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Wolf Blitzer: On the whole issue of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, do you want to see that agency ended?
Ron Paul: Well, if you want to live in a free society, if you want to pay attention to the constitution, why not? I think it’s bad economics, I think it’s bad morality, and it’s bad constitutional law. Why should people like myself, who had until too long ago a house on the Gulf Coast – and it’s expensive there and it’s risky and it’s dangerous. Why should somebody from the central part of the United States rebuild my house? Why shouldn’t I have to buy my own insurance and protect from the potential danger? Well, the reason we don’t have market insurance is because it’s too expensive. Well, why is it expensive? Because it’s dangerous. So why should we take money from somebody else who doesn’t get the chance to live on the Gulf and make them pay to rebuild my house? I mean, it’s a moral hazard to say the government’s always going to take care of us when we do dumb things. I’m trying to get people to not do dumb things. Besides it’s not authorized in the constitution.
Wolf Blitzer: But if there’s a disaster like flooding or an earthquake or Hurricane Katrina, what’s wrong with asking fellow Americans to help their fellow citizens?
Ron Paul: Nothing, and I think Americans are very, very generous and they have been traditionally. The big problem is, Americans are getting poorer and they’re not able to voluntarily come to the rescue. But to coerce people to ask them to help, that is fine and dandy. But when you bankrupt our country and nobody has a job and then they say, “Well, FEMA needs to bail out everybody”, then all we do is compound our problems. And believe me, I’ve been very much involved in the hurricanes that have come into my district, and most of the people in my district do not like FEMA. They want to try to get their money out, but FEMA comes in and takes over, they take over their property rights, they dictate, they prevent some of the volunteers from going in. So there’s a strong resentment towards the way FEMA operates because there are bureaucrats who don’t understand the rule of law, nor do they understand local control and property rights. So there’s a very strong argument that this whole program that governments, through coercion and taxation, can bail out everybody when we’re flat broke, then they have to print the money. And now we’re going in to inflationary problems, which are very severe. That’s our big issue right now.