Ron Paul: Why We Don’t Need FEMA


John Stossel: Tonight, we explode a few myths about elections and natural disasters. Here’s the first: I’m told that Hurricane Sandy is proof that we need a powerful federal government, namely FEMA, which provides emergency management. This just makes sense to people: we have a big disaster across state lines, who but the feds can help. Just like New York Times declared, week, “A big storm requires big government”. Very few politicians are skeptical about that, so it’s a relief to turn to former presidential candidate, Ron Paul. Dr. Paul, you say it’s a myth that we need FEMA?

Ron Paul: I certainly think so, because it causes more harm than good. We’ve handled floods and disasters for 204 years before we had FEMA, and the states and the volunteers and the local communities did quite well. I’ve taken this position for a long time, it’s not just recently. I’ve taken it since I was first in office, and I kept getting re-elected, because people in my district got tired of FEMA. All they had was headaches, they got locked into their insurance and it’s a bureaucracy and I’ve tried to help them get through the bureaucracy. But they just come in and take over.

John Stossel: But it’s a big problem, it crosses state lines, the Feds have to have some role?

Ron Paul: No, they don’t have to. What we should have is a real insurance. The problem is, the insurance program causes many of the problems, because they say, “Well, you have to have insurance”. The market won’t sell insurance to you, and that’s telling you that it’s too dangerous. So rich people get insurance subsidized by poor people, and they go and build on beaches and they have a good time and their houses get washed away and the poor people pay to rebuild their houses.

John Stossel: It was interesting that this week, before the storm hit, the President held a press conference, not at FEMA’s offices, but at the Red Cross. Here’s a clip:

Barack Obama: The reason we’re here is because the Red Cross knows what it’s doing when it comes to emergency responses.

John Stossel: So what’s he saying there, the Red Cross, not FEMA, knows what it’s doing, and FEMA doesn’t? Sounds like he’s admitting it.

Ron Paul: Yea, that was good politics, but, unfortunately, from my experience here in my district, the Red Cross and others were inhabited by FEMA. They would come in and stop it. Think of the difference between how evacuation occurred in New York after 9/11, all the volunteers shipped boats and things, thousands of people there were evacuated. And the opposite happened in Katrina, because FEMA got in and had control. But this giving up on individuals helping neighbors and local government doing things is a serious problem and it’s one of the reasons why we’re totally bankrupt. Because all this money that’s going to go out here in the next few months because of this storm … there is no money in the bank and there’s really no money in FEMA, the insurance is broke. So they’re going to just borrow it and print it and make our problems worse. They’ll take and centralize the power, the power will be in Washington DC, and it’s bureaucratic and it’s very inefficient.

John Stossel: Well, thank you, Dr. Paul, and thank you for all you’ve done to wake people up.

Ron Paul: Thank you, John.


  • I never said otherwise. China is funding African regimes to get economic benefits and partnerships. The same that the US does in the guilf

  • When did they veto the invasion? There was no resolution passed on the invasion, so they couldn’t veto.
    The main opposition to the war came from France and Germany. Russia didn’t want to antagonize the US, and used the opportunity to follow the Europeans in a mild condemnation of the war

    “Russia had economic and military ties with Saddam”

    Yeah but not much. The USSR supported the Gulf war

  • Once again, you are confusing trade relations with puppet regimes.

  • So basically nothing conclusive. It isn’t unusual for major weapon producers to supply both sides of a civil war for cash or certain entitlements when the war is over. Israel was the main supplier of weapons to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, even though the two countries absolutely detested each other. People are generally willing to put prejudice aside when profits are involved.

  • So Russia and China vetoed the Iraqi invasion in the UN security council because??? Russia had economic and military ties with Saddam, and strongly criticised the economic trade sanctions imposed on Iraq as well as the US led invasion.

  • Google for the Aljazeera article “China’s African mischief ”

    It mentions Lybia, Angola, Sudan, the Darfur war. The main case is Sudan (i didn’t remember what country I’ve read before) where they have been fighting a civil war for years and China supplied them with weapons

  • Yes Russia doesn’t need more oil, but it needs, wants, to keep oil prices high. They need countries to buy their oil.

    As for Chinese involvement in Africa, there’s Angola, Congo, Nigeria (where they control most of the oil reserves); Tanzania, Zambia.
    They supported some side of a recent civil war, maybe the Sudanese

  • China and Russia had no plans of invading Iraq. Russia holds large oil and gas reserves, so it has little need for colonial expansion as it can meet its domestic needs. Please name the dictators China has installed in Africa.

  • No, removing dictators that favour Russia and replacing them with NATO puppets is not pacifying them from a Russian perspective. Chinese corporations bought oil fields totalling approximately one billion barrels of oil, which doesn’t even suffice two weeks of global consumption. Any advantage from the war is insignificant.

  • Go listen to what REPUBLICAN governor of NJ Christie said of the democrat FEMA and Obama:

    “The level of cooperation with FEMA is excellent” – Christie, a republican

  • “They aren’t pacifying anything but removing anti-NATO dictators who won’t cooperate.”

    That’s pacifying. The new iraq is as cooperative with NATO as it is with China. The contracts for oil fields were put up for public auction, and some were bought by Chinese companies

  • No they aren’t my friend. That’s just for show. America is doing what China would have to do otherwise

    “Russia and China are perfectly capable of getting oil from trade.”

    Right. You haven’t heard of Chinese support for puppet African dictators have you? China is doing in Africa what the US did in the Gulf. Creating client states

  • You’re kidding right? Russia especially and also China are absolutely livid over America’s involvement in the Middle East. They aren’t pacifying anything but removing anti-NATO dictators who won’t cooperate. Russia and China are perfectly capable of getting oil from trade. Please explain how NATO has enhanced the Russian/Chinese oil supply?

  • China is the largest importer of Iranian oil, although they have recently reduced the volume of imports and are pressuring Iran on the nuclear issue too

  • I’m oversimplifying tho, ofc. Russia’s and China’s interests are different from NATOs, and they not always support the American ‘pacification’ efforts. They supported Afghanistan, were mild about Iraq, but don’t want anything against Iran. They are allies of Iran and Syria. China in particular needs the iranian oil

  • for instance, think about this:

    Despite what Europeans and others say, even the Russians and Chinese say, they ALL want America to be the “world police agent”. Why?

    Because if it weren’t America the one to pacify the middle east, then China, Europe and others would have to do it. Because they also need the oil, and they have an idealogical/humanitarian desire for peace (all the UN in general).

    It’s a blessing for them that America is willing to do the job, and pay the cost of doing it.

  • No argument there mate. Thought it’s obviously a far more complex issue than that.

    Ron Paul is reaping huge support for his anti-war stance. Very misguided support since many people don’t realize where he comes from, politically

  • Well it seems like he is the only one that realizes the ‘world police agent’ thing has to stop. I’m not from America but from a NATO country and everytime big america is starting the war drums we also get involved in some bullshit war or bombings on libya.

  • “After Katrina, a Senate investigation found that FEMA was shorthanded, failed to commit enough people to prepare for the oncoming storm, didn’t have enough supplies in position and had poor communication with state and local authorities. Its director at the time, Michael Brown, had little emergency management experience before being named to the agency’s top job in 2003.”

    Brown, 100% incompetent and inexperienced, appointed by BUSH with the explicit goal of discrediting and destroying FEMA

  • Actually, you can compare the slow response of the republican-led FEMA after Katrina, with the democrat-led FEMA after Sandy.
    Which FEMA performed better?