With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast, many are considering how the events relate to presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s view on federal aid. He believes we should make emergency funds a State matter, if not private sector:
“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 the opposite question, what should we keep?”
“Including disaster relief, though?” debate moderator John King asked Romney.
“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” said Romney. “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.”
A Romney official confirmed this view:
“Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistant they need to cope with natural disasters.”
Of course, Emergency Ethics has long been a way to test a principle. An old chestnut for philosophy 101 is “would you kill an innocent man to release 100 prisoners?” The assumption behind such tests is that principles — any principles — can never be absolute, but must break down under special circumstances, such as emergency circumstances. It is refreshing, therefore, that Romney stayed consistent with his stance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, he believes, should be handled at the State level. But of course, the emergencies should be handled.