Monday, June 24, 2013

FEMA denies Texas

Surprisingly, the Federal Emergency Management Agency turned down Texas' request for some of the disaster aid it requested to recover from the West, TX fertilizer plant explosion.

To be clear, the federal government will still be sending a fair bit of money Texas' way. It's just that the state won't get all of the money it has requested.

Unsurprisingly, Texas, and Texas Republicans in particular, are outraged. They're accusing the federal government, and President Obama in particular, of abandoning them.

Observers, though, support FEMA.

“This was a very easy turndown,” said Frances L. Edwards, a disaster response expert, professor at San Jose State University and former municipal director of emergency services. “The State of Texas is not a poor state. They have significant revenues. The philosophy is that federal money should only be used as a last resort where there really is no reasonable alternative.”
It's ironic that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, an ardent states-rights-ist just as all far-right Republicans are, is whining about not getting enough federal aid. Hey Rick, you've been bragging about Texas' robust economy for a few years now, and during your short-lived presidential campaign you gave a Texas-sized middle finger to the idea that the federal government has a reason to exist outside of the national defense. Hell, you've made noises of sympathy to those who want Texas to secede from the Union.
The Texas governor raised eyebrows when he said, "When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation," adding, "And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again."
Though you, according to the same article, "[do] not stand behind a secession petition filed with the White House", I assume you still believe Texas can stand just fine on its own. Do you believe your own rhetoric, or are you just another small-federal-government-and-my-state-uber-alles-except-when-I-need-help hypocrite? Are you telling us that Texas can't pick up the balance for a disaster within its borders that your lax (some would say "nonexistent") state regulatory regimen very likely fomented?

I feel for the survivors of the West disaster. Their state elected officials, though, should shoulder their responsibilities and stop bitching about not getting federal dollars the state doesn't need.

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