The NYT editorial “disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. Every time you have an occasion to take something form the federal government and send it back to the states—that’s the right direction.
As for the contention that some of FEMA’s responsibilities should be returned to the states anyone who believe this to be a radical notions knows nothing about the history of GEMA. Created in 1979, FEMA was originally intended to help citizens in the event of a nuclear attack. In 1988, the Staffor Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act clarified that federal emergency declarations—and the FEMA money accompanying such request—should be based on finding that events are of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local government. Since then congress has never given specific guidance for what qualities as a federal emergency.
Clinton years the former president exploited FEMA’s lack of clear mission to transform the agency into a vehicle for patronage and pork. Clinton ballooned the agency to the point where it had 10 times as many political appointees as comparable federal agencies. By the end of his presidency, Clinton was declaring a federal disaster somewhere in the country every week on average.
A California earthquake in 1994, FEMA sent out 47,000 unsolicited checks, a total of $142 million to homeowners for no other reason than they lived in supposedly affected ZIP codes.
Last year over 200 disaster declarations were made. The vast majority are pork dressed up as compassion. States and municipalities have powerful incentives to before FEMA money at every opportunity, they let Uncle Sam pick up the tab and profit off of eventual insurance settlements. FEMA now routinely pays for cost associated with snow removal like in upstate NY. Bus in early 2009 had his successors inauguration declared an emergency thereby allowing FEMA funds to help cover the cost of the festivities I=to local governments,
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
Source—weekly standard, mark hemingway