First, their gonfaloniere, Mitt Romney. In a GOP debate earlier this year, in responding to a question by CNN's John King, Romney said:
KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?Perhaps it was just political pander, but he was saying that until the debt is paid off, it's "simply immoral" to fund FEMA. Send that money to the States or (better yet!) the private sector. Privatize FEMA to clean up the mess!
ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…
KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.
Then there was this from last year:
GOP leaders say they want new money for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster fund to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget, an unprecedented approach to disaster aid that is creating a political stalemate as FEMA is about to run out of money.They wanted no new money for FEMA unless there are other cuts in the budget.
That's what they think of FEMA - and that's what we should keep in mind as Sandy bears down on the eastern seaboard.