Here in Texas the state legislature is slashing the Texas Forest Service firefighting budget by about a third. That's right after the start of the most devastating wildfire season in the state's history. Ben is right. Everyone is so out of their mind over the economy and reducing taxes they'll chop anywhere they can. (Brings to mind an image of a blindfolded kid swinging at a pinata with a stick.)
While I completely agree with eliminating deficit spending, these idiots are doing it in the wrong places. Public safety is\should be the #1 concern of government.
I wonder how much deficit spending could be reduced if we stopped invading other countries--Libya--for example. Or maybe pulled some of our troops out of countries where they are not needed and have them protect our own borders so millions\billions aren't spent on medical care and schooling, etc for illegals.
Or, we could eliminate some totally worthless departments such as Dept of Energy and Education. Pretty obvious neither are doing their jobs.
As for who is cutting what, there is no difference between the GOP and Dems, other than a letter behind their names. Very few of them are willing to do what is good for the country, even if it does hurt in the short term.
FEMA isn't public safety. We are the firemen,ems,cops & even the military.
I have never seen a fema fireman jacken line in a residence fire. Never seen
an episode of FEMA cops. Back before FEMA, we would help each other. In many
cases dept. from other states. Chicago & Wisconsin fires. Men and equepment loaded
on trains sent to help. We neef to get back to those days when mutual aid in
times of. great disasters people helped each other.
We are the United States for a reason. Each state in many ways is it's own country
yet part of one. I know it's a bit more complicated than that.
Point is look to history that's 1. Now 2. Take that tax money that goes to fema and give it
back to the states for there Public safety.
Have you considered that a lot of what FEMA does is public safety?
1) Implementing NIMS so that there's a national ICS system for large incidents?
2) Team typing and credentialling so that the IC knows how to order standardized resources and what he'll get when he orders a specific resource?
3) USAR team funding and training?
4) Flood plain mitigation?
5) Earthquake standards?
6) The National Fire Academy and what they teach?
7) The U.S.Fire Administration and the research they do?
Back before FEMA, we didn't have to worry about large terrorist attacks.
We didn't have to worry about sending unneded resources in one direction while they're actually needed at another disaster somewhere else.
We didn't have to be concerned with self-dispatch because "that is what I do".
Is FEMA a perfect organization - not on your life. Do they use money for administrative costs that could otherwise go to operational capability - sure they do.
Do we need to get rid of the organization? No, we don't.
FEMA's job is to support local resources where they can, and to provide resources where the locals can't. For urban departments, the need isn't as great, but for smaller departments, a FEMA grant can make a huge differnece.
For a major disaster, you can't possibly expect locals to deal with it. There needs to be a national response, coordinated on a national level. This is what is happening in Missouri and Texas right now.
For all of the incoming comments about government spending, at the federal level you need to understand exactly what the Federal Government does:
1) Money to old people
3) Health care to poor people
4) interest on the debt
The above (Social Security, Medicare, Defence, Medicaide, interest on the debt) represent about most of the federal budget, and we've slashed taxes to thier lowest point in nearly 60 years. It's not illegal aliens, it's not teachers or firefighter unions, it's not NPR. The tyranny of the math is in the link below.
Interest on the debt is a huge problem, because we're spending to much of our annual budget simply paying interest.
That's why so many people want to reduce government budgets, particularly at the federal level. Reducing those budgets has two positive effects. The first is to reduce the deficit spending that creates the need to pay interest on the debt. The second is that by reducing the amount of the deficit, you reduce interest payments and more of the remaining budget can be used for something productive.
Ben - absolutly correct. The problem is we're in the middle of a very serious recession and taking money out of the economy by cutting government spending would be a potentailly devistating blow. When the economy is in the tank, governemnt spending needs to increase to get it moving again. FDR and (strangely enough) Reagan both knew this. When times are good, the government needs to pay down it's debts. Clinton did that and actually eleimiated the deficit for a couple of quarters.
One of the problems is that war is generally good for the economy, with three caveats:
1) The war should have a finite time period - WWII did and even Vietnam did. FDR had that advantage. Reagan did not, given the open-ended nature of the Cold War when he took office.
2) The war has to be fought somewhere else. The destruction caused where the war occurs will more than wipe out the economic stimulus that war-based industries create.
3) The obvious - war's economic stimuli is offset by paying for it in blood.
There is not necessarily economic harm from reducing government spending during a recession. Government spending cannot create wealth - it's always a money-losing proposition for the taxpayers, because distributing government money isn't 100% efficient and the government has no money without one or both of two tactics:
1) take money that could be used for wealth creation out of the economy by means of taxation
2) printing more paper money to offset the deficit, but that creates and maintains a vicious cycle. The money becomes less valuable, which means that the government has to print more of it, which makes it less valuable - etc.