Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the east coast of the United States. It is being billed as the storm of the century—bigger than Irene a year ago. States and cities, assisted by the federal government, are preparing for the storm due to hit landfall Monday.
Schools are closed, the NY subways will be shut down on their 108th birthday, and residents are warned to evacuate low-lying areas from North Carolina to New York. This storm is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollar in property damage, like Irene; and has the potential to become a killer.
President Obama cancelled campaign appearances to coordinate disaster relief.
Romney and Ryan are opposed to federal disaster relief
If Romney were president and Paul Ryan vice-president, there might not be any federal disaster relief to coordinate. States, towns, and victims might be on their own. That sounds unbelievable, but believe it. If we take Romney at his word and look at Ryan’s record in Congress, federal disaster relief to victims would eliminated to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
On June 14, 2011 in a presidential debate, Mitt Romney was asked about disaster relief for tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri. Romney said that the victims in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and other communities hit by tornadoes and flooding should not receive governmental assistance. Here are his exact words in full context:
Moderator: “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…”
Moderator: “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.”
Will Romney try and pull out the Etch A Sketch 8 days before the election? Most assuredly. Romney will say anything he has to say to get power so he can help his billionaire buddies. He is banking on the voters having Romnesia, or just being plan stupid. He thinks no one will remember what he really thinks.
Paul Ryan will try and use the Etch A Sketch as well. As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan tried to stop Obama from providing disaster relief to Joplin and other areas unless Congress cut funding for something else first. The move by Ryan and his Republican pals in Congress was the first time in history that Congress did not swiftly and automatically approve disaster relief regardless of which party was in office.
Ryan also cut FEMA’s budget in his infamous Ryan Budget.
In order to fund his 20% tax cut, Romney needs to make massive cuts to non-defense federal spending. Rest assured disaster relief will be one of the first things he and Paul Ryan cut. Take them at their word. Residents in the wake of Sandy can be thankful Obama is president now. If Romney is president when the next disaster occurs, the victims will not be as lucky.
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