I know, I know, you’re shocked! Here comes the NY Times (unnamed) editorial board with the “sense of the paper”
Most Americans have never heard of the National Response Coordination Center, but they’re lucky it exists on days of lethal winds and flood tides. The center is the war room of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where officials gather to decide where rescuers should go, where drinking water should be shipped, and how to assist hospitals that have to evacuate.
Damn, what would those poor little States and municipalities do without the helping hand of people who…..don’t live near the affected areas, don’t know the people, don’t know the landscape. We must have even more Central Planning!
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.
Legal Insurrection points out that this is a complete strawman, a gross misrepresentation of what Mitt was saying.
It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. 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.
But, hoorary, Obama rescued it!!!!!!1!!!!! Oh, BTW, perhaps if the Democrat mayor of New Orleans had ordered an evacuation earlier, and followed the evacuation plan, there would have been less problems. Other states, hit just as hard, didn’t have the same issues, especially since so many in New Orleans were products of government dependence and were unable to help themselves.
Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness.
Good thing the NY Times isn’t politicizing a disaster. They were, and are, pretty darned upset over what they deemed as Republicans politicizing Obama leaving Americans to die in Benghazi.
Is FEMA necessary? Yes, it is a good agency designed to coordinate relief as it comes from multiple states. That is a good role for the federal government. But, what it mostly does is pump taxpayer money into these areas, often based on political considerations. Most of the time, States, counties, and municipalities can get by doing it on their own, and, really, the manpower comes from within.
Back in 1999, North Carolina was hit by two storms in close proximity, Dennis and Floyd. The Governor of NC, James Hunt (Democrat) did not rely on FEMA to deal with the aftermath, which was massive flooding of a good chunk of eastern NC. He relied mostly on our own resources. And did an awesome job.
What the Times is positioning here is that Republicans want to do away with all government. That’s a load of mule fritters. We understand that there are times for the Central Government to do a job. And then get the hell out of our lives. Most things can be done in the states. And should be.