Sunday, November 04, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

And not a drop to drink.

Mitt Romney has been roundly criticized for his statement regarding funding for FEMA.
“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,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?” 
Romney’s response: “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,” Romney continued. “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 ...”
Romney replied: “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.”
Of course, liberal pundits immediately turned this into "Romney will eliminate FEMA!!!!!11!!! It's the end of the world as we know it! Heartless, cruel Rethuglicans!" The NYT put out an editorial A Big Storm Requires Big Government.

Hmmm, maybe it's just me, but cutting some funding doesn't automatically mean the death of said program. But, I'm a simple guy, with a simple mind, who sees things in a cartoon fashion. These are some of the editorial cartoons from the liberal side of things.

Yep, us Neanderthal conservatives are all a bunch of hypocrites. Because FEMA is such a find government agency that has a stellar record for disaster relief in the past. Oh, wait.....

And they're doing so well at helping out with Sandy as well:

FEMA's vaunted "lean forward" strategy that called for advanced staging of supplies for emergency distribution failed to live up to its billing in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

In fact, the agency appears to have been completely unprepared to distribute bottled water to Hurricane Sandy victims when the storm hit this Monday. In contrast to its stated policy, FEMA failed to have any meaningful supplies of bottled water -- or any other supplies, for that matter -- stored in nearby facilities as it had proclaimed it would on its website. This was the case despite several days advance warning of the impending storm.
FEMA only began to solicit bids for vendors to provide bottled water for distribution to Hurricane Sandy victims on Friday, sending out a solicitation request for 2.3 million gallons of bottled water at the website. Bidding closed at 4:30 pm eastern.
Breitbart News spoke with contracting officer Annette Wright, who said that the winning vendor would be required to deliver the 2.3 million gallons of bottled water to an East Farmingdale, New York distribution center that was listed in the solicitation request by Monday, November 5th. Ms. Wright was unable to say when or how the water would be delivered from the distribution center to needy Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey, Staten Island, Long Island, and other boroughs of New York City. Vendors "are currently being evaluated," she said, and when the vendors are announced, they will provide information on how local distribution will occur.
Yep, that's a perfect example of the rapid response needed in times of disaster, and the ability of a large government bureaucracy to fulfil the immediate needs of citizens.

Of course, taking federal control of disasters away from the Feds and giving it to local authority is not without risk as well - just look at Nagan and Blanco's refusal of FEMA and federal aid during the first days after Katrina hit (which Bush was blamed for - go figure*). You can't fix stupid bypassing the Feds and relying on state and local officials. Even in this crisis, NYC mayor Bloomberg refused aid from the National Guard in Brooklyn because - wait for it - they carry guns.

News flash - the National Guard does more than carry - they also have large things that make things go bang in a big way, not just personal weapons. Since day One of their existence, even.

But, you realize that those nasty guns will cause crime to rise, dogs and cats will live together, and they are a symbol of personal freedom that this bigoted a$$hole cannot stomach. But hey - the local populace elected him, he's their guy, so they're getting exactly what they wanted. Not my problem.

I sure don't have all the answers, but it does seem to me that local control is a better option, mostly because local people know their area, as opposed to someone thousands of miles away that has no clue. Plus, the money - if the money isn't filtered through about twenty seven more hands on it's trip through the federal bureaucracy, there tends to be more of it available for use, no matter the program. If you aren't sending so much money to the feds in the first place, it is a tad more affordable to sent it to the state capital instead.

And another thing - the disasters are called that because they are disasters. No one can accurately predict what will happen, and thus be prepared. Throwing more money into a federal sinkhole isn't the solution if the federal sinkhole apparently isn't capable of foresight and quick response. More money = more layers of bureaucracy, In My Humble Opinion - not better service.

And some people aren't responsible enough to be alive - how many stories have we heard of people running out of fuel for their generators, or placing their generators in an area that flooded, or people in walkup apartments with no food or water? How much time do you need to fill a bathtub with water, or buy extra fuel, or stock up on canned food and some camping cooking equipment? That sort of thing is de rigueur out here in the sticks - we know that no one is coming to bail our dumb asses out. But when you're used to Sugar Daddy Big Government taking care of all your needs, then you expect them to save you in a time of distress. Look how well that thinking works.

*and do you think this thin skinned President would stand for him being criticized for something he had nothing to do with? He doesn't take credit for errors he has made, much less keep his mouth shut and stay classy about something like that.


Earl said...

I wanted you to tell me how fast Budwiser was shipping cans of water. Which is kind of the point.

Jeffro said...

Until you said something, I did not know about it. Amazing how that hasn't been covered in a wide fashion.