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ATLANTA (CBS) — U.S. Rep. and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) says victims of the tornados in downstate Harrisburg and elsewhere in the Midwest and South shouldn’t receive any federal aid, and should instead buy insurance.
On the CNN program “State of the Union,” Paul reiterated his frequent argument against the Federal Emergency Management Agency and federal spending in general.
“Is there a role for federal money in helping all of these citizens get their lives back together?” asked “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley.
“Not really, because there is no such thing as federal money. Federal money is what they steal from the states, and steal from you and me, so there’s no federal money unless you say, ‘Well, they can print it….’ Paul said. “But to say you don’t support federal money doesn’t mean you don’t care about people, because FEMA’s inefficient.”
Paul pointed out that he lives on the Gulf Coast in Texas, and said he “got reelected constantly by criticizing FEMA, because the people who had to “put up with FEMA” became frustrated with its inefficiency.
He said the National Guard at the state level could play a role in dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, and that residents of areas prone to natural disasters should take responsibility themselves.
“People who live in tornado alley, just as I live in hurricane alley, they should have insurance for doing this,” Paul said on the program.
He said FEMA interferes with law enforcement and volunteer efforts, and called the organization “totally out of control and inefficient.”
Six people died, more than 100 were injured, and dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed in downstate Harrisburg last week. Parts of Indiana and several other states were also hit with severe tornadoes.