We are the 99%

November 1, 2012

Details, Ladies and Gentlemen. Details...

It's long been the habit of the The Tribune-Review's editorial policy to, shall we say, mislead its readership by, um, conveniently omitting inconvenient details while trying to prove a point.

Take for example today:
The big guns of big liberalism are using Hurricane Sandy to make big, bogus and politicized arguments for an even larger federal government. “A big storm requires big government,” blared a New York Times editorial even before the storm had run its course on Tuesday. Of course, it was a setup to bash Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for supposedly wanting to gut FEMA. Actually, he wants to streamline FEMA and give more direct control to the states to make its response to disasters more effective. And never mind that it’s Barack Obama who, in his fiscal 2013 budget, actually proposed cutting the federal disaster agency’s budget by more than $10 billion. But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of promoting the failed president you’ve endorsed, right? [Bolding in original.]
I don't think we need to unweave the braintrust's weasel words regarding Romney "gutting" FEMA.  He's on record saying that it's "simply immoral" to fund FEMA if it means raising the deficit.

Though he's flip-flopped again and said (but only after being questioned - repeatedly - by reporters):
"I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters," Romney said in a statement supplied by his campaign Wednesday. "As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters."
Huffingtonpost goes on to say that there's no indication in the statement whether he'd still fund FEMA by cutting other guv'ment programs.

Given the state of veracity coming out of Mitt's mouth, what do you think?

The braintrust's distraction I wanted to look at, however, is this one:
And never mind that it’s Barack Obama who, in his fiscal 2013 budget, actually proposed cutting the federal disaster agency’s budget by more than $10 billion.
Not sure where they got the "$10 billion" part - seeing that the budget request for FEMA for fiscal year 2013 is only $13.5 billion.

Note, of course, there's no mention of what the Romney/Paul budget for FEMA would look like.  From the Washington Post:
The president has proposed cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 2013 that would reduce overall funding by about 3 percent, with $1 billion trimmed from the Disaster Relief Fund but more money given to state and local programs.

President Obama met in August with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, left, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, right, to review the federal government’s preparations for Hurricane Irene.

By comparison, Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan have supported far steeper cuts to discretionary spending overall—a broad pool of programs that includes FEMA funds and disaster relief. Although it’s unclear whether the GOP ticket would specifically spare FEMA from broad-based cuts, Ryan’s budget would make it harder to fund disaster relief because the aid would have to be offset by budget cuts elsewhere.
And about those Obama budget cuts:
Under President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Funds would be cut by $1 billion, bringing funding levels down to $6.1 billion from $7.1 billion in fiscal year 2012, a 14 percent cut. An administration official says the drop reflects decreasing tail-costs from Hurricane Katrina and stresses that the 2013 request is $500 million beyond the disaster fund’s anticipated needs, according to a Congressional formula based on the cost of disaster aid.

Overall, Obama’s budget would reduce FEMA funding by $453 million — a 3 percent cut from 2012 that would bring the agency’s total funding down to $13.5 billion, according to FEMA’s budget estimates. The Disaster Relief Fund would see the single biggest cutback, but staff salaries and expenses would also be cut by $200 million, along with smaller cuts to emergency food and shelter ($20 million) and radiological emergency preparedness ($39 million). However, funding for state and local programs and flood insurance would see a big uptick. [Emphasis added.]
Huh. Would you look at that.  The budget proposal is for less than last year, but still more than FEMA's anticipated needs ay-und there's a "uptick" (i.e. more money) for local programs.

Now go back and take another look at how Scaife's braintrust characterizes it.

Funny what they leave out, huh?

1 comment:

Mary Ziegler said...

Feels so odd to talk about budgets for disaster relief. As if we can schedule disasters, sheesh. sicmpd 27