Ron Paul: We don't need FEMA
August 27th, 2011
03:59 PM ET
10 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. cecilia

    if there is an ignorant, dogmatic, uneducated, dangerous, politically motivated opinion to be voiced you can bet your buns there is a Republican . Tea Party goober head ready to state their case. you go Ron and join the ranks of Bachmann and her I will Not vote to raise the debt limit or Perry and his plan to have Texas leave the Union – on on on on and on

    August 27, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Wildone

    Ron Paul doesn't believe in LESS government. He believes in NO government. I'm all for social anarchy as long as I have enough guns and ammo to provide for my family. (Maybe I should move to Texas!)

    August 27, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. cjn

    and on a side note, i doubt any of you guys really stay up on real news articles and just eat up this propaganda, but before you throw around words like bigot and uncaring in reference to dr paul, how about you do some real research and you will find that he has co-authored a bill that would guarentee all social security payments to seniors. LOL he sure does hate old people.

    August 27, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    Really???we don't need an agency helping us recover from the ravages of the changing climate that his party doesn't believe in. what we don't need is people who think we don't need government IN government. i'd like to exile this clown to Somalia for a year. he'd come home singing a different tune?

    August 27, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Lampedusa

    FEMA is only terrible under Republican administrations. Look at the history, back to Katrina, Andrew, etc. It shouldn't surprise anyone: the guys who say they hate government should probably not be in charge of it!

    August 27, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. works4me

    Put an end to the lies, greed and collusion of the insurance industry. Maybe then we wouldn't need FEMA in the way we do here in Florida... helping offset the thieves of Citizens Insurance. FEMAs sole purpose should be to help get our citizens back on their feet... efficiently and as promptly as possible. But that would require a compassionate and affordable insurance companies.

    August 27, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. susiqarispe

    I just don"t understand why its so hard for America not to listen to this man more. He makes sense about so many things we just think is suppose to be as it is. May attention to him, time is ticking, and not much out of all the old promises the others have said. The new slogan will be "YOU LIED" which our president has done. Let's try older, wiser, and maybe we might see smarter.

    August 27, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. 21k

    come on, lay off him already! he's only an idiot. what do you expect from a guy who believes that legalizing heroin will enable the free market to cut down on heroin use?

    August 27, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. rich

    I was wondering when the Republicans would attack FEMA. They really don't want any federal government. Thinking the states can handle all the problems. The issue was in Katrin, neither the city, or state did anything. Then they blame it on FEMA.

    August 27, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Good Timing. Voters along the Atlantic coast must be reassured by Paul's desires to get rid of FEMA. Does Paul really expects the good citizens of Texas turn down federal aid the next time a disaster (hurricane, fire, flooding) hits?

    August 27, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. DAVE H

    These Ron Paul brown shirts make me sick! They live on every word this Nazi puke farts out of his mouth and they all think of him as some sort of God. Grow up! This guy and his son are just plain crazy!!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. William Gaston, my, my. Someone watches WAY too much CNN and FOX news. By too much, I mean ANY. Not only do you have Ron Paul's views wrong, but I can't even COUNT the number of times you were wrong when comparing other republicans like Perry to Ron Paul or his son.

    You say it doesn't look like the United States? Trust me, Thomas Jefferson would turn in his grave if he saw the United States you have in mind. He, and all the other forefatheres WARNED us about too much involvement by the central government, stripping of states rights, and having a central bank....but did we listen? Nooooo, people like you rely on CNN to tell you what is good or bad.

    You really need to educate yourself on America's history, and the constitution. I'm not trying to say you're stupid, just uninformed. I hope you figured it out, peace!

    August 27, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Nicholson

    FEMA looks real good on paper, but has been, historically speaking handled with a moronic and ham-handed lack of efficiency. Textbook "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" example. Perhaps that's what Ron Paul meant... or even said... but was perhaps redacted by the media which has heretofore comlletely disregarded him as a viable candidate.

    August 27, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Sovereignhominin

    End the WelfareWarfare State! Time to bring accountability back to our government and personal responsibility to the people. Look at Katrina for an example of why FEMA should be abolished. People waiting around for the government to come in and save them, people being diverted to dangerous areas, military and police disarming citizens trying to protect their homes in "high and dry" areas from looters. Rampant fraud and abuse.

    August 27, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. gary davis

    another nut job just like his idiot kid . most republicans will be replaced by democrats in 2012 because the truth is out . they don't care about the people . they only protect the very wealthy . and we will live to see the day when the top 2% get taxed just like the rest of us . and president Obama will be re elected . not because the republicans are just stop stupid . but because he is doing what ((we the people )) asked of him . with out republican help . so yes the proof is out . just ask any republican . who he or she supports . themselves and the rich . the middle class will win in 2012 . we will take back what we worked for . even health care will be a public program with oput insurance companies taking the profit off the top . of money we all pay . and it will remain in a program used only for health care .. wow what a concept . no more fat cats running our country or taking away our rights . remember its WE THE PEOPLE )) not they the tea party wackos or republican corporate freaks , sucking out everything we work for . so Ron Paul is a nut just like Palin Bachmann Perry and the rest of the republican looney toons

    August 27, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Jill-IN

    I heard Ron Paul brag in this bit on TV Friday night that in the great hurricane and flood of Galvaston in 1900 that without FEMA back then they did all right ... they got back on their feet. It was a category 4 hurricane and the flooding caused an estimated 6000 to 12000 deaths. I have listened to interviews of folks who were taped and those interviews were preserved in the National Archives. Their children and grandchildren were interviewed and taped to preserve the stories too. It was terrible and they suffered greatly and the nation helped - maybe we didn't have FEMA then. Ron Paul shouldn't be bragging how great it was for them and fail to mention the terrible loss of life.

    August 27, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. 21k

    interesting comment by eric c. above. he thinks that if fema was eliminated, then states would magically have more money available to manage disasters. i guess he figures that 48 (the lower states) individual fema's is a more efficient way to respond to hurricanes or oil spills that usually strike multiple states. so duplication of effort is going to save money somehow. without raising state taxes, right eric? your brain is as smoked as paul's.

    August 27, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. ficheye

    FEMA is socialism! Those people are just slackers! Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon. If they want help rebuilding after a hurricane they can do a bake sale... no siree, these people are just takin' advantage of the gummint. Now, the Hamptons are a different thing altogether... these people PAY for politicians... we just couldn't survive without 'em. So you poor folk have just got to suck it up for the greater good! Ketchup is FOOD, and a nutritious soup can be made from it. Ahhhhh, you're all so NEEDY! What happened to the America that was created after the great wars?

    August 27, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. seriously???

    Sorry, I feel better with FEMA around, same goes for the Dept. of Education, EPA and FDA. Louisiana is still a junkyard after Katrina and I seriously doubt that one state alone can handle the burden of a disaster like that on its own. I wonder what Rick Perry will say about FEMA after begging for assistance because of wildfires.

    August 27, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. david

    The sad thing is we let stupid people vote for idiots like this.

    August 27, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Jill-IN

    FEMA under George Bush was poorly managed from the top. The political (donor) appointee Bush put in charge of FEMA had no training or experience to handle such an important task. His former experience was running his betting horserace track.

    August 27, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. Katie

    Yet another reason not to vote for him. I'm not advocating paying people to rebuild on beaches or bailing out those who decided to forego necessary insurance, but you can't not help people when they need it most. If FEMA is working as well as it should, then FIX the problems, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    August 27, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. susiqarispe

    Why should I have to pay for someone's second home, when they should have enough ins. are just build at YOUR RISK. Please do not ask me to feel sorry of these people, who know what could happen with mother nature. I live in N.C. and there are more important ills in this world right now with out our gov. putting out money to fix houses so some people can watch the sun set. PLEASE!

    August 27, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. SteveMT

    Wake up people. How much money would there be to throw at these disasters and how many more people would there be to help if all of the undeclared wars and empire building around the world ended, and we brought our military home? Plenty!
    Ron Paul is right. The government has become the overgrown gorilla in the room with an appetite for our money and for wasting our children's lives on fighting useless wars that never end.

    August 27, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Henry

    @Marcus – You talk about individuals helping other people. We only do things that benefit us. This lack of civility, led by our "Christians" do nothing. Why are we trying to gut the federal government? Oh, because it is popular now with this state's rights nonsense. Be careful what you wish for.

    August 27, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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