Via 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 an NBC News reporter Friday at a New Hampshire campaign event. “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.”
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.”
The agency received wide criticism in 2005 after failing to respond in a timely, organized manner to the vast destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.