Posted by: coastcontact | November 20, 2012

One More Reason There is a Federal Government

Those in the path of Hurricane Sandy should be grateful that Mitt Romney was not elected president.  Last year Mr. Romney pledged that if elected he would shrink the deficit by axing FEMA and handing the responsibility of disasters over to the states and local governments.

During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA’s cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response.

“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. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?”

“Including disaster relief, though?” debate moderator John King asked Romney.

“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney replied. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is planning to ask the federal government to pay 90% of the associated costs.  Those costs are estimated to be in the billions of dollars.  They are already at $20 billion.  New York officials have indicated they will seek more than $30 billion in federal aid.

It is unlikely that any state could handle the costs of devastating climatic or geological occurrence.  Think Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and the Northridge Earthquake.

If we are the United States we come together to help those in need.  This is just one of the many reasons Americans re-elected Barack Obama.

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