During a presidential primary debate earlier this year, Mitt Romney forcefully called for the end of FEMA. That is the national emergency management department of the U.S. government. Romney stated that such activities should be left to the states to manage. He went even further to say the best option would be to privatize disaster relief:
"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.It's reckless for Mitt Romney to call for cutting disaster relief funds at the national level. Especially while calling for a reduction in taxes paid by the ultra-rich. His idea is make the rich even richer at the detriment to disaster relief programs. He simply has no idea how massive and expensive these storms can be. No one state alone has enough money to repair a major disaster, such as after Hurricane Katrina. It would bankrupt some states if they were forced to pay for the entire clean-up and rescue efforts. It's disgusting that Romney would rather states go bankrupt and families move than make his rich buddies pay a little extra in taxes to stand with our neighbors to provide disaster assistance. Whatever happened to "United we stand?" Romney would change that phrase to "You're on your own."
Privatizing disaster relief programs is just as dangerous. It makes victims of devastating storms pay higher and higher prices for assistance, especially if they live in a state prone to natural disasters. And what do citizens do who cannot afford to pay for a private company to help them? Are we just going to let them drown or wander around homeless? That is an unfair economic burden to place upon people whose house was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Romney then talks about morality. What would Jesus think? Would he rather we focus on people, or money? Helping our brothers and sisters or ignoring them?
There is a pattern here with Mitt Romney. First we heard him callously telling the auto industry to go bankrupt, which would have made an improving economy in Ohio and Michigan slide back into a recession. Now he's turning his back on millions of voters who live in disaster prone areas of the country: Florida, Virginia, the earthquake zones on the west coast and any state with a high, wildfire risk, (Colorado and other western state). If you believe that we should help our fellow Americans regardless of their state, you need to vote for President Obama. In a Romney world, we're all on our own, which is great for the uber-rich but devastating for the rest of us. Stand with your fellow Americans and vote for President Obama.
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