Ron Paul: We don't need FEMA
August 27th, 2011
03:59 PM ET
3 years ago

Ron Paul: We don't need FEMA

(CNN) - As Hurricane Irene barrels along the U.S. East Coast, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said the nation would be much better off without the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"I live on the Gulf Coast. We put up with hurricanes all the time," the GOP presidential candidate told CNN after a New Hampshire campaign event Friday. "There's no magic about FEMA. More and more people are starting to recognize that."

Paul has long been a critic of the agency, which he calls a "great contributor to deficit financing."

With more than 7,600 employees, FEMA falls under the Department of Homeland Security and coordinates response efforts when disasters strike.

Citing the Galveston hurricane in 1900 that obliterated much of the Texas coast, the libertarian-leaning congressman said Americans were able to rebuild their cities and put up a seawall without the federal government's help.

"FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas," Paul said. "All they do is come in and tell you what to do and can't do. You can't get in your houses. And they hinder the local people, and they hinder volunteers from going in."

After Hurricane Ike demolished parts of the Texas coast in 2008, Paul voted against a bill that would funnel billions in aid to the area, which covers his congressional district.

FEMA has since pumped more than $3 billion in federal funds into the state.

The agency received wide criticism in 2005 for failing to respond in a timely, organized manner to the vast destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • FEMA • Ron Paul
soundoff (1,050 Responses)
  1. bobby johnson

    I live in Scarsdale, NY. As I am writing this, my town is being hit by hurricane Irene. We are an extremely democratic liberal jewish town. And Ron Paul is 200 percent right on this. FEMA is unconstitutional. Congress does not have the eneurmated power to deal with hurricane damage. Why should a person living in California have their taxes raised to pay for hurricane damage in new york? Its pure idiocy. And besides, FEMA has done such spectacular jobs at dealing with disasters in the past, especially in New Orleans. (Sarcasm) This is another attempt by the military-industrial complex owned Mainstream media to try to smear ron paul. Guess what? Its not going to work. Liberty has always prevailed over tyranny.

    August 28, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. drogo, the stallion that mounts the world almost

    State and local governments don't have the capability to deal with mega disasters regardless of the ranting of Ron Paul.

    August 28, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. James Scott

    It's funny how the media every chance try to put the crazy tag on Ron Paul and most people believe. Whats crazy is all these wars, deficit, our soldiers not having the health benefits to get better when they come back, and of course all the lies they release. Tell all familes that counted on the Government to take care of them, only to find out they couldn't, or wouldn't. Oh, it's funny how they were saying gold was a crazy idea to purchase. When I woke up, and purchased it was $800, and now it's going to pass $2,000 shortly. So keep pointing fingers at each other, but we're all in the same boat. Good job on the hit piece CNN!

    August 28, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  4. What news story?

    So of all Ron Paul's positions, this is the one that CNN decides to talk about, after ignoring Ron Paul's many positions for months now. Not to mention Ron Paul has been saying "abandon FEMA" since hurricane katrina. So? Why is this a ticker headline now CNN? Whats your angle? What are you REALLY trying to say?

    Because you've ignored Ron Paul for nearly this entire election cycle, but now run a double-talking piece like THIS?

    CNN isn't even trying to hide their disdain for Ron Paul anymore. Or any candidate that isn't a Democrat for that matter.

    August 28, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  5. MAVVV

    FEMA is building the barbed wire prison camps so quietly U sheeple dont even know ! These are for the DHS people to roundup all rioters and protesters of govt. when it happens. FEMA reeducation camps will retrain those people to work until set free. Ring any bells yet? Can U sheeple see the big picture Ron Paul is trying to stop ? RonPaul for Pres cant happen soon enough.

    August 28, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  6. mike

    When the earthquake take out LA, or a tornado takes out joplin, we need FEMA. Ron Paul your a idiot. It is like saying the elderly dont need AARP, or Hospice. If you want to throw someone under a bus, start with yourself.

    August 28, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  7. frpdp1008

    While I do like Ron Paul's honesty, his idea are insane!!

    Yeah, let us just get rid of Social Security and throw some 20 million elderly Americans that paid into this system all their lives under the proverbial bus, and out into the mean streets of this country! Yeah, that would be good now, wouldn't it??

    This guy would not just touch the "Third Rail" of American politics, he would lie down on it while the train ran over him!!

    He actually stands as much a chance of being the next president as Mickey Mouse!!

    Please nominate him anyway Republicans, it would make president Obama's job of being the next president that much easier!!

    August 28, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  8. Stacie

    It's so awesome that CNN and other mainstream media completely ignore Ron Paul until they want to post some crap like this. Yes, Ron Paul wants to get rid of FEMA. He also wants to get rid of most of the unconstitutional powers of the federal government and put them back in the hands of the states where they belong – along with the tax monies that would come out of those states in the first place. Making the states quite capable of taking care of their own disaster relief – or working with other states if necessary.

    I'd be overjoyed to get rid of FEMA if it also meant (as it would under Ron Paul's watch) getting out of ALL foreign occupations and invasions, getting rid of the failed war on drugs, getting rid of the disastrous and unnecessary Federal Reserve (which is NOT a government agency, btw, for those who don't know), and ALL corporate welfare.

    I'm sure that CNN knows that Paul has a host of comments that would be quite popular with their readers. It's hilarious that they completely ignore him until they have a comment that will pi$$ people off during a hurricane.

    August 28, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  9. fema took guns at katrina

    I agree with paul. Fema has way to much power . Continuity of gooberment and the take over of American land , through Security warnings, and LARGE SCALE EVENTS. Is BS. I think that Americans have the will power , and inginuity to take care of themselves.

    I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like the health care scam.
    I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books.
    I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their secret deals.
    I do not like this Man, I do not like this 'YES WE CAN'.
    I do not like this spending spree, I'm smart, I know that Nothing's Free.
    I do not like their smug replies, when I complain about their lies.
    I do not like this kind of hope. I do not like it. . . nope, nope, nope

    August 28, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  10. Stacie

    It's so awesome that CNN and other mainstream media completely ignore Ron Paul until they want to post some crap like this. Yes, Ron Paul wants to get rid of FEMA. He also wants to get rid of most of the unconstitutional powers of the federal government and put them back in the hands of the states where they belong – along with the tax monies that would come out of those states in the first place. Making the states quite capable of taking care of their own disaster relief – or working with other states if necessary.

    I'd be overjoyed to get rid of FEMA if it also meant (as it would under Ron Paul's watch) getting out of ALL foreign occupations and invasions, getting rid of the failed war on drugs, getting rid of the disastrous and unnecessary Federal Reserve (which is NOT a government agency, btw, for those who don't know), and ALL corporate welfare.

    August 28, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  11. Mike

    Most of you who disagree with getting rid of FEMA seem to be under the false impression that you are guaranteed help in the event of a disaster or the you deserve help. The responsibility for your property falls on your shoulders and only your shoulders. What makes you think that other people should be obligated to bail you out. I pay for my insurance and I don't want the government's help, Why should I pay the money for insurance and then also pay for your home because you don't pay for that same insurance?

    Attempt to think logically rather than with your emotions. I know it's hard for those of you that depend on CNN to think logically. You sheeple simply do as you are told. You think what the MSM tells you to think. I can only hope some of you start educating yourselves about our history and what our country was founded on. We are supposed to help each other, that power/privilege/responsibility does not belong to the government (constitutionally speaking)

    August 28, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  12. Jamie D.

    He believes instead of state money going to that bloated, inefficient federal agency that was intended only to ensure central military command survives a nuclear war, the money should stay in the states. State and local governments would be capable of ensuring safety, and offering aid during a disaster. They're the ones who are on the ground, doing the real work anyway. All FEMA does is take state money that could be used to fund stronger state based disaster relief programs, better suited to handle disasters each state may face on a geographic basis. I don't understand how intelligent individuals can automatically make the assertion that just because he opposes FEMA, that he thinks people hit by disaster should be on their own. That's nothing but a LIE.

    August 28, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  13. Michele

    Whatever your viewpoint, you have to admit really bad timing for such a bold statement.

    August 28, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  14. Saint

    I agree with Ron. 2 years ago a Regional FEMA director stepped into our church and asked what our response would be in preparation for the next possible storm. During Katrina, our church took care of all the clothing for the area that was donated and shipped in from all parts of the country. Funny, It was the churches that mobilized first while the government tried to figure out who was in charge. When we said we weren't sure what area we were willing to address he quickly mentioned executive order as an "option" and that he could come in and takeover use our facilities as he saw fit. I was blown away.

    August 28, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  15. lando

    A sign of dimentia.....or just stupid..

    August 28, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. Henk

    And this is why he failed his run for president twice and will fail for his third time.
    If he wins the GOP nomination, Obama won't have a hard time winning the elections at all.
    What a moron, just throw away the only federal emergency agency we have and toss almost 8,000 people on the street collecting unemployment. That's 8,000 votes you will lose right away.

    August 28, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. Jake

    Look what the government did for the oil spill. Can we basically say cover up. Can anyone even tell me what that stuff was we used to clean the waters. Oh that's right. All those companies were politically owned and local government had no say so. Fema is what it seems. Political bull crap

    August 28, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  18. DTM4U2

    All Ron is saying is things can be planned and executed MUCH BETTER at the local and state levels and he is right. The restrictive FEMA rules do more harm than good. Also it creates dependance on the Federal government to fix things. Instead of independence to fix things ourselves at the state level. Many people rely way to much on the federal government to fix our problems but often times make things worse.

    August 28, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  19. Pitt_PA

    @proudmemberofglobalzero

    It's your choice to live in that area of the country.... you shouldnt rely so much on an organization to come in and rebuild for you. I bet if people didnt expect handouts and helped themselves more often, the whole country would have a different tune...

    August 28, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    Last year we had historic Flood here with help of volunteers and Red Cross we brought our business back to normal in a week then with Help of FEMA we build the city back very quick
    FEMA didn’t fail in hurricane Katrina, FEMA leaders didn’t function that time
    With out FEMA hard rebuild the city

    August 28, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  21. Steven

    I have read many of these comments and i have realized how many peolpe want big government and love big government, it's a shame we look to Bureaucrats for protection and leadership. god help us Ron Paul 2012

    August 28, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  22. Jonathan Bowen

    Calling Ron Paul nutty is nutty! He wants to give emergency management back to individual states, where it belongs! The federal government may help to support state emergency management if the federal budget allows. Ron Paul is ten steps ahead.

    August 28, 2011 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  23. Michael

    Ron Paul is now 76 years old. It looks like it is time hang it up, fella.

    August 28, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  24. NYC REPUB

    To each his own....but for the masses this is not a mainstream idea.....The majority just want all parts of government to work better....Smarter. i think that's the goal worth shooting for.

    August 28, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  25. blindsheepheards

    to everyone disagreeing with this man, go ahead and believe everything the media spins! day and night! I see a lot of jerks on here bashing Dr. Paul – do your homework, the man knows what he's talking about – and besides the MEDIA loves bashing RON PAUL 2012 (I'm voting for this man) I take it these are the same ones blaming their mortgage servicer for the bad loan THEY CHOSE to sign for? GET A GRIP AMERICA, STOP NITPICKING THIS GUY! HE's Very Educated and deserves a chance in the Whitehouse. I wouldn't be surprised if other campaigns are paying people to backlash this article with negative rounds of ammunition. Ron Paul is a sharp man, who has the right idea about OUR PROBLEMS, not mine, not yours, OURS – DO SOMETHING AMERICA – AND DO IT FAST. IF YOU CAN'T KEEP YOUR PROPERTY, KEEP YOUR LIBERTY

    August 28, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
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