Aren’t you glad Republicans aren’t still in charge? As Hurricane Sandy makes her way inland, it’s high time someone remind American voters: Romney and Ryan would have gutted essential federal relief. Recall that when CNN’s John King asked Romney if he would cut FEMA, he basically said it was “immoral.” The destruction and mayhem wrought by hurricanes and other natural disasters, he argued, is best left to the private sector.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also analyzes how Ryan’s budget would offset every dollar of disaster relief with discretionary spending cuts:
States and local areas hit by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes often seek help from the federal government. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, at a governor’s request, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps people affected by the disaster get food, water, and shelter, and can help with search-and-rescue missions and providing electric power. FEMA also helps states and local governments repair or replace public facilities and infrastructure, which often is not insured. This form of discretionary federal aid would be subject to cuts under the Ryan budget. If it were scaled back substantially, states and localities would need to bear a larger share of the costs of disaster response and recovery, or attempt to make do with less during difficult times. Federal discretionary funds also help states, cities, and other local governments hire police officers. Big cuts in funds to hire police officers would shift more of the cost of hiring these officers to state and local budgets.