Forget Earmarks, FEMA Declarations Show Federalization Run Amok

Matt Mayer /

The 2010 hurricane season ended yesterday, utterly failing to measure up to the Category 5 predictions made in the spring. The failure of a single hurricane to strike the United States makes it five years since a hurricane of Category 3 strength or higher has struck the United States. You remember 2005, right? The year Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma pummeled the Gulf Coast, FEMA Director Mike Brown, and President George W. Bush. Those were the busy days of FEMA.

Despite no hurricanes striking the U.S. and only one minor earthquake, FEMA has issued 106 declarations in 2010 and is projected to end the year (1/20/10 to 1/19/2011) with 123 issued declarations. President Barack Obama is on pace to close his first two years in office with 231 FEMA declarations, which would be the most issued by a president in his first two years and he did it without one hurricane striking the United States. To put President Obama’s pace in perspective, President Ronald Reagan’s FEMA issued 228 declarations over the course of his entire presidency. President Bill Clinton, current holder of the most FEMA declarations in one year (157 in 1996), only mustered 115 declarations in his first two years. Even the prodigious FEMA under President Bush hit 220 declarations in his first two years. (more…)