major infrastructure damage, and limited (or no) resources available to people in those areas. FEMA is an emergency-MANANGEMENT agency, not a relief agency. Perfect? No. Needs improvement? Like everything/everyone else in this world, yes. Necessary? I think so.
    As the arc of history bends towards justice, it's a new, more progressive day. --Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, 11-07-12

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    @leebee

    I appreciate your response, and like you said there are problems with FEMA that could be worked out.
    There was just the type of situation at Glade, that you spoke of. We just got together and volunteered and worked together. The officials made sure that no scam artists made their way there.

    I understand that with this much devastation, there has to be major coordination. But the people in Glade had NEVER seen anything like this. We live in the mountains and an ice storm is about all we have to worry about. Seriously, we never used to think about tornadoes...These people didn't know which way to turn, but they were resilient...rolled up their sleeves and no one heard a peep out of them.

    They were surprised at FEMA's response, but once they got over that, they got busy. And perhaps, just perhaps, this is the kind of thing Mr. Romney was referring to.
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarie View Post
    @leebee

    I appreciate your response, and like you said there are problems with FEMA that could be worked out.
    There was just the type of situation at Glade, that you spoke of. We just got together and volunteered and worked together. The officials made sure that no scam artists made their way there.

    I understand that with this much devastation, there has to be major coordination. But the people in Glade had NEVER seen anything like this. We live in the mountains and an ice storm is about all we have to worry about. Seriously, we never used to think about tornadoes...These people didn't know which way to turn, but they were resilient...rolled up their sleeves and no one heard a peep out of them.

    They were surprised at FEMA's response, but once they got over that, they got busy. And perhaps, just perhaps, this is the kind of thing Mr. Romney was referring to.
    But Joyce, they had places TO turn to, once they got their bearings. Keep in mind, that same storm generated many, many tornatoes that killed hundreds (Alabama was really hard hit). It can be an almost insurrmountable personal tragedy, or even a community/town-wide problem. But not an issue where there are no roads left to fix, no banks in the area to coordinate loans, no utilities to repair because they're gone. THAT'S where FEMA must step in, tell officials where to go, tell volunteers where to go. In a place like coastal NJ right now, the problem is so large, so comprehensive, so widespread, there's no way to deal with it. In the tornado I was in, my local insurance agent lost everything, but there were 10 others from the same company w/in 20 miles, so they helped manage the response. That's not something FEMA needs to help with--they would get in the way. But that's apples & oranges. There are some places where Sandy caused trouble that will NOT get emergency help. We had trees down & stuff in our region, but we are not a disaster area. Does that mean the tree on the house down the street didn't ruin the roof? No, but we are in a position to help ourselves right now. There are many who truly are not.
    As the arc of history bends towards justice, it's a new, more progressive day. --Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, 11-07-12

  9. #9
    In the incident which you cite, FEMA turned it down because it wasn't considered to be a major disaster - i.e. one that the combined resources of the state and local authorities weren't equipped to handle.

    It's not any different than any other relatively minor event that can be handled at the local level.

    That is quite a bit different than believing that a well funded national disaster preparedness system is unnecessary for major disasters that are beyond the capability of state and local authorities which is what Romney and Ryan have espoused. Ryan, while in Congress, voted to defund FEMA.

    “We evaluate the need,” Edwards said in an interview last week, adding that the agency then weighs the need against what it determines are the combined abilities of local government, state government and any private, community and volunteer organizations to respond to the crisis.
    If FEMA decides that a disaster’s overall impact outweighs that capability, Edwards said, the agency’s regional administrators send a report to the White House recommending that the president grant the request for disaster assistance. If the agency determines the disaster does not outweigh the state’s ability to respond, the governor gets a disappointing letter, like the one McDonnell received, letting them know about the decision and giving them 30 days to file an appeal.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarie View Post
    And to be honest? We had an EF-3 totally devastate a town down the road from us. FEMA dropped in and denied any help to these people. They had insurance and were good to go. Their houses were blown to smithereens. They had no place to stay during the rebuilding process. Everyone in this area moved in to help and it was absolutely AMAZING to see the difference in the place, in less than one year! It was stated that they would do it without the D@mned government and by golly, they did! People reaching out to other people and helping . Sending it back to the private sector. Yes, these people would have loved to have had the low cost loans that FEMA could have offered them, but you know what? Those folks did just fine without FEMA. Maybe Romney just might be onto something. The folks here, did it without FEMA. Google the damage. Glade Spring Virginia 2010.

    I don't think you can compare what happened there to the estimated $50 billion amount of damage done in the northeast.

  11. #11
    Yes apples and oranges indeed.

    From what I have read, there is no power within a massive swatch of the country impacting millions - no gas; no heat and some people have no food.

    And the swath of absolute destruction of probably thousands of homes and businesses with commensurate destruction of the infrastructure - roads and mass transportation. In just one small neighborhood in Breezy Point, Queens about 120 homes burned to the ground because fire trucks couldn't reach them - the sad irony is that many first responders live in Breezy Point and it suffered huge losses during 9/11.

    Cell service was knocked out in many parts of the Northeast because the cell towers lost power.

    There have been small tornadoes in Los Angeles which probably have hit as hard as the one in Glade Springs not to mention earthquakes and fires - none of those required assistance from FEMA because the city and state were well equipped to deal with the small localized issues.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by amarante View Post
    Wasn't the Bush's complete emasculation of FEMA partially responsible for the Katrina disaster? Even Republican NJ governor Christie has praised the President and FEMA's NATIONAL actions regarding Sandy.

    And yet Romney appears to want to dismantle the system and send it back to what failed catastrophically during Katrina? And private enterprise - in what universe would private enterprise function for large scale disasters since they operate on a profit motivation which is the antithesis of what is necessary in a disaster.


    Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states.
    He not only agreed
    , he went further.“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.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.

    Mitt Romney In GOP Debate: Shut Down Federal Disaster Agency, Send Responsibility To The States
    Asking states to cover disaster relief is not only logistical nonsense for a huge storm like Sandy, but it is economic nonsense as well. States are almost bankrupt as it is so they would be asking the federal government to bail them out if they had to do their own disaster relief. And asking the private sector to step in is crazy. I would not send funds to a private sector company, the way I send funds to the Red Cross. I would get no tax deduction because a private sector firm is not a 501 (c) 3. The deduction is not the only reason people give - but it sure helps! Oh - I forgot - Romney might take away that deduction anyway so he can extend the Bush tax cuts for the 1%.

  13. #13
    Asking states to cover disaster relief is not only logistical nonsense for a huge storm like Sandy, but it is economic nonsense as well. States are almost bankrupt as it is so they would be asking the federal government to bail them out if they had to do their own disaster relief.

    And asking the private sector to step in is crazy. I would not send funds to a private sector company, the way I send funds to the Red Cross. I would get no tax deduction because a private sector firm is not a 501 (c) 3. The deduction is not the only reason people give - but it sure helps! Oh - I forgot - Romney might take away that deduction anyway so he can extend the Bush tax cuts for the 1%.

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  15. #15
    Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize winning economist) had a telling piece on the difference between the responses to Katrina and Sandy by FEMA and how those responses were not "accidental" but because FEMA was staffed by professionals by Obama and staffed by political hacks by Bush.

    Sandy Versus Katrina - NYTimes.com

    Of course, as Krugman points out, Steve Colbert perhaps had the best "take" on why a well funded FEDERAL government is necessary and desirable

    “Who better to respond to what’s going on inside its own borders than the state whose infrastructure has just been swept out to sea?”

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