Hurricane Irene, barely over 24 hours ago, has already killed 35 people in ten states, including a young boy, but Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul ignored the devastating floods, the five million without power, and the tragic loss of life, deciding instead to use the multi-billion dollar disaster to score cheap political points. Fortunately, none of them were well-received.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) classified FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as a government “bail out” program. Paul said to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that a President Ron Paul would end FEMA, the bridge between every American and unimaginable disaster — in fact, what many feel government was created to do.
“Have you ever read the reports that came out of New Orleans and all those wonderful things they did? Giving checks to people who didn’t even live there? Sending in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trailers that they had to junk because they didn’t meet FEMA’s standards? No. It’s a system of bureaucratic central economic planning which is a policy which is deeply flawed. So no, you don’t get rid of something like that in one day. … I mean, this idea that government can just bail out everybody and vote for money — but I propose that we save a billion dollars from the overseas war-mongering, bring half that home and put it against the deficit, and yes, tide people over until we come to our senses and realize that FEMA’s been around since 1978. It has one of the worst reputations for a bureaucracy ever. … You can’t imagine how many calls we get because FEMA’s getting in the way and they can’t get their checks, they can’t get their bailouts. … Anybody who wants to defend this department and this agency, they have a tough argument to argue for.”
“Giving checks to people who didn’t even live there?” Fraud. Prosecute it.
“Sending in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trailers that they had to junk because they didn’t meet FEMA’s standards?” Trailers were manufactured with cancer-causing glue that hospitalized many inhabitants for extreme headaches, nausea, etc., by an unscrupulous company. Prosecute them.
So, in the first part of his statement, Paul blames FEMA for not having enough controls in place, and then turns around and blames FEMA for having too many controls in place.
Let’s remember that the FEMA complaints Paul is referencing are thanks to President George W. Bush who put in charge of an extraordinarily important agency a man whose previous level of experience had no relation to the experience required to run FEMA: Michael “You’re doing a heckuva a job, Brownie,” Brown.
Typical conservative mindset. “Government must be bad so let’s abolish it. As I cash my government salary check.
And as everyone knows by now, Michele Bachmann over the weekend claimed that the earthquake that hit the east coast a week ago, and Hurricane Irene, were God’s way of telling Americans to tell their politicians to “cut spending!”
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
Of course, now Bachmann claims she was only joking.
35 dead. Five million without power. Massive flooding that has trapped pregnant women, and families for days. Billions upon billions of dollars in damage. Lives lost, families changed forever.
Good job, GOP. No one’s laughing.
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