Ron Paul Explains Why "Government 'Aid' Only Makes Disasters Worse"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, including my family and me, appreciate the outpouring of support from across the country. President Donald Trump has even pledged to donate one million dollars to relief efforts. These private donations will be much more valuable than the as much as 100 billion dollars the federal government is expected to spend on relief and recovery.

Federal disaster assistance hinders effective recovery efforts, while federal insurance subsidies increase the damage caused by natural disasters.

Federal disaster aid has existed since the early years of the republic. In fact, it was a payment to disaster victims that inspired Davy Crockett’s “Not Yours to Give” speech. However, the early federal role was largely limited to sending checks. The federal government did not become involved in managing disaster relief and recovery until the 20th century. America did not even have a federal agency dedicated solely to disaster relief until 1979, when President Jimmy Carter created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by executive order. Yet, Americans somehow managed to rebuild after natural disasters before 1979. For example, the people of Galveston, Texas successfully rebuilt the city following a major hurricane that destroyed the city in 1900.

FEMA’s well-documented inefficiencies are the inevitable result of centralizing control over something as complex as disaster recovery in a federal bureaucracy.

When I served in Congress, I regularly voted against federal disaster aid for my district. After the votes, I would hear from angry constituents, many of whom would later tell me that after dealing with FEMA they agreed that Texas would be better off without federal “help.”

Following natural disasters, individuals who attempt to return to their own property - much less try to repair the damage - without government permission can be arrested and thrown in jail.

Federal, state, and local officials often hinder or even stop voluntary rescue and relief efforts.

FEMA is not the only counterproductive disaster assistance program.

The National Flood Insurance Program was created to provide government-backed insurance for properties that could not obtain private insurance on their own. By overruling the market’s verdict that these properties should not be insured, federal flood insurance encourages construction in flood-prone areas, thus increasing the damage caused by flooding.

Just as payroll taxes are unable to fully fund Social Security and Medicare, flood insurance premiums are unable to fund the costs of flood insurance. Federal flood insurance was almost $25 billion in the red before Hurricane Harvey. Congress will no doubt appropriate funding to pay all flood insurance claims, thus increasing the national debt. This in turn will cause the Federal Reserve to print more money to monetize that debt, thus hastening the arrival of the fiscal hurricane that will devastate the US economy. Yet, there is little talk of offsetting any of the costs of hurricane relief with spending cuts!

Congress should start phasing out the federal flood insurance program by forbidding the issuance of new flood insurance policies. It should also begin reducing federal spending on disaster assistance. Instead, costs associated with disaster recovery should be made 100-percent tax-deductible. Those who suffered the worst should be completely exempted from all federal tax liability for at least two years. Tax-free savings accounts could also help individuals save money to help them bear the costs of a natural disaster.

The outpouring of private giving and volunteer relief efforts we have witnessed over the past week shows that the American people can effectively respond to natural disasters if the government would get out of their way.

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TeamDepends's picture

We're from the government, and we're here to help ourselves.

stizazz's picture

Foreign "Aid" makes Apartheid IsraHell worse as well.

Over $7B/year out of taxpayers money.

Let's hear the OUTRAGE over these FAKE HEBREWS stealing OUR money.

auricle's picture

These 'private' donations are not well spent when given to the Red Cross. If you want to help, help personally, spend your own time and money. Get involved personally. 

stacking12321's picture

Government aid creates moral hazard.

If Uncle Sam is going to come along and make things all better, then why NOT build your house where hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods, or volcanos might destroy it?

Those who choose to be more careuful and responsible will have to pay for risk-taking behavior of others.

This is true of health insurance as well.

Paul Kersey's picture

"Federal flood insurance was almost $25 billion in the red before Hurricane Harvey."

And yet the US Government enriches war profiteers by spending trillions of dollars blowing up the Middle East, the rebuilding it and then blowing it up again. Better to help out Americans who have had their homes destroyed.

"Instead, costs associated with disaster recovery should be made 100-percent tax-deductible."

First of all, for income, commercial and industrial property owners (corporate rentiers), it's already 100% tax deductible. For the 78% of Americans, who live paycheck to paycheck and don't have the money to put new tires on their old vehicles, making disaster recovery costs tax deductible won't do shit for them.

Back in the day, I would have voted for Ron Paul. Today, I can see that he doesn't get out among the people enough to know how brokedick most Americans are.

American Psycho's picture

I enjoy hearing comments from the main-scream media about how "volunteers are really stepping up and are making a difference," but when I someone claims that  welfare is better handled by private citizens and charities they scream "elitist!  you don't care about starving children!"

OverTheHedge's picture

What is government wellfare but enforced charity? The assumption is that you are too stupid, and too parsimonious, to know how to donate properly, so the government will take your money and  do it for you, with the threat of violence if you don't comply. It's an interesting moral standpoint.

The idea that flood insurance should be made illegal is odd - how about private insurers offering whatever cover they deem appropriate, at whatever price they deem appropriate, and if the claims exceed the premiums, then let the insurer go gloriously bankrupt. In other words, get the government out of the way, just as the article requests,. It's slightly schizophrenic in that regard.

Stackers's picture

Cop screams at man for helping rescue Harvey flood victims and tells him to stop "we've had enough"

HRH Feant2's picture

Damn that cop was a complete asshole and out of line!

spdrdr's picture

What on Earth was that device?  It seemed to be a tall amphibian that may have been road-registered.  I need more information on this!!!

defender1be's picture

Detective Chris Pearson
Orange County Sheriff Office

Fester's picture

I tried to volunteer but was told I need special training and a back ground check.  For reals

MozartIII's picture

Go and do it anyway. All you need is a heart, a brain and some will power. Don't ask for permission.

StarGate's picture

In the govt which is filled with rules upon rules, they have a saying for getting things done:

"Proceed until apprehended"

Which means, if you have a good idea, are skilled, then do it. There is always someone in govt to tell you that you can't do it. Just smile and say I didn't know, thank you for the information.

After they leave, get back to it.
When it works, no one will remember the silly rule.
In fact, they will suddenly think it was their idea.

takeaction's picture

Oh that fucking Ron Paul guy.....always fucking talking and talking since the 80's....and that son of a bitch always spews the fucking truth...



Ron...and Rand...I donated $2300 to each of you one year......

What happened right after that?  I got audited.  Mother Fuckers....


If you are reading this.......YOU two...Father and SON...are the best of the best...and I thank you for standing up for people like me.   


jin187's picture

His son isn't a bad guy, but politically, he seems to end up siding with McCain and Ryan most of the time.

Blue Steel 309's picture

Ron Paul has the truth of it. The propaganda media doesn't want people to know, but when millions are affected, the word gets out.

AtATrESICI's picture

I thought he was going to say less hookers and blow for the Red Cross...

brown_hornet's picture

Nine scariest words..."I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

Repub-tards chose Romney over Paul. We had a chance and now we have none.

Gardentoolnumber5's picture

Don't forget the hit pieces the enemedia put out on him. Painting him as a racist.

detached.amusement's picture

more likely that the corporate entity decided that their guy would better represent their interests much better, f joe plebe

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

Isn't FEMA one of those 52 new genders we're all supposed to celebrate? I just want to be up on the current PC nomenclature.

Zorba's idea's picture

That is clever and on my list for conversation starters this thanksgiving

Bopper09's picture

The best idea I've heard.  Anyone in need of financial help is exempt from income tax for 2-3 years.


By the way, what are the 'administration costs' for the red cross?  My guess around 80%?  How many foundations are gong to make a killing over this.

political_proxy's picture

Goodwill runs in the 70 percentile.

FoggyWorld's picture

Samaritan's Purse is run opening and responsibly.   The major thing they do so well is organize volunteers for the rebuilding and serious work that needs to be done.  They send actual hands on people to repair homes and they started early on to reach out all over the country to organize and manage those folks who are able to spend the post emergency time needed.   They also provide food and if needed, would bring in medical help because that standing water is just asking for a health care problem to surface.

Gardentoolnumber5's picture

Salvation Army is one of the good outfits. Over 95% goes out instead of say the United Way and others that take over 90% and send 10% or less out.

jin187's picture

It wouldn't work. The most badly affected people would be those too poor, or too disabled to evacuate. They already pay little to no taxes. Three years worth of taxes for them probably doesn't even add up to a down payment on a new car.

By the same token, those who pay enough in taxes for this to make a serious dent in their recovery costs likely already have insurance, savings, and access to significant lines of credit. Even if it does help, it just helps them rebuild wealth next year, and the years to come, not their homes right now.

Bopper09's picture

The best idea I've heard.  Anyone in need of financial help is exempt from income tax for 2-3 years.


By the way, what are the 'administration costs' for the red cross?  My guess around 80%?  How many foundations are gong to make a killing over this.

vollderlerby's picture

in the meantime, PLEASE sign this petition.  We're halfway there.



FoggyWorld's picture

Oops.  Sorry for the double click.

FoggyWorld's picture

There is a problem with this.  Last time I checked there were four different petitions saying just about the same thing and only if added together did it seem as of the total number would reach 100,000.  Doubt if the WH will notice or bother to merge the signatures so if you want to sign, go through the other petitions open and hit every one of them.

Bopper09's picture

The best idea I've heard.  Anyone in need of financial help is exempt from income tax for 2-3 years.


By the way, what are the 'administration costs' for the red cross?  My guess around 80%?  How many foundations are gong to make a killing over this.

ZH FNG's picture
Apparently the Clinton Foundation modeled their business plan on the Red Cross... Watch "Guess what the Red Cross is saying now, about Hurricane Harvey?" on YouTube

TheMexican's picture

I can tell you this. In Mexico you are one your own. No government is going to help me rebuild my house if it gets destroyed. I like it!

Seasmoke's picture

Saw Sandy money turn people into criminals. The politicians get the skim , but not 2nd house homeowners.

shadow54's picture

Ron Paul represents himself really. His idea works for people at or above his income and for no one else.

malek's picture

Never go full retard.

Number 9's picture

you actually think you will get a great deal from the jewish mob?

ebworthen's picture

Ron Paul is right, however, the hive mind is far past this.

The Pres. has to show up serving food and "caring".  The figurehead of .gov has to pay alms or it is curtains.

Not "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" anymore; that is so old school!


MuffDiver69's picture

I agree with this idiot many times, but he needs a beating on this one..Yes we know the government is wasteful you arrogant prick, but this is one of the few places IF you get something then take it...Many of these folks pay all sorts of taxes that they could have pocketed and invested, then of course they wouldn't need much help, but cut the sanctimonious bullshit like you're pompous retarded son...Jerk

Free_Market_Mafia's picture

Can't fix stupid! 


Emotion is not an argument! Ron listed many supporting facts for his argument. Where is yours!

FoggyWorld's picture

But the sad part is that only 20% of the people of Houston had flood insurance.  FEMA's money does NOT go to individual homeowners but goes to the State, county and local politicians who spend it on infrastructure projects that they chose.  Worst of all, FEMA never audits them.

Not sure if it was a fluke of the Obama administration, but a huge chunk of the federal money sent was for Section 8 housing and not many, if any, of those hit by Sandy even qualified for low income housing.


Dragon HAwk's picture

Nothing pisses off a government more than when you ignore them.

Jasher's picture

21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

NumbersUsa's picture

And you think your not owned by the jew supremacists:

libertyanyday's picture

Since this is news to only those that dont frequent ZH, how about some fixes?