I don’t know that this is necessarily a bad thing. For one, we don’t know what other kind of garbage was in that bill.
Second, I believe the way FEMA works is this–Oklahoma pays money to FEMA. FEMA takes a bite out of it, for “administration fees”, then sends theremainder of the money to Florida because Florida has an emergency. Then Florida pays money to FEMA. FEMA takes a bite out of it, for “administration fees,”, then sends the money to Oklahoma because Oklahoma has an emergency.
I have a better idea–why can’t Oklahoma fend for itself? Why can’t Florida fend for itself? Each state will do a better job of looking out for its own self-ineterest than if we socialize the process (and take out a big bite for “administration fees”).
(NOTE - this is purely a political statement. It’s not meant to be calloused to those who have lost loved ones or property in the catastrophe. My heart goes out to them, because I’ve been in their shoes.)
Why should the states deal with it and not the municipality? Why should a resident of Albany pay for damages done in Staten Island? Better yet, why does anyone who’s not directly impacted by the tragedy pay for anything.
Should note that being in a state that is prone to natural disasters does not mean that someone would necessarily support additional funding for FEMA or other federal disaster relief efforts. It seems like more of a matter of principle for them.
Sen Coburn’s position seems pretty consistent to me. From the linked article:
Late last year, Inhofe and Coburn both backed a plan to slash disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. In a December press release, Coburn complained that the Sandy Relief bill contained “wasteful spending,” and identified a series of items he objected to, including “$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies.”
Coburn spokesman John Hart on Monday evening confirmed that the senator will seek to ensure that any additional funding for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma be offset by cuts to federal spending elsewhere in the budget. “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.” Those offsets were achieved in 1995 by tapping federal funds that had not yet been appropriated.
In 2011, both senators opposed legislation that would have granted necessary funding for FEMA when the agency was set to run out of money. Sending the funds to FEMA would have been “unconscionable,” Coburn said at the time.
Hart said Coburn had “never made parochial calculations” about Oklahoma’s disproportionate share of disaster funds, “as his voting record and campaign against earmarks demonstrates.” Hart added that Coburn, “makes no apologies for voting against disaster aid bills that are often poorly conceived and used to finance priorities that have little to do with disasters.”
^ I don’t know the details, but I believe the majority of the $12.9 billion is for actual mitigation like sea walls, dunes, relocation, etc., not studies. That being said, I think it falls on local communities to mitigate future disasters, not federal tax payers.
I think the Libertarian take on this is that the lowest level of government that can effectively handle the problem should handle the problem. However, I’m not sure if small townships like Moore, Oklahoma have the resources to really be able to deal with the problem.
BTW–my stance on FEMA can also be applied to education, as well. Why do elected officials in Vermont get to vote on how the local public school system in Smallville, Texas gets its funding?
My issue with Federal funding like this is that it is allocated based on political whim and is thus prone to abuse. Who determines which state gets the money for building flood barriers? A collective pot is nice to have, but probably is inefficient over all.