What’s the “small-government” approach to the Frankenstorm?
Since you believe that corporations, nonprofits, and the states – in that order – are all more efficient than the federal government, do you believe that the National Weather Service should stop tracking Sandy and that FEMA should keep stay out of the relief effort?
If not, why not?
Update My apologies to Gov. Romney for asking a question he had already answered. Yes, he thinks that the federal government should not help victims of national disasters: that it’s “immoral” to do so on borrowed money.
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.
Do you think that any reporter will have the nerve to ask Romney, right now, whether he thinks that the victims of Sandy should be left to the mercies of the private sector, that “it makes no sense” for the federal government to offer them relief? Or ask Chris Christie whether he’d really prefer to have FEMA just butt out?
Neither do I. But a fella can dream, can’t he?
Obviously this isn’t an issue for Obama to raise now. He needs to stand back and let FEMA do its work, with maybe a single TV appearance to update the country on the situation and encourage donations of money and goods where needed.
But once the storm is past and the relief effort underway in, for example, coastal Virginia – say, about this coming Friday – he might want to mention that Mitt Romney opposed storm relief, just as he opposed the auto bailout.
Footnote Yes, it’s true. I’m in Charlottesville, where we’re expecting high winds, power outages, and flooding – UVa just cancelled classes for tomorrow, with the storm not even due to arrive until evening – and I’m much more concerned about the election than I am about the details of the relief effort. Hurricane Mitt is a Cat-6 storm that would last four or eight years. Storm relief efforts are urgent; winning the election is important.
Oh, and I know it’s rude to mention it, but one of the predicted impacts of global warming is increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Like this one.