I suspect that most of you know the Albert Einstein quote about insanity that goes something like this:
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Well that seems to be the case with the current federal flood insurance. It is deeply in debt due to all the climate events lately. Given the current stand on climate change by the Oval Office that problem is likely to increase in the coming years. From what I have learned 80% the total payments go to a small part of the country. Some people have had their home rebuilt five or more times on the same site using federal flood insurance. The purpose of this post is to question the logic of that strategy.
Here is a little snippet about them from my friends at the New York Times:
A more realistic approach would be for lawmakers to offer incentives to homeowners and cities to reduce the number of homes at risk of catastrophic flooding. Congress could direct FEMA to help cities buy out homes that have flooded repeatedly. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that the government has spent about $5.5 billion since 1978 to rebuild 30,000 homes that have flooded as many as five times in a two- or three-year period. The group estimates that buying many of these homes would cost less than the government spends in rebuilding them over and over. FEMA does finance buyouts but it spends vastly more to rebuild properties
To me it just doesn’t make sense for the rest of us to pay taxes to support some bad choices others make as to where to live. I am basically a Federalist but kind of think this sort of thing should be handled by each individual State. If you want to live in Florida you have to pay much higher Florida flood insurance premiums. Florida for the most part is only a few feet above ocean levels.
On an irony note, I know when Hurricane Sandy went through NJ and NY many of the congressmen from Texas balked at the federal government funding reconstruction. Hypocritically, those same people (including Senator Cruz who was the most vocal) are at the forefront of getting federal dollars for Harvey. I see Irma may also head in that same direction for a super double whammy. Wouldn’t that be ironic?
Maybe it is time to give all those Texans their wish and to get the Federal government out of the flood relief business and let the folks in Houston and even New Orleans move out of “hurricane alley”.