Red Hook, Brooklyn - When Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast last fall, the“frankenstorm” blazed a trail of destruction and even death.
Here in Red Hook Brooklyn, waist-high floods destroyed the ground floor of practically every building in sight. Residents in this public housing project went without electricity for two weeks.
Now things are getting even messier. New York and New Jersey pols are demanding that taxpayers who have never even been east of the Mississippi River pick up 100 percent of cleanup costs.
Congress has signed off on $9 billion in Sandy-related insurance payments and will vote on as much as $50 billion more in aid by January 15.
The truth of the matter – and I say this as a resident of earthquake-prone southern California – is that New York, New Jersey and everywhere else would be better off without any federal funds rushing to the rescue.
Like a quick fix for a junky, this money – including super-subsidized flood insurance - simply allows a rotten situation to keep on keeping on.
Consider the effect on New York City’s mass transit system, which will get billions of relief dollars in the wake of Sandy.
Who in their right mind would give the transit authority more federal disaster money?
The tax dollars it got after the 9/11 attacks resulted in some of the biggest boondoggles in recent memory -including a $3.4 billion dollar World Trade Center Transit Hub and a $1.4 billion dollar Fulton Street Transit Center.
While we don't yet know the final language of the $50 billion relief bill, you can bet that it will be porkier than a bacon buffet.
The original Senate version included $150 million for Alaskan fisheries, funds to repair the Smithsonian Institution's roof, to fix up the Kennedy Space Center, and to buy new vehicles for the Department of Homeland Security
I feel sorry for the businesses and homeowners here in Red Hook who lost their savings and livelihoods because of the storm.
But many of them didn't have flood insurance because it was too expensive. If flood insurance is too expensive, maybe people shouldn't live in this low-lying coastal area. Now their poor choices are being compounded by inefficient government once again illustrating its corruption and uselessness.
That's just one many useful lessons washed away not by the fury of Hurricane Sandy but by billion of dollars of taxpayer money.
Hosted by Kennedy. Written by Kennedy, Jim Epstein, and Nick Gillespie. Produced by Epstein and Josh Swain.
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