Ron Paul Takes on FEMA

GOP candidate accuses FEMA of being a worthless bureaucracy

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Presidential candidate Ron Paul's strategists say he doesn't pull his punches when talking about the excesses of the federal government. They aren't kidding.

The latest example came when Paul, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, condemned the Federal Emergency Management Agency at precisely the time when many Americans were counting on FEMA to provide efficient and effective disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Irene. [Read more about how President Obama is handling natural disasters.]

The long-time House member from Texas, however, didn't back off from his libertarian views and he spoke with the candor that endears him to his supporters. "FEMA has been around since 1978," Paul told "Fox News Sunday." "It has one of the worst reputations for a bureaucracy ever. It's a system of bureaucratic central economic planning, which is a policy that is deeply flawed."

Paul added: "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 just can't keep saying, 'Oh, they need money.'...Well, we're out of money. This country is bankrupt....FEMA creates many of our problems because they sell the insurance because you can't buy it from a private company, which means there's a lot of danger. So we pay people to build on beaches, and then we have to go and rescue them." [Read: Could Ron Paul 2012 Pave the Way for Rand Paul 2016 or 2020?]

Paul also told CNN that FEMA's track record in Texas, where Paul lives, has been poor. "All they do is come in and tell you what to do and [what you] can't do," he said. "You can't get in your houses, and they hinder the local people, and they hinder volunteers from going in."[Read:Is Ron Paul a fringe candidate?]

FEMA was widely criticized in 2005 for its weak response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast.

  • Read: Ron Paul takes a bow in New Hampshire.
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  • Read: Is Ron Paul a fringe candidate?