The federal government typically picks up a substantial portion of costs related to the recovery from natural disasters, but deadbeat New York and New Jersey politicians want the rest of the nation to pay for 100-percent of the cost to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
New York state on Wednesday asked the U.S. federal government to pay all the costs of cleaning up and repairing damage from massive storm Sandy that tore through the Northeast this week and crippled New York City.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is asking fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama, to pay 100 percent of the estimated $6 billion bill, at a time that state and local government budgets remain constrained by a weak economic recovery.
That would be a significant change from last year when the federal government covered about 75 percent of the $1.2 billion cost paid by New York to clean up after storm Irene hit the region.
The two U.S. senators from neighboring New Jersey, the other state hit hardest by the storm, also asked that the federal government cover more than the usual share of the cost, given the size of the disaster and the financially strapped local coffers.
“Recent storms in New Jersey have already placed a significant burden on our state and local governments, which have been forced to pay for disaster response and will need federal assistance for recovery from Hurricane Sandy,” Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator Robert Menendez, both Democrats, wrote in a letter to Obama.
“While we understand the federal share is typically 75 percent of these total costs, the unprecedented and extraordinary extent of damage Hurricane Sandy has caused to our state merits an adjustment to this cost-share to 90 to 100 percent federal coverage,” the two senators said.
This is going to come as a bit of a blow to their outsize egos, but there’s nothing special about New York and New Jersey that warrants the rest of the nation having to pick up the bill for their mistakes. Local officials were greedy enough to allow building in low-lying areas known to be hit by catastrophic storms such as hurricanes and nor’easters. I’ve felt the same way about southern states as well, where beachside losses were predictable but human greed won out. It isn’t just environmentalists that have warned about the dangers of building on low-lying and transitory barrier islands.
They took the risks, and now they should bear the costs.
If governments and private entities want to continue to build in areas where catastrophic destruction is almost assured over time, then privately carried insurance should be responsible for rebuilding in these areas. If I had my way, the federal government would never pick up more than 50% of the cost for structures built in areas known to be hit with natural disasters.
That these leeches want citizens everywhere else to pay 100% of the cost of their stupidity is infuriating.