Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

As the Republican party prepares to formally nominate Mitt Romney for president, it seems that Tropical Storm Isaac will loom over every move that they make during their convention. The storm has already forced the party to cut a day from the convention schedule and — in a sure sign of things to come — Reince Priebus called for a moment of silence to pray for those in Isaac’s path (and the emergency responders who will be called in to help), in the only speech of the convention so far.

Unfortunately for those victims and emergency responders, prayers are just about the only support that Republicans will offer them in the inevitable wake of future natural disasters. As the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, Paul Ryan’s House-approved budget would gut the discretionary federal aid that helps states respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, helps provide food, water, shelter, electric power, and other critical services in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. “This form of discretionary federal aid would be subject to cuts under the Ryan budget,” the CBPP report points out.

While the Ryan budget is characteristically vague about what exactly would be cut from FEMA, its plan to reduce non-entitlement spending to 3.5 percent of GDP in the next 40 years would assuredly include a drastic downsizing of the department.

“If [discretionary federal aid] 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,” as CBPP warns.

This presents a two-pronged problem: First, overburdened local authorities are far less prepared than FEMA for the wide range of disasters that can strike a community. Second, most states — especially some of the most disaster-prone, such as California and Mississippi — are in the midst of serious budget crises as it is. In short, the Ryan plan’s effect on disaster relief would itself be disastrous.

The CBPP report warns that “Federal discretionary funds also help states, cities, and other local governments hire police officers,” and that “Big cuts in funds to hire police officers would shift more of the cost of hiring these officers to state and local budgets.” Given Mitt Romney’s stated opposition to states hiring more police officers and firefighters, it’s safe to assume that, while first responders are in Republicans’ prayers, they aren’t in Republicans’ budgets.

Seven years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina and a lackluster response from FEMA led to one of the worst disasters in American history. Now, as climate change leads to more extreme weather than the country has ever seen, only the party that believed disgraced Bush FEMA director Michael Brown did “a heck of a job” could think it prudent to decimate the budget for disaster relief. But as Paul Ryan takes the stage in Tampa to accept the vice presidential nomination on Wednesday, remember: This is what passes as “serious” in the modern Republican party.

Photo of RNC Chairmam Reince Priebus by AP/Charlie Neibergall

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 The National Memo

21 Responses to Paul Ryan’s Faulty FEMA Plan

  1. Republicans want to cut safety nets across the board and leave vulnerable Americans more vulnerable. Why should they treat FEMA any different?

  2. The Republicans efforts to cut and undermine the effectiveness of agencies such as FEMA and the EPA all but guarantee their inability to respond to major disasters. Add deregulation, which effectively give the fox the keys to the chicken coop, and we have a disaster waiting to happen.

      • You mean to tell me Bush’s atta boy to the head of FEMA was not since and had no merit? You are correct, however, inasmuch as those agencies were decimated in the Bush era to the point they were rendered ineffective. Next time there is a major oil spill, a levee breaks, or an earthquake devastates a major metropolitan area, be sure you call the Tea Party if your are mong those affected. I am sure they will tell you where to go.

        • FEMA and its ilk have no merit and are vastly over staffed. Cutting the agency to 5 employees would suffice.
          Major oil spill what did FEMA or any govt agency do ??nutting
          levee broke what did Fema do nutting
          earth quake what did the federal govt do?? Nutting.
          San Padre Island had a devistaing hurricane 2 years after Katrina what happened the folks cleaned it up and the federral govt wasn’t needed. No looting no shootings
          The midwest had huge floods 2 years running what happened the folks rebuilt the towns and restarted life no lootings, no shooting nobody crying for FEMA.
          Why?? those people aren’t on the dole and don’t expect anything from the federal govt. NO is the poster child for govt handouts

          • I would certainly agree that the Oil Spill was a disgrace, with the Coast Guard<(The department having jusisdiction) allowing BP to do as they pleased. When the levee broke the President Himself congratulated it's leader on a "Great Job". Earth quakes? Gee, low interest government loans, corps of engineers equipment for clean up, I doubt that everyone on San Padre island turned down federal grants to rebuild. Don't know how you relate shooting and looting to FEMA(though I have my suspicions)but I know that the Corps of Engineesr responded to the floods, along with the Coast Guard, and I know that loans and grants were available. The writer seems to think that FEMA is a welfare agency. FEMA" job is to coordinate the efforts of ALL AGENCIES of the Federral Government to alleviate the results of disasters. However, it seems that, like so many commentators on YAHOO the commenter knows very little about how the government works.

          • Its wasn’t the Coast Gurad it was Interior, ever7y fed that was incharge of enforcement was on the take,,,but no one lost their jobs,
            San Padre received nect to nothing from FEMA. I live in a stae that had a number of tornadoes and FEMA responded with ” gee this should be covered by insurance see ya”. That’s exactly what should have happened with NO, you had people on the dole for more than 2 years, while illegals from Mexicon came up and found work there.
            The shootings and looting just reflect a mentality that the govt owes me. Its prevelent in almost EVERY Black neighbor. Wheter its Oakland, DC, Detroit, Harlem or NO its the same.
            FEMA’s job is to offer TEMPORY assistance allowing the private sector to do their job. In this case the vast majority of katrinites had spent their lives on the dole and had never worked. A huge majority were 3 generation living in subsudized housing. But they had cell phones and big screen TV’s. FEMA and the taxpayers were never set up to pay for years for a group of lazy welfare queebs.
            Do a little research next time about how the govt works before looking so dumb here

      • As someone who lived in Florida I can assure you that both FEMA and the EPA perform important functions in our society. There is really no point in responding to a post from “onedonewong”

  3. These guys have never had to sacrifice for anything. What makes anyone think they are going to give two shits about the people who do?

  4. Surely we have republicans living in earthquake zones, (California, Alaska,) and tornado prone areas,( Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri etc.) hurricane coastal states(The whole Gulf Coast, Texas, and the whole Eastern Seaboard up to Maine) and areas that are prone to tremendous flooding ( Mississippi River Basin, Missouri River, Ohio River, etc.). If you’ve never had to experience any of these life altering events, then say your blessings, but as a country we have to have an agency that is ready to step in to help when one of these disasters strikes. Right now the Washington Monument is being repaired due to earthquake damage and Joplin, Missouri doesn’t look anything like it did before the tornado. We can’t cut funding for everything, continue to give tax breaks to the wealthiest and watch people suffer from lack of healthcare, food and as a result of natural disasters.

    • They (the repubs) don’t give a damn about anything except the high dollar 1%…they are the “job creators”…yeah right, if you believe that one I will tell you another one!

    • We do, the problem is that the party of fiscal and personal responsibility is also the party of national irresponsibility and instead of paying for what we need and benefit from they solve problems by blaming the boogeyman when disaster strikes.

  5. I remember a guy who would not say anything good about a Democrat. His house was hit hard by a flood and he showed me his list to present to Fema when they came by. I said, “But, you never owned any guns.” He said, “They don’t know that.” I said, “They will.”
    So, does this prove that Republicans don’t want to spend any money on social programs, but they jump on the band wagon when it suits them?

    Our state has privatized prisons. The scandals just keep coming. There was the fight club where prisoners were made to fight each other until one of them was knocked out. There were the sex sale scandals. There are some unexplained deaths. They exchanged well-trained guards for entry level people.

    One county wanted to privatize the fire department. At the present, a paramedic has to have a college degree. They can replace him with entry level cna’s.

    There was the case, that made news, where a man didn’t get around to paying his private fire department fee and they sat in their trucks and watched his house burn to the ground.

    There are private schools, in Texas, that choose to teach a different history than the real one. They also ban books. How soon will it be when they burn them. This is not teaching, this is brainwashing. Romney has said he does not believe in public schools. Do you?

  6. The mayor of NO has already moved all theschool buses to the beaches and stopped the water pumps. They got so much taxpayer $$ last time they want to do it again

    • and you know this how?

      sorry, i was in new orleans several years after katrina and it was still not ‘fixed’. the government trailers were still in use and many houses in disrepair.

      i gather from your negativity that you don’t ‘get’ any money from the government. i challenge you to live like those who do for at least a month. then, see if you think it’s such a great deal.

      • The illegals from Mexico could only do so much for NO before they ahd to go back. The natives were content to live their lives on welfare as they always have generation after generation.
        Why is it when ever their is a social or weather problem only the blacks see the need to rape pillage and burn. Is it something in their DNA? Or is it the fact that they can’t fend for theselves and think the ‘master” has to do everything for them??

  7. As you are well aware, the governor of LA is a repub…after Katrina hit and all those people were scattered far and wide through out the lower 48 states, then of course, the rich land seekers swooped in and scooped up large quanities of land for a fraction of its original price…and it changed the dynamics of the political landscape, also, from Democrat to repub and hence, a repub governor, state house, etc. Maybe, one day these people will learn that voting republician will not get you anywhere but down.

  8. Yep, it’s culling the dumbest population, they hope that all will commit suicide, but after the GOP is voted in. Guess what – yep most will commit suicide and will vote Robmeofmoney and beg /die on the streets.

  9. Where were you all when Iowa was helping each other because there was no assistance coming for them or New England with flooding or “Snowpocalipse” When did we become a nation of so many pu**ies? Prepare, take care of you own family, help your neighbors. . . What part of we are running out of money don’t you get? Or that the liar in chief is dead wrong about Al queda – they aren’t going away – are any of you even aware that Iran has what amounts to a military base in the continental US (in Michigan) that was transferred to them by our wonderful “friends” in China, procured as part of one of the joint ventures with GM with out own stimulus money… Riddle me this – what good will FEMA or the EPA be against an internal attack on our people? They don’t need long range missiles to fire at us within our borders people – turn off Jersey Shore and pay attention please, please, please

Leave a reply