Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:10AM GMT
A prominent American lawmaker and presidential candidate says the United States is a bankrupt country and describes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a flawed bureaucratic system.
Texas Republican Representative in the US Congress Ron Paul, who is also a candidate for the country's 2012 presidential elections, lambasted the emergency aid agency on Sunday as “a system of bureaucratic central economic planning,” which is “so far removed from the market and the understanding of what insurance should be about,” Fox News reported.
"We've conditioned our people that FEMA will take care of us and everything will be okay, but you try to make these programs work the best you can, but you can't just keep saying, 'Oh, they need money,' ... Well, we're out of money, this country is bankrupt."
Founded in 1979 and having more than 7,600 employees, the Agency is part of the US Department of Homeland Security and streamlines response efforts when disasters occur in the country.
Pointing to the costly American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the colossal US deficit, Paul went on to say "I propose that we save a billion from the overseas war mongering, bring half that home and put it against the deficit, and yes, tide people over until we come to our senses.”
The US has reportedly spent over $1 trillion in taxpayer money on its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, with some experts estimating that indirect costs, such as interest on the additional debt, exceed the direct expenditure.
“FEMA has been around since 1978. It has one of the worst reputations for a bureaucracy ever” based on central economic planning, said the GOP presidential hopeful, adding that this “is a policy that is deeply flawed."
Paul also insisted that federal money often goes to contractors instead of disaster victims.
The comments by the American congressman came after Hurricane Irene pounded the northeast of the US on Sunday and left dozens of people dead and millions without power.
The massive storm also incurred an estimated $7-13 billion in damages.
This is while a recent report by a US Congressional commission revealed that the Pentagon has squandered over $30 billon of taxpayer money on contracts and grants in Afghanistan and Iraq.