Would a Romney Administration Cut FEMA?

On the eve of landfall of Hurricane Sandy, Matthew Yglesias recalls Mitt Romney's 2011 response to a GOP primary debate question in which he called federal disaster relief spending "immoral."
October 29, 2012, 10am PDT | Michael Dudley
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Governor Mitt Romney may have plans to cut funding for FEMA. Matthew Yglesias, writing for Slate, points out that the candidate would institute spending cuts across the board, including for Federal disaster relief. During a 2011 debate, the candidate affirmed that even disaster relief spending wasn't immune to cuts. Yglesias argues that this is short-sighted, even from a financial point of view:

"If a storm damages basic physical infrastructure (power lines, bridges)and imperils human life it would be the height of penny-wise, pound-foolish thinking to suppose that the afflicted area should wait months or years to repair the damage. Ultimately, anyplace is going to go back to robust wealth creation faster if basic stuff gets fixed up faster. But that requires financing by an entity capable of rapidly financing expensive projects-i.e., the federal government. Left to its own devices a storm-ravaged Delaware or Louisiana is going to be squeezed between balanced budget rules and falling sales tax receipts and be forced into an increasing state of dilapidation."

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Published on Monday, October 29, 2012 in Slate.com
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