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> Romney Said: Federal Disaster Relief Immoral, Do you agree with what he said?
Paladin Elspeth
post Oct 29 2012, 11:12 PM
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Here is the link to a video of what Mitt Romney said during one of the Republican Primary debates:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/29/1...al?detail=email
QUOTE(13 June 2011 transcript with John King)
KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. 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 ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…

KING: Including disaster relief, though?

ROMNEY: We cannot—we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. 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.

So, was Romney right?

Were it in your power, would you refuse Federal disaster relief to the victims/survivors of Hurricane Sandy based on what he said?

Was Romney sincere, or was he pandering to one group of potential supporters?

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Oct 29 2012, 11:26 PM
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net2007
post Oct 30 2012, 05:07 PM
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Amlord

QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 30 2012, 09:43 AM) *
This has got to be the worst reading comprehension of all times. You all get Fs.

What Romney said is that racking up big debts is immoral. He didn't say federal disaster relief is immoral. He did say that we should get things down to as local of a level as possible.

So, was Romney right?

Big debts are immoral -- he was correct.
Problems should be solved on the most local level -- he was correct.

What we need to do is get a set of priorities and stick to them. Do we want disaster relief? If so, then we should cut other things. Do we want a large social safety net? Then we need to cut other things.

Not even the United States government has unlimited resources. We need to make decisions about what to do with the limited resources that we have. What we should NOT do is kick the can down the road and spend our children's money.

Were it in your power, would you refuse Federal disaster relief to the victims/survivors of Hurricane Sandy based on what he said?

Of course not. The structure of disaster relief is what it is. The debt levels are what they are. Romney wants states to provide a larger role in disaster relief. That isn't in place now so we have to roll with what we've got.

Was Romney sincere, or was he pandering to one group of potential supporters?

He was talking conceptually. I hope he was sincere.

Newsflash to liberals: there are other ways to solve our problems than the big government, top-down structure that we have now. The entire scheme is screwed up because while states must balance their budgets, the feds don't. So we don't plan ahead for relatively foreseeable occurences such as storms because we rely on the "unlimited" deep pockets of the federal government. We're stealing from our children because we refuse to pay for what we have to.

Imagine a world where we weren't all grasshoppers, eating from day to day and not planning for the future. Imagine if we could plan to have an actual rainy day fund which could be used to rebuild after storms. Imagine a world where a governor doesn't have to wait for some guy in a federal district somewhere to say he can have access to the money he needs.

Imagine a world where we paid for what we bought. Such radical ideas...


Reading comprehension isn't held in too high of a regard when it's election season. If something can be pulled out of context then that's what many people will focus on. Actually I take that back to some extent, I actually really do think some people genuinely believe that Romney is low enough to consider disaster relief immoral or question whether or not Obama is an American citizen. To the politicians and news sources that do this it's generally a campaign trick, to some of the people that repeat it, it may very well have become the truth in their eyes.

..............................................................

QUOTE
Were it in your power, would you refuse Federal disaster relief to the victims/survivors of Hurricane Sandy based on what he said?


No, and I very highly doubt any president, good or bad, would do this unless America was already set up in a fashion to where the money could, without a doubt, come from the state and local level entirely. At the worst I think he's overly optimistic to believe that this can be changed within 4 years. It would take shaping up how states handle their money, which would mean some significant policy would have to be introduced to crack down on misuse of funds on the state and local level. This would be a major shift from how things are being handled I think.

I got to see the hurricane Katrina aftermath first hand when I went down their to help family 2 weeks after the storm hit. My grandmother on my fathers side had her trailer split in half by a tree and had to wait weeks for FEMA to get their act together. That hurricane was a prime example of why the federal government probably should play more of a role that helps us organize our efforts on a local level, while getting directly involved as little as possible.

I believe this primarily because I don't think the government knows what they're doing half the time. As far as the money goes some of it will be coming from the federal government for the foreseeable future and I think Romney understands this but as a fiscal conservative wants to change that but only pending us getting our act together on a local level.

I mean come on really? The left might as well start holding up signs that says (Romney is a Monster that wants you to suffer) and just run on that. More or less that's about what's being played on already though apparently. The whole 47% debate I'm not worried about either. Paladin Elspeth, you said if I was a woman that id care more about the issue of abortion or something along those lines if I remember right. If it wasn't Dingo, I think it was both of you.

Anyway work with me here, my family got hit hard by hurricane Katrina, and I'm on Social Security. Is it possible that some of these arguments on Romney are just blown completely out of proportion for the sake of swaying votes? You can't really make the argument that this issue isn't one that hit's close to home for me. I saw how disorganized we were during Katrina, I grew up near New Orleans, and my mother almost died when the levee system failed during hurricane Betsy.

Thoughts?

This post has been edited by net2007: Oct 30 2012, 05:20 PM
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Paladin Elspeth
post Oct 30 2012, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE(net2007)
I mean come on really? The left might as well start holding up signs that says "Romney is a Monster that wants you to suffer" and just run on that. More or less that's about what's being played on already though apparently. The whole 47% debate I'm not worried about either. Paladin Elspeth, you said if I was a woman that id care more about the issue of abortion or something along those lines if I remember right. If it wasn't Dingo, I think it was both of you.

Anyway work with me here, my family got hit hard by hurricane Katrina, and I'm on Social Security. Is it possible that some of these arguments on Romney are just blown completely out of proportion for the sake of swaying votes? You can't really make the argument that this issue isn't one that hit's close to home for me. I saw how disorganized we were during Katrina, I grew up near New Orleans, and my mother almost died when the levee system failed during hurricane Betsy.

Thoughts?
Here are the thoughts you asked for.

So it's a terrible thing, akin to holding up "Romney is a Monster {...}" sign to bring up a quotation that Willard "Mitt" Romney made during a Primary debate? Really?

So would you put it on a par with say, accusations that Barack Obama didn't care enough about Benghazi embassy personnel and just let the ambassador and staff be killed? What about that so close to the election? No vote swaying there, I'm sure. whistling.gif
Is it reasonable to look at a Presidential candidate who talks about slashing government programs in the context of a disaster that is still affecting Americans?

I think so.

Romney apparently did not figure that he was unduly burdening our children and grandchildren with debt when he asked for Federal funding for the Olympics when he was in charge. He apparently didn't think it was unduly burdening to the same children when he argued that pulling out of Afghanistan is a mistake before he agreed with Obama's plan for Afghanistan in the last Presidential debate.

Don't you think it is highly relevant to try to ascertain what Romney REALLY DOES THINK about things in the event that he is voted into office? Or are you satisified with him talking out of both sides of his mouth, adjusting his remarks to his audience at a given time?

As far as
QUOTE
Were it in your power, would you refuse Federal disaster relief to the victims/survivors of Hurricane Sandy based on what he said?

this question was not directed at you. It was directed at those who, for instance, would feel unduly burdened at being "forced" through taxpayer money to help fund contraceptives through healthcare insurance.
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amf
post Oct 30 2012, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE
I believe this primarily because I don't think the government knows what they're doing half the time.


If ya vote for candidates who believe that government is incompetent and the best government is the one that "gets out of the way", don't be surprised when the government you get is incompetent and unresponsive when you find you need them. Just sayin'.

(Not directed specifically at net2007 -- who I don't know well enough yet -- but the general "you", because there are a lot of people who really do believe that government is inherently incompetent.)

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net2007
post Oct 30 2012, 06:50 PM
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Paladin Elspeth

QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 01:32 PM) *
QUOTE(net2007)
I mean come on really? The left might as well start holding up signs that says "Romney is a Monster that wants you to suffer" and just run on that. More or less that's about what's being played on already though apparently. The whole 47% debate I'm not worried about either. Paladin Elspeth, you said if I was a woman that id care more about the issue of abortion or something along those lines if I remember right. If it wasn't Dingo, I think it was both of you.

Anyway work with me here, my family got hit hard by hurricane Katrina, and I'm on Social Security. Is it possible that some of these arguments on Romney are just blown completely out of proportion for the sake of swaying votes? You can't really make the argument that this issue isn't one that hit's close to home for me. I saw how disorganized we were during Katrina, I grew up near New Orleans, and my mother almost died when the levee system failed during hurricane Betsy.

Thoughts?
Here are the thoughts you asked for.

So it's a terrible thing, akin to holding up "Romney is a Monster {...}" sign to bring up a quotation that Willard "Mitt" Romney made during a Primary debate? Really?

So would you put it on a par with say, accusations that Barack Obama didn't care enough about Benghazi embassy personnel and just let the ambassador and staff be killed? What about that so close to the election? No vote swaying there, I'm sure. whistling.gif
Is it reasonable to look at a Presidential candidate who talks about slashing government programs in the context of a disaster that is still affecting Americans?

I think so.

Romney apparently did not figure that he was unduly burdening our children and grandchildren with debt when he asked for Federal funding for the Olympics when he was in charge. He apparently didn't think it was unduly burdening to the same children when he argued that pulling out of Afghanistan is a mistake before he agreed with Obama's plan for Afghanistan in the last Presidential debate.

Don't you think it is highly relevant to try to ascertain what Romney REALLY DOES THINK about things in the event that he is voted into office? Or are you satisified with him talking out of both sides of his mouth, adjusting his remarks to his audience at a given time?

As far as
QUOTE
Were it in your power, would you refuse Federal disaster relief to the victims/survivors of Hurricane Sandy based on what he said?

this question was not directed at you. It was directed at those who, for instance, would feel unduly burdened at being "forced" through taxpayer money to help fund contraceptives through healthcare insurance.


Good question on the Libya issue, I don't know if you've noticed but I haven't really debated that. From the get go I saw that as one of those (but he said, or didn't say this) arguments. I thought it was a mistake for Romney to pursue that one and it turned out I was right because it isn't really working.

The dilemma here is that I view attacking Romney on disaster relief in exactly the same light, as well as the 47% attack approach. Generally these politicians do at least want things to get better, even if most of them get sidetracked by the power and publicity I don't think either of them are quite as bad as some people make them out to be.

That all being said the campaign rhetoric on both sides is nauseating to me. Sure everyone should ask questions, it's important to know who and what your voting for. If Romney talks out of both sides of his mouth, I really don't see Obama as being too different in that respect. Obama uses campaign rhetoric extraordinarily well though, that's what worries me. He's almost too good for the majority of liberals to see what he's doing, and more importantly what he isn't doing.

I'll just call them all out on it, because I'm tired of it and I really do want something different. I'll be voting for Romney but it's because he has a very slight advantage with me on the issues, and I have a lot of resentment for anyone who gets away with misdirection the way Obama does.

amf

QUOTE(amf @ Oct 30 2012, 01:48 PM) *
QUOTE
I believe this primarily because I don't think the government knows what they're doing half the time.


If ya vote for candidates who believe that government is incompetent and the best government is the one that "gets out of the way", don't be surprised when the government you get is incompetent and unresponsive when you find you need them. Just sayin'.

(Not directed specifically at net2007 -- who I don't know well enough yet -- but the general "you", because there are a lot of people who really do believe that government is inherently incompetent.)


I appreciate you not grouping me together with a political party although I am on the conservative side somewhat. Personally I believe there is a time and place for government, this is something I talked about with Dingo a while back saying "I'm not for no government spending, I'm for smart government spending" This was on the issue of AGW which we both believe is a real concern, but have different ideas on how the problem needs to be approached.

Smart government spending sounds a bit like a bumper sticker but it's about what I believe. Romney at least does understand that the government is spending too much in a time of recession which is where I think he's coming from with arguments like this. Spending less is the direction we need to be going right now. As far as disaster relief goes it needs to come from somewhere and right now the government needs to provide a large portion of it unless things change.

I would like to see most of the funding and support come from the local and state levels though and I'm quite sure that's what Romney wants for the sake of the economy. All Romney had to say was what I just did, so I'm sure if he gets elected he'll be a bit of a gaff machine. People just have to look with better eyes than to jump to the worst of conclusions every time. The only sad part is that some people pull these things out of context deliberately.

Sometimes I think campaign commercials are written by manipulative 10 year olds. I'm waiting for one that comes out saying one of the following...

(Did you know that Obama stole his neighbors bike when he was 10 because he thought he was mean? Tell Obama that this is not what an American does.)

(Did you know that Romney broke up with his girlfriend because he really does believe her hair was too short? Tell Mitt Romney that women deserve respect.)


This post has been edited by net2007: Oct 30 2012, 07:15 PM
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Amlord
post Oct 30 2012, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
It is easy to minimize the suffering of others or to opine that the states themselves could take care of their own people during disasters. If a person is financially well-off, it is easy for that person to feel that all people should be as s/he should be, i.e., caring for one's own and expecting that everyone else has the motivation and the wherewithal to do the same, and to believe that those who cannot take care of themselves are in that situation through some fault of their own.


Nobody has said that the people in the path of this storm are at fault. Nobody believes that. Where did you come up with this idea?

What I've said is that states need to be prepared. Florida, for example, will be hit by a hurricane in the next five years. Don't you think it would be prudent to be prepared?

It's not the fault of Florida that hurricanes will hit it, but it isn't some sort of surprise.

When the local preparedness is overwhelmed, only then should there be federal assistance.

Instead you have what happened in New Jersey: Governor Christie looking to the feds before the storm actually hit. This tells us that he had no money set aside for such a disaster. Granted, New Jersey isn't Florida or Louisiana or Mississippi but looking to the federal government to grant this a disaster before it even happens so that you can get access to federal funds is a disgrace for Governor Christie in my opinion.



QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
And still others among us might protest that they don't want to be "forced" by the government to help take care of fellow Americans whom we do not know personally--that all charity should be willingly given, or there should be no charity at all. But where is the kindness toward our children and future children for which Romney appeared to be so concerned at the time he expressed it? Surely he knows that if we do not help the children who are here now who are in need, we're not taking care of future children, either. There are more children than we can count who are being affected by the weather disaster known as "Sandy" even as we are on this forum debating.


Again, nobody has said that we shouldn't help victims of natural disasters. The question is how prepared we should expect individual states to be.

The current situation lends itself to disaster. States don't put away money because they have a balanced budget requirement. If they do set aside money, then that is money they can't spend elsewhere. Meanwhile, these states know for a fact that the federal government will not fail to come to their aid with a big bag of money that is even larger than they themselves would put aside.

The current situation creates a vast disincentive for the States to prepare for their own needs.

And it isn't just in disaster preparedness. The same holds true in education, in Medicaid, in road building and in many other areas where the States come begging for federal funds.

The federal government is not burdened by this harsh "balanced budget" demon and thus can borrow and spend to its heart's content. It is a bad scenario in which there is no incentive to be fiscally responsible.

QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
I don't think it is realistic to expect that the states will be able to individually pony-up enough money and resources to take care of this without Federal help.


Ah, the beauty of low expectations.

QUOTE
Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.
Brian Tracy


QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
If Romney indeed sidestepped John King's question as some of you have written, we need to ask why.


Talking about cutting things isn't popular to a lot of people. He wanted to answer this in a positive way: we need to get our fiscal house in order.

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Hobbes
post Oct 30 2012, 07:18 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Oct 30 2012, 11:25 AM) *
And whose going to provide that ounce of prevention that will head off the necessity of a pound of cure?


That's the question. Local government don't want to, naturally, especially if they know they can get the Federal government to do it. Economically, it should come from local governments. If the cost of making someplace safe to live is too prohibitive...then people shouldn't live there. Politically, of course, that will never be the answer, but does it really make sense for the people of say, Montana, to pay for the costs of levees in New Orleans, or New York, etc. Local governments should be responsible for preparing for preventing anticipatable events for its citizens. Again, if citizens don't want to bear those costs, they shouldn't live there. The Federal Government should not be tasked with preparing each and every locality for whatever types of natural disasters are common in that area---that should be a local responsibility. Which doesn't mean that the Federal Government shouldn't help afterwards, but the onus of prevention should fall locally.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 30 2012, 01:54 PM) *
The current situation lends itself to disaster. States don't put away money because they have a balanced budget requirement. If they do set aside money, then that is money they can't spend elsewhere. Meanwhile, these states know for a fact that the federal government will not fail to come to their aid with a big bag of money that is even larger than they themselves would put aside.

The current situation creates a vast disincentive for the States to prepare for their own needs.

And it isn't just in disaster preparedness. The same holds true in education, in Medicaid, in road building and in many other areas where the States come begging for federal funds.


EXACTLY!

Note that if they do decide that spending now is more important than preparing for a disaster...then they have indeed decided that. No one forced them to, they did it themselves.

QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
I don't think it is realistic to expect that the states will be able to individually pony-up enough money and resources to take care of this without Federal help.


Take care of? No. Take steps to prevent catastrophic damage from occurring in the first place? Definitely.

QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
If Romney indeed sidestepped John King's question as some of you have written, we need to ask why.


Because he had a talking point he wanted to get across, just like every other politician on earth.

QUOTE
And still others among us might protest that they don't want to be "forced" by the government to help take care of fellow Americans whom we do not know personally--that all charity should be willingly given, or there should be no charity at all.


This gets to the heart of the liberal/conservative divide on a great many issues. It isn't debating that aid shouldn't be given...it is whether one should ask whether the receiver took adequate (any?) steps on their own prior to needing (expecting?) it. In hurricanes, for example, levees are far cheaper than repairing the damage afterwards. Localities should take appropriate steps on their own to prevent such natural disasters from becoming calamaties. If they don't, they are stating it isn't important to them.

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net2007
post Oct 30 2012, 07:41 PM
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Everyone should get a kick out of this, just to lighten the debate up for a second....


http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/103840/who-to-blame

After Stan and Cartman drive a boat into a beaver damn a town get's flooded. The kids keep it secret so they don't get in trouble but the media sensationalizes the event causing half the country to point fingers...

Some of the clip.....

QUOTE
Pedestrian: We know who's fault this is, it's George bushes fault!
Pedestrian: Yea, that's right, George Bush doesn't care about beavers!

Pedestrian: George bush didn't break that damn it was terrorist and al queda, they've been secretly building beaver damn WMD for years now!

Stan: Somebody's going to go help those people right?
Stan's father: That's not important right now, what's important is figuring out who's fault this is.


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Dingo
post Oct 30 2012, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 30 2012, 12:18 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Oct 30 2012, 11:25 AM) *
And whose going to provide that ounce of prevention that will head off the necessity of a pound of cure?


That's the question. Local government don't want to, naturally, especially if they know they can get the Federal government to do it. Economically, it should come from local governments. If the cost of making someplace safe to live is too prohibitive...then people shouldn't live there. Politically, of course, that will never be the answer, but does it really make sense for the people of say, Montana, to pay for the costs of levees in New Orleans

One problem is the Port of New Orleans is a national hub for international trade. I doubt any major city in this country isn't significantly plugged into the nation both privately and publicly. So Montana has a stake. We supplied the Soviets during the 2nd world war because we had a stake in their success. 'There' is inclined to be everywhere.
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Hobbes
post Oct 30 2012, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Oct 30 2012, 03:46 PM) *
One problem is the Port of New Orleans is a national hub for international trade. I doubt any major city in this country isn't significantly plugged into the nation both privately and publicly. So Montana has a stake. We supplied the Soviets during the 2nd world war because we had a stake in their success. 'There' is inclined to be everywhere.


Yes, there are often national interests at stake, in which case Federal spending would be appropriate. What we should be doing is seeing if we could reduce our national Emergency Relief spending if we spent more on various prevention projects---would spur the economy too. I would argue that such ventures should probably be jointly funded, but I think that is often the case currently.

I'm not against Federal Disaster Relief. I am against providing disaster relief at the expense of taking adequate steps at prevention, especially when states (or other localities) intentionally forego such spending because the federal backstop is there. It is an endemic we need to correct---we are always to focus on short term, rather than long term, and hence prevention projects always get bumped down the priority list. It is bad government.
FWIW...our failure to adequately prepare for alternative fuels, etc. suffers from this same mindset, the difference being that the costs of a disaster don't really occur until it actually happens.
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Paladin Elspeth
post Oct 30 2012, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 30 2012, 02:54 PM) *
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
It is easy to minimize the suffering of others or to opine that the states themselves could take care of their own people during disasters. If a person is financially well-off, it is easy for that person to feel that all people should be as s/he should be, i.e., caring for one's own and expecting that everyone else has the motivation and the wherewithal to do the same, and to believe that those who cannot take care of themselves are in that situation through some fault of their own.


Nobody has said that the people in the path of this storm are at fault. Nobody believes that. Where did you come up with this idea?

How is it that you are so well-versed on what "nobody says" and "nobody believes," Amlord? It is the behavior that shows the attitude, behavior that has been demonstrated in the past in reaction to seeing people who lose everything and then want assistance, who understandably want their lives put back together. I have a brother who, in response to the devastation by hurricane in Homestead, Florida, said, "Why should I pay higher premiums with my home insurance so that people can build again in these areas where they're going to get hit again by a hurricane?"

QUOTE
What I've said is that states need to be prepared. Florida, for example, will be hit by a hurricane in the next five years. Don't you think it would be prudent to be prepared?
I think that it is as prudent as wearing a winter coat and gloves in the winter time.

QUOTE
It's not the fault of Florida that hurricanes will hit it, but it isn't some sort of surprise.
So would you agree with my brother? If a hurricane devastates residents' property in Florida again, is it their fault, and should they refrain from building in the state? (One good thing has come out of this, and that is more stringent residential building codes in Florida.)

QUOTE
When the local preparedness is overwhelmed, only then should there be federal assistance.
Sounds reasonable to me. I just know that the contiguous United States have been crying poverty a lot these past few years. It would be instructive to actually see whether what the politicians leading them are saying is actually true.

QUOTE
Instead you have what happened in New Jersey: Governor Christie looking to the feds before the storm actually hit. This tells us that he had no money set aside for such a disaster. Granted, New Jersey isn't Florida or Louisiana or Mississippi but looking to the federal government to grant this a disaster before it even happens so that you can get access to federal funds is a disgrace for Governor Christie in my opinion.
Some would say that Christie is being proactive, and I'll bet some of them are voting for the same candidates you are. Christie knows that this is an election year, and that Obama can't very well say "no" even if "Sandy" stood to be less destructive. I don't think what he did is a disgrace; I think it's S.O.P.

QUOTE(Amlord)
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
And still others among us might protest that they don't want to be "forced" by the government to help take care of fellow Americans whom we do not know personally--that all charity should be willingly given, or there should be no charity at all. But where is the kindness toward our children and future children for which Romney appeared to be so concerned at the time he expressed it? Surely he knows that if we do not help the children who are here now who are in need, we're not taking care of future children, either. There are more children than we can count who are being affected by the weather disaster known as "Sandy" even as we are on this forum debating.


Again, nobody has said that we shouldn't help victims of natural disasters. The question is how prepared we should expect individual states to be.

And where did I ask that question in this thread? Also, where did Mitt Romney indicate that in his Presidential primary debate statements? Because I believe that 100% myself. Makes a heckuva better statement than Mitt Romney, in his "step around the question" statement, saying that federal disaster assistance was "immoral" for our children and grandchildren vis-a-vis the debt that they will be facing.

QUOTE(Amlord)
The current situation lends itself to disaster. States don't put away money because they have a balanced budget requirement. If they do set aside money, then that is money they can't spend elsewhere. Meanwhile, these states know for a fact that the federal government will not fail to come to their aid with a big bag of money that is even larger than they themselves would put aside.
Yeah, so what does Romney say he's actually going to do about it? Yeah, I know, get rid of Planned Parenthood and stop paying for Big Bird...

QUOTE
The current situation creates a vast disincentive for the States to prepare for their own needs.
See above response.

QUOTE
And it isn't just in disaster preparedness. The same holds true in education, in Medicaid, in road building and in many other areas where the States come begging for federal funds.
That means increasing state revenues. Just how do you propose that we do that? Eliminate pensions of public workers?

QUOTE
The federal government is not burdened by this harsh "balanced budget" demon and thus can borrow and spend to its heart's content. It is a bad scenario in which there is no incentive to be fiscally responsible.
There are two political parties (with a couple of independents) currently sitting in Congress. Are they talking about eliminating abortions and women's right to choose, or are they looking seriously at real ways to curb government spending?

QUOTE(Amlord)
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
I don't think it is realistic to expect that the states will be able to individually pony-up enough money and resources to take care of this without Federal help.


Ah, the beauty of low expectations.

Tell you what, Amlord. You talk to the governors of these affected states (or to their cabinet members) about whether they really have the money in their budgets to pay for this disaster or not. And I'll bet you dollars to donuts that they will say that they do not have the money. These are the same states that have been cutting services for their inhabitants.

Then YOU tell ME that you're going to get a different response from what I said. If something REALLY had to be done by the states without help from the Federal government, it might get done. It might take longer, and it might take more honest accountants and leaders with greater integrity.

QUOTE
Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.
Brian Tracy
And when somebody is running for office, it becomes standard fodder for campaign speeches. And then 3+ years later, these winners are called to task for not fulfilling them, regardless of circumstances impeding their grand plans, right? People are always getting in the way, aren't they, like Senator Mitch McConnell whose first priority is not to serve his constituency well, but is to make Obama a one-term President. What about that?

QUOTE(Amlord)
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 30 2012, 12:50 PM) *
If Romney indeed sidestepped John King's question as some of you have written, we need to ask why.


Talking about cutting things isn't popular to a lot of people. He wanted to answer this in a positive way: we need to get our fiscal house in order.
And talking in specifics isn't going to get him that job in the White House, so he's whitewashing his responses. NOBODY knows who the actual Mitt Romney will be in the White House if he gets elected. He is on both sides of so many issues, he does resemble the well-lubricated weathervane Jon Huntsman described, but hey, literally anybody but Obama (whose policies are known), right?

QUOTE(unknown)
Be careful what you wish for...You just might get it.


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Bikerdad
post Oct 30 2012, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 30 2012, 10:11 AM) *
No, but the situation there does point to part of the problem. Why is such a relatively weak hurricane causing so much damage? Clearly, that entire area was ill prepared for a storm. This can be a consequence of such relief--why spend
a lot of money ahead of disasters to prevent damage when the Federal government will bail you out afterwards?


This storm is causing such damage for three reasons
1} Timing. The storm made landfall around high tide during a full moon. Add the storm surge to high tide, not good.
2} Sheer size. Sandy is much larger than previous storms, so it gets to wreak havoc over more area.
3} Population density. More people to pound on.

While I agree that the Federal assistance does play some role where property damage of beachfronts is concerned, most of the damage quotient has nothing to do with the Federal support. It's a big honkin' storm, and folks have chosen to build in areas that get hit by storms, occassionally big honkin' ones.

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Curmudgeon
post Oct 30 2012, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 30 2012, 02:54 PM) *
What I've said is that states need to be prepared. Florida, for example, will be hit by a hurricane in the next five years. Don't you think it would be prudent to be prepared?

Florida likely is prepared for hurricanes. Building codes, for instance, usually take local conditions into account. In Michigan, for instance, there are requirements that roofs have to be built strong enough to withstand snow loads. In Florida, residents would fight requirements that a roof needs to support at least four feet of snow.

On the other hand, Michigan is ill prepared to handle a hurricane. Sandy was downgraded before it hit us, so technically it is no longer a hurricane; but we were still in the path of the storm. Preparations by officials? When we were told that Lake Michigan would have 25 foot waves as the wind blows from the North, we got reports that the car ferries would be held in Port for two - three days until the waves subsided, and directions from the weather reporter on the local news not to rake leaves. (Opinions are divided on whether it is safe to go to the lake and watch the waves.) No one is telling us that we need to board up our windows because we are only expecting fifty mile per hour winds. We may be facing power outages, but that is a mundane routine experience. (In New York City, there is a link that tells you how to report and monitor your power outages online. So, apparently it is routine there as well.)

In advance of the storm, there were news reports that anticipated 60 - 80 million people could end up without power. The utility companies likely notified the IBEW that they would need extra crews. Hospitals likely tested their generators. But in between, there are people like me that may have to delay posting until the power is turned back on, and people who have medical equipment at home that requires electricity to keep them alive. Our children are students and part of the work force, and will need their alarm clocks working to continue those paths.

The Pizza Delivery man just told me that the wind speed is picking up, and the television lost power for a moment. Time to hit "Add Reply."

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JohnfrmCleveland
post Oct 31 2012, 12:23 AM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 30 2012, 09:43 AM) *
Big debts are immoral -- he was correct.
....
Newsflash to liberals: there are other ways to solve our problems than the big government, top-down structure that we have now. The entire scheme is screwed up because while states must balance their budgets, the feds don't. So we don't plan ahead for relatively foreseeable occurences such as storms because we rely on the "unlimited" deep pockets of the federal government. We're stealing from our children because we refuse to pay for what we have to.


This reasoning - and much of Romney's platform - goes right out the window when one realizes that the federal government is not in debt. Given that, the idea that spending federal money in order to help people in need is "immoral" moves up to a whole new level of silliness.

The government has created and spent "money that they didn't have" on wars that cost far more than the cleanup of any hurricane, and we're still doing fine. Now, Romney comes along and tries to make the case that we're sticking our kids with the bill, so we should radically change the way we pay to repair our country, and he bases this on, what? Did we go broke after Katrina? Iraq/Afghanistan? WWII? When you are talking about curtailing spending on the welfare of Americans based on the cost, you had better know what the heck you are talking about, and Romney clearly does not.
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Bikerdad
post Oct 31 2012, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Oct 30 2012, 05:36 PM) *
...people who have medical equipment at home that requires electricity to keep them alive.
People without enough foresight in an area where power outages are a "mundane routine experience" to secure backup power of some sort?

QUOTE
Our children are students and part of the work force, and will need their alarm clocks working to continue those paths.
Children who, apparently, haven't been taught to prepare for the "mundane routine experience" of a power outage by having either a cheap digital watch with an alarm or a good ol' fashioned battery powered/wind-up alarm clock? (Yes, it's certainly possible they WERE taught such things, but have chosen to disregard them. If so, then it's not the storm's fault if they're late, eh?)

None of this is rocket science. Be prepared. If you don't know what that means, then more Federal spending on disaster prep awareness ain't gonna help. Either skedaddle (if practical) when the uber-nasty weather comes, or hunker down. When it's time to clean up, help your neighbors, and don't try to do it all in one day, that's a recipe for getting hurt.
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JohnfrmCleveland
post Oct 31 2012, 12:37 AM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Oct 30 2012, 08:25 PM) *
None of this is rocket science. Be prepared. If you don't know what that means, then more Federal spending on disaster prep awareness ain't gonna help. Either skedaddle (if practical) when the uber-nasty weather comes, or hunker down. When it's time to clean up, help your neighbors, and don't try to do it all in one day, that's a recipe for getting hurt.


That all sounds good, BD, but consider the big picture. We are talking about large numbers of people here, not individuals. It is far more efficient, for example, to improve our electrical grid than to have everybody run out and buy a gas-powered generator.

Our First Energy-run grid here in Ohio goes out constantly, and First Energy isn't exactly rushing out to spend the money to fix it up. No private sector entity would. That's why you can't count on insurance companies, either. The only deep pockets with a true interest in fixing broken things belong to the government.
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post Oct 31 2012, 12:40 AM
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I guess Romney DID have something to "say" in addition to what I quoted at the beginning of this thread, i.e., a cut of 40% under the Ryan plan:
Romney, Ryan pitched FEMA cuts
http://news.yahoo.com/politics-fema-mitt-r...s-politics.html
QUOTE
Ryan's House-passed budget proposal suggested $11 billion for "Community and Regional Development," a government function that includes FEMA and disaster relief. President Obama's budget allocation was nearly $19 billion. That's a cut of about 40 percent for 2013 under Ryan's plan, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The disparity would grow to more than 60 percent in future years, according to a study by David Kendall of the non-partisan think tank Third Way.

It is not possible to say exactly how much of those cuts would be directed at FEMA because the budget proposal was a broad outline. But FEMA is specifically targeted for reform by Ryan's most recent budget proposal because of the number of disaster declarations. [...]

Disaster funding has been something of a political football over the past several years. Leaders on Capitol Hill had to come up with an agreement back in 2011 to pass $8.8 billion in disaster money without offsetting it by cutting other programs. The government was nearly shut down in 2011 over the FEMA funding standoff. Ryan was one of 66 House Republicans to oppose that deal.


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post Oct 31 2012, 05:17 AM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Oct 30 2012, 07:17 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 30 2012, 10:11 AM) *
No, but the situation there does point to part of the problem. Why is such a relatively weak hurricane causing so much damage? Clearly, that entire area was ill prepared for a storm. This can be a consequence of such relief--why spend
a lot of money ahead of disasters to prevent damage when the Federal government will bail you out afterwards?


This storm is causing such damage for three reasons
1} Timing. The storm made landfall around high tide during a full moon. Add the storm surge to high tide, not good.
2} Sheer size. Sandy is much larger than previous storms, so it gets to wreak havoc over more area.
3} Population density. More people to pound on.

While I agree that the Federal assistance does play some role where property damage of beachfronts is concerned, most of the damage quotient has nothing to do with the Federal support. It's a big honkin' storm, and folks have chosen to build in areas that get hit by storms, occassionally big honkin' ones.


It's also collided with a Nor'easter. It's not common for a hurricane to add moister and wind to an already existing winter storm. Usually hurricanes don't come in contact with cold air masses this rapidly. This storm is being called by some the worst in history. Yea, the worst in history. New York city is a mess and the subways actually flooded. Some are talking about delaying the election but this storm is so deadly it really needs a forum of it's own minus the politics...

http://www.weather.com/weather/videos/news...-of-sandy-31965

http://www.weather.com/weather/videos/news...ter-sandy-31971

The second link has footage of New York City's subways.

Queens NY has seen better days...

http://www.weather.com/weather/videos/news...s-katrina-31969

That and areas inland getting 2+ feet of snow makes this storm very different...

http://www.weather.com/weather/videos/news...-of-sandy-31953


This last link goes into all the details of what makes this storm different. Everything came together at the high end of forecasters predictions which were already bad...

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/10/30...oogle_news_blog


Anyway since this already has political ramifications and people people do want to talk politics on it, some of the debaters here might want to know about a local political battle going on with the Democratic mayor of Atlantic City Lorenzo Langford, and Republican Governor Chris Christie.

Since Lorenzo Langford is African American and a Democrat what Christie is saying about him not encouraging an evacuation could hurt Obama. On the other hand some may view white Republican Chris Christie as playing politics which would hurt Romney.

It really shouldn't matter either way but people are pretty stupid when it comes to race and political party grouping. Sometimes they're pretty stupid in general but there's some info for anyone who hasn't heard it yet.

Here's a random forum link for the story....

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message2033343/pg1

I first heard about this on the weather channel then hit google and that's the first link I came across. No doubt there's a better one. I'm sure Nighttimer will jump on this one ASAP.

Anybody here about this in particular?

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Bikerdad
post Oct 31 2012, 06:50 AM
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QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland @ Oct 30 2012, 06:37 PM) *
That all sounds good, BD, but consider the big picture. We are talking about large numbers of people here, not individuals. It is far more efficient, for example, to improve our electrical grid than to have everybody run out and buy a gas-powered generator.
I agree, somewhat. The simple fact is that very few existing jurisdictions are going to spend the money to bury their lines (if it's even practical in areas with a lot of freezes) from the street to the house. Which means many folks will still be faced with the problem of those lines being taken down. And burying lines doesn't do anything to protect substations, which are vulnerable during extreme weather events.

QUOTE
Our First Energy-run grid here in Ohio goes out constantly, and First Energy isn't exactly rushing out to spend the money to fix it up. No private sector entity would.
false. Many private entities will, except there's a huge amount of red tape that interferes with them doing so, along with a massively greater incremental cost.

QUOTE
That's why you can't count on insurance companies, either.
I wouldn't expect to count on insurance companies for this. Sure, they're likely to give lower rates to entities with more robust electrical installations, but they aren't going to pay for the same.

QUOTE
The only deep pockets with a true interest in fixing broken things belong to the government.
Please, stop, I can't catch my breath, I'm laughing so hard. laugh.gif

The Bush Administration looked at upgrading the grid, and didn't pursue it for a number of reasons. The Obama Administration had the perfect opportunity to do so with the stimulus. Not only have they not done so, they've made the national grid more fragile by forcing a reduction in generating capacity.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 31 2012, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 30 2012, 03:18 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Oct 30 2012, 11:25 AM) *
And whose going to provide that ounce of prevention that will head off the necessity of a pound of cure?


That's the question. Local government don't want to, naturally, especially if they know they can get the Federal government to do it. Economically, it should come from local governments.


Of course the local government "wants to" prevent damage from natural disasters. blink.gif It's still advantageous to avoid damage before the fall for the local community. No one sits around before a hurricane hits and looks forward to the show because "the fed will pick up the tab". Here in the Florida keys the new building codes mandate that all new homes have hurricane-resistant glass (incredibly expensive, the stuff will take a bullet). There are other building requirements as well (a laundry list of them, most storm-related). The local politicians will be blamed if they are perceived as ineffective and limits on insurance coverage are heavy leverage (I'm told that for many years after Andrew it was next to impossible to get coverage in some parts of Florida).

Juxtapose this with other areas of potential natural disaster, like fire-prone areas, and it is the same. No hiking or camping once the fire potential reaches a certain level, preventative 'controlled' fires to mitigate larger ones, ect. It's not that I disagree most of the funding should come from localities, I agree that it should, I'm simply arguing that the funding and prevention efforts DO come from localities. My perception of your argument (and Amlord also made this argument) is that you (and he) view disaster funding as a sort of communal credit card system, and the local government is simply bypassing their card for a larger pool...and of course it would make sense for the locality to try to do so (effectively "pushing the problem away") if that were accurate, but it doesn't work that way. The view that the feds will 'rebuild' is neither realistic nor feasible for a community. No one wins (well, except the person with really good insurance and a property they hope to lose) by being hit with a natural disaster, and people who live in these areas know that more than anyone. When I had no heat in 13 degrees below zero weather in New Mexico, I didn't blame the federal government or expect it to save me (I don't recall anyone else doing so either).

QUOTE
Economically, it should come from local governments. If the cost of making someplace safe to live is too prohibitive...then people shouldn't live there.


We had a thread on this a while back, and Overlandsailor addressed this one rather well, I thought. The topic in its entirety is pertinent to this one, for those interested there are some good points all around.
QUOTE(Overlandsailor)
I find myself in the odd position of disagreeing with a position I previously held (again ). In many ways I agree with this sentiment. However, I have some major issues with this.

For example, on the issue of Tornados. They can happen anywhere, so in reality nowhere is really safe. However, they do happen more frequently in the Mid-West. The reason for this is primarily the climate and the geography. It is that same geography and climate that allows for such plentiful growth of food crops. If everyone moved somewhere "safe", who would grow the food?

Who would fish for food on the coasts? Who would handle the cargo coming in in the shipyards? Not to mention that most coastal areas get a good portion of their economy from tourism. Who would run thoses places? Where would the tourists stay?

Then of course there is the issue of ...well... where exactly is it really "safe"? There are few places in this country that are truly "safe" from ALL natural disasters. Now, if we all moved there, wouldn't the sudden over-population of these areas also be a safety issue? Wouldn't the cost of living it those "safe" areas spiral out of control? Wouldn't that end up forcing the poorest Americans into "Unsafe" areas?

I do agree that if you build your house on the side of a hill that is known for mud slides, or in a forest know for frequent fires, or in a flood plain, then yes, you should either have taken these things into account when it was built, adapt it to handle such potential problems in the future, or sufficient insurance to replace it all. Also, mobile homes should be banned in places like Florida's "hurricane alley" and many areas in the midwest period.

But, part of the reason we pay this aid is because our economy NEEDS people in these areas for it to work. You can't have a seaport without the possibility of a hurricane for example.

Without people living in many of these "unsafe" areas, we would not have the workers we need to run many of the critical sectors of our economy. Also, what about the critical sectors? Do we decide to no longer "bail out" Seaports, Farms, Shipping companies, etc? Which would really be more costly to us overall? Which would you prefer? Paying for it with tax dollars one time, or paying for it long term through increased costs on goods and services?

It is truly irritating to read that someone lost their home to a flood or hurricane for the 3rd or 4th time. However, we do need people in these places for America to work.

Now, the question becomes: Do we continue to just rebuild these places? Or do we spend the extra money now to rebuild them to withstand future disasters, or relocate them when possible, not to mention improve infrastructure like building higher sea walls, better flood controls, etc, to avoid future "bail-out" costs?


The above didn't even address military, coastguard, reserve units (also fire department staff, policemen et al) where living in such danger-prone areas is often a strategically vital component of their job. Probably the most convincing post I've ever read on the issue was one made by Wertz (RIP), on another, equally interesting thread.
QUOTE(Wertz)
The problem I see with this debate is that it's too blinkered. By putting one federal program under the microscope, we are ignoring the fact that our taxes pay for a wide range of programs, each of which could be seen to "favor" certain regions. For example, farm subsidies "favor" those states where agriculture is a major industry. Urban renewal programs "favor" those states with the largest cities. Similarly, FEMA "favors" those states that are more prone to natural disaster. So what?

The real problem with tax distribution is that the wealthier states disproportionately support the poorer states. It has nothing to do with individual programs, but with per capita income. Now, it could be argued that many of those programs would be better funded and administrated by the individual states in the first place, but that is not the premise of this discussion.

I have long felt that, apart from funding that goes to national services and infrastructure, federal taxes should be disbursed proportionately - states should get back what they put in. This could either be through federal programs or through direct refunds to the states so that they can take care of their own business. In other words, everyone's tax dollars should support the military, the interstate highway system, etc., but the surplus should either be allotted on the basis of what the citizens of each state pay in income taxes or it should simply be returned to the states (or taxpayers) themselves. As certain politicians depend on this sort of welfare to win the hearts of the heartland, however, a just system of federal funding will never be implemented.

Mississippi, as of 2003, got $1.89 in return for every tax dollar contributed. Alabama got $1.83. While little of that came from FEMA in terms of hurricane, flood, or tornado relief, it could be argued - easily - that they are being overly subsidized by wealthier states in general. The other biggest welfare recipients are Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia, each of which gets back more than $1.50 for every dollar they put in - none of them all that disaster-prone. Lesser welfare states include Arkansas, the Carolinas, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The biggest losers in terms of subsidizing the poorer members of the Union are New Jersey (which gets fifty-seven cents back for every tax dollar contributed), California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York, none of whom get back more than eighty cents. In short, the "northeastern elites" (and the left coast) are making the welfare payments to all those "red states" - and FEMA relief has little to do with it.

Are heavy consumers of FEMA funds paying their fair share of FEMA insurance? Should there be a FEMA cap per state (or per state revenue)?

Yes, they are. No, there shouldn't. As Florida has been singled out, it's worth mentioning that Florida and Oregon are the only states that get one dollar in return for every tax dollar they contribute. They are paying exactly their fair share of federal income tax and every program it supports - FEMA included. California, prone to earthquakes, brush fires, and mudslides, only gets seventy-eight cents back for every tax dollar they contribute - FEMA included. Arguing "fair shares" of FEMA "insurance" is specious.

Would FEMA money be better spent disallowing people from rebuilding in highly disaster-prone areas?

No, it wouldn't. FEMA is not, as characterized, "a type of federal insurance policy". It was not established to address any specific type of disaster (and, as it has been subsumed by the DHS, is now also geared toward relief in the event of terrorist attacks). It was certainly not established to determine where people should or should not live. It was established to provide emergency assistance for those afflicted with tragedy - any tragedy. Even disaster-prone welfare states like Louisiana and Mississippi should not be penalized because of geography. Suggesting that a humanitarian relief program like FEMA should be prejudicial on any grounds is downright perverse.


The above figures for federal tax dollars received versus dollars paid are outdated, so here are some figures that are a bit more recent. Most of the areas hit by this specific disaster "give more" than they "get back" from the federal government.

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post Oct 31 2012, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 31 2012, 08:36 AM) *
The above figures for federal tax dollars received versus dollars paid are outdated, so here are some figures that are a bit more recent. Most of the areas hit by this specific disaster "give more" than they "get back" from the federal government.

Seems to be an overlooked fact when TEA arguments meet up with reality.

Meanwhile, Colorado utility crews head to East Coast.

Why is it so hard to think of the US as a single nation rather than a loose federation of states? Oh yeah, history.
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