Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, while being interviewed on CNN's "State of the Union," announced his opposition to victims of the recent tornadoes in the South and Midwest getting federal emergency aid. It is a not a role of the federal government, according to the National Journal.
What damage and death have the tornadoes wrought?
According to MSNBC, tornadoes hit hardest in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Tornadoes have also been reported in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. At least 28 people have been killed, including 14 in Indiana and 12 in Kentucky. Injuries and property damage are reported to be widespread and severe. Marysville, Ind., is said to be completely "gone."
What are Paul's views about federal disaster relief?
Paul has been a severe critic of FEMA, the federal agency that handles disaster aid. In August, according to Forbes, Paul suggested FEMA, by providing flood insurance the private market is not willing to sell, is engaging in government economic planning. Paul, writing in the Houston Chronicle, suggested that victims of Texas wildfires brought on by the drought should not get federal aid. He repeated a charge against FEMA that has echoed since the agency's response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, that it is incompetent and wastes money. But Paul has suggested he would not favor the "immediate" abolishment of FEMA, according to Fox News, though he noted the U.S. has handled disasters before the agency's creation in 1978. But in a May interview with CNN, Paul suggested FEMA should be abolished for being unconstitutional and for encouraging people to be dependent on the government, and building homes and businesses in areas that are prone to suffering disasters.
What would Paul have the victims of the tornadoes do?
Paul has said there is a role for the National Guard to restore order after disasters such as the tornadoes as well as to provide emergency food and shelter. He has also suggested that private aid such as from the Red Cross and the Salvation Army has proven to be much more effective than any attempts at assistance from the federal government. Paul has also made the suggestion that people living in parts of the country prone to tornadoes should carry private insurance if it is available.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
- Ron Paul