Natural Disasters

Chuck Schumer Thinks the Deficit Should Pay for Sandy Damage


Chuck Schumer

There's gold in that thar deficit. At least, that seems to be the attitude of Senator Charles Schumer, who thinks the tab for the damage left by Hurricane Sandy should be picked up by the federal government and charged to the deficit, that extraordinary treasure chest of boundless wealth. According to the New York Daily News:

Sen. Charles Schumer called the fallout from Hurricane Sandy a "national disaster" and called on a federal government to cover at least 90% of the costs.

"This is one of the biggest disasters to have ever struck this state and even this country," Schumer said at an afternoon briefing with Gov. Cuomo. "The federal response has to measure that scope and be equal to that that scope."

"We cannot cut corners. We cannot count nickels and dimes. This isn't a New York disaster, a Connecticut disaster, a Jersey disaster. It is national disaster. It needs to be treated that way by every member of Congress, by all the members of the executive branch."

Where is a federal government that is strapped, to say the least, and either facing a fiscal cliff or already tumbling down the face of it, going to get enough moolah so that it doesn't have to "cut corners" or "count nickels and dimes"? So glad you asked. From the Washington Times:

But Mr. Schumer did say that any added money will be tacked onto the deficit, which already is expected to reach about $1 trillion in fiscal 2013. He rejected the suggestion that other programs should be cut in order to pay for any new budget needs, saying Democrats won that fight on previous emergency spending bills, too.

Sen. Schumer isn't the only politician to think the deficit is the equivalent of an infinite bank vault. Rep. Tom DeLay had the same idea when it came to paying for Hurricane Katrina. You can see that federal finances are now, as ever, in good hands.

By the way, Reason's own Shikha Dalmia explains, at the Washington Examiner, why the bill for disaster cleanup always seems to be so darned impressive.

But if you think FEMA's inability to provide rapid relief subverts the core reason for its existence, think again. A few days after the Times' valentine, FEMA head W. Craig Fugate told the newspaper that the agency's rapid response role is really a fallacy. "The general public assumes we are part of the response team that will be there the first couple of days," he said. But it is really designed to deal with disasters several days after the fact.

How does FEMA do that? By indiscriminately writing checks—a task at which it evidently excels.

FEMA administrator Elizabeth Zimmerman testified before Congress last year that between 2005 and 2009, 14.5 percent of the agency's $10 billion-plus disaster aid budget was handed to people who didn't qualify. The agency tried to get 154,000 of these people to return the money (on average, each had received about $5,000), but they filed a class action lawsuit forcing FEMA to pay them a multimillion settlement. And it forgave the debt of every one with an income below $90,000.

Yes, I think we should expect the federal deficit to get just a bit larger.

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  1. He rejected the suggestion that other programs should be cut in order to pay for any new budget needs, saying Democrats won that fight on previous emergency spending bills, too.

    My miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind… *runs screaming into hill*

      1. Schumer needs to meet Nurse Ratched.

        1. You know Chucky, what worries me is how your mother is going to take this.

  2. As long as there is Chuck and a waiting camera, peak retard is on the table..

    1. Don’t worry, Schumer has a special unicorn in the stable that shits dollars for just this purpose.

  3. These days I feel like I’m trapped in an insane asylum – is there someway out of the madhouse?

    1. Only in death.

      1. Which you can’t have at the time of your choosing. See previous thread.

        1. Betcha I can. I’m not now, nor have I ever been suicidal, but watching my mom descend into Alzheimer’s over the last decade convinced me there is no way in hell I’m going out like that. Got me a plan.

          1. Got me a plan.

            But when the time comes will you be able to remember the plan?

            1. He also has to remember not to mention it to anybody, because then we can call in our own firefighters.

              1. I say we give the death penalty to would-be suicides. The bastards.

          2. Alzheimer’s does indeed suck. After seeing both of my father’s parents decline that way, I was almost glad that he didn’t make it past 60. I’m hoping to take after my mother’s side.

            I honestly almost think (if it is possible to almost think something) that Alzheimer’s wards should just be opened up and the inmates allowed to wander off to their fates. I can’t think of anything more depressing than those places.

          3. Fuck USC cheerleaders until one induces the Big One?

    2. You need to build an inside out house like that guy in HHGG.

    3. You can check out any time you like but you just can’t ever leave.

  4. This is brilliant.

    Just keep charging the bills to the “emergency” fund, and when TSHTF we can charge *that* emergency, too!

    1. Why didn’t someone think of this before??

      1. It’s like a perpetual deficit machine.

        1. It’s deficits all the way down.

  5. This isn’t a New York disaster, a Connecticut disaster, a Jersey disaster.

    Actually that’s precisely what it is. I’m not a New Yorker, or a New Jersyite/Jersian whatever the fuck they’re called. So I’ll thank you not to take my Texas money for your problem.

    Collectivism is as stupid when it’s applied to a nation as when it’s applied to a class.

    Also, where’s Ken Shultz to respond to the charge from FEMA itself that it doesn’t do shit except write checks?

    1. Connecticut doesn’t need anyone else’s money, and it’s ludicrous to insinuate that it does. The richest state in the union should be able to handle its own problems.

      1. Odd that you, of all people, would put it that way. Connecticut has lots of wealthy citizens. It’s nowhere near the richest state.

        1. It has always been at the top of richest states. Are you high, you mouthbreathing redneck?

          1. So you’re saying that one-party democrat rule produces riches?

            It’d really help the conservative argument if CT was one of the poorest states, instead of Deep Red Mississippi.

            1. CT has only had anything approaching one-party D rule recently. I grew up under all R governors and an R representative. No shortage of Rs in general in the SW.

              1. In fact, when I was out visiting fam in mid-late October, the place was overrun with Romney/Ryan signs, which I was actually a bit surprised at.

              2. You’re from SW CT? I went to high school there (Ridgefield)

                1. We are many here! Norwalk. Goldwater is also from right next door.

                  1. I saw many a Rocky Horror in Norwalk. Can’t remember which theater – it was in a shopping center on or near Route 7.

                    1. Nice, think I know where you mean.

                    2. SoNo Cinema? I went to high school in Greenwich.

                    3. 2Chilly is also from SW CT?!?! It’s an infestation!

                    4. The Rocky Horror outings were in the mid- late-1980’s. It was a single-screen theater, IIRC. I’ll see if one of my high school compadres remembers.

                    5. Kristen, you mean up by Wilton, or down at the end of 7? I was thinking you meant near Wilton.

                    6. Probably more north, but definitely in Norwalk. I’m pretty sure we took Route 7 all the way there, from Ancona’s grocery.

                    7. Shut up, JD! You probably lived in one of those houses I used to drive by on my way to work that had horses in the front yard too, didn’t you? I grew up in freaking Fairfield County and never got my goddamn pony.

                    8. We lived in Cos Cob. Not so pony-ish. I did, however, work a construction job in the backcountry, building stables on an estate where I never even saw the main house.

                    9. Ah yes, you know exactly of what I speak.

                    10. My H.S. friends inform me that it was, indeed, the SoNo. So much for my memory – this looks nothing like what I remember (besides it being a Japanese restaurant, I mean):

                    11. That was built in like…oh, I don’t know…1997 or so? Maybe a couple years earlier. SoNo will be very different than you remember it if you were there before the late 90s…or even before like 10 years ago, really.

                    12. Looking at the Google map, the picture in the link I sent is from the other side than where we used to enter the theater. The shopping center’s shape looks familiar to me when zoomed out (I remember the theater was on the right if you looked at it from the parking lot, which this shows is the case):

                      I started going to RHPS there in about 1988 or so.

              1. How did I not know this about Weicker?

                The party was intentionally named in a manner so as to fall first, alphabetically, on the ballot.

                1. Because he was so boring as to cause drowsiness?

                  1. 1) The past doesn’t matter, what matters is how they are now.

                    2) A CT “republican” is a Texas communist.

                    1. what matters is how they are now

                      And admittedly, that is terrible. I didn’t think anything could be worse than Blumenthal as AG, and then…

                  2. Not to mention that I handled the CT portfolio in foreclosures for FNMA for years, so I am very, very well acquainted with your district courts and taxation levels. And they are as progressive as you can get this side of Cali.

                    1. I haven’t had that responsibility in years, and I get pissed off just thinking about it. 2/3 of your judges have all but accused me to my face of wanting to throw grandma out in the street just to turn a profit (always said in a disgusted tone), and at least half have openly stated their distrust in capitalism and markets.

                      Fucking prog pieces of shit.

                    2. Whereabouts, Jim? Genuinely curious, partly because I also grew up listening to my commie dad rant about how we were SURROUNDED BY EVIL REPUBLICANS (and, minus the evil part, we pretty much were).

                    3. Since I’m on a work computer, if you don’t mind, I’d rather not say. I’m not working that portfolio anymore, but I still think it’d be a bit much for me to call out judges by name while I’m still employed by the bank.

                      Suffice to say some were much worse than others.

                    4. Jesus christ, I’ve gotten all worked up again now, w/ all those memories flooding back.

                      Everyone in CT, from CT, or who has ever set foot in or passed through or flown over CT, needs to fucking die from a new, particularly painful, form of AIDS.

                      And I’m including myself in that wish. Having breathed their tainted air, and stood on their poisoned soil, has permanetly made me sterile and incapable of real human interaction. I am unfit to live simply by virtue of being familiar with that state.

                      I fucking hate CT more than an unstoppable cyborg made with Pol Pot’s brain.

                    5. You probably hate oysters too. And hats.

                    6. I love hats. Oysters I could take or leave. Don’t hate ’em, but I don’t seek them out.

                    7. Well you’re not all bad at least. Though I see now why you and Epi have such a troubled relationship.

                    8. What is the video of? Can’t watch them here at work.

                    9. Y.K. Kim: I’m gonna answer this question for you ? anybody who wanna watch the movie, MIAMI CONNECTION, and if they love to watch drama or romance ? I recommend they do not watch it. However, if they love music and exciting action ? real action, not computer generated ? and the true meaning of friendship, they’re not just gonna gonna love, they’re gonna be crazy about the MIAMI CONNECTION. Why? If they wanna know the meaning behind the true martial arts spirit and philosophy, I guarantee they will love it.

                      I’M SOLD!

                    10. I hate it, too, Jimbo. That’s why I say “went to high school there” instead of “I’m from there”. Haven’t set foot there (other than to get gas one time on the Merritt Pkwy) since 1990.

                    11. You’re a good egg, Kristen. I knew I liked you for a reason.

                    12. Drink!

                    13. Why would an unstoppable cyborg with Pol Pot’s brain hat CT? Did Jim Calhoun pass on him, destroying his dream?

          2. No, it isn’t. You’re talking about rich citizens. The richest states–by far–are states like Texas and Florida, which have huge revenues.

      2. Yeah, seriously. The storm hit an area that probably has the highest concentration of wealth in the world and they want everyone else to pay for it.

    2. I’m not sure I’m 100 percent on board. Federalism does mean that the States do take collective action to help one another in certain situations. For example, the formation of the Continental Army. The problem is, that the Federal government has grown too big, wasteful, and inefficient. As such, the citizenry (but nowhere near enough of them) looks upon any Federal action with disdain.

      1. The difference between us being (besides you’re probably looking much better than I will later in life due to my racial handicap which, thank zod, my children will have mitigated by their mother) I don’t like federalism, either.

        I honestly didn’t even feel like I had a stake in 9/11. They didn’t attack me, they attacked the people in those two buildings in NYC. Had nothing to do w/ me. I have no interests there, no friends, no family, and thus, don’t care.

        I hate collectivism so much, I don’t consider myself an American, or a Texan, or anything else, except in the legal sense.

        1. “besides you’re probably looking much better than I will later in life due to my racial handicap which, thank zod, my children will have mitigated by their mother”


          1. In my experience, the duskier races tend to age better. My theory is that various blemishes and signs of aging are much more visible on pale white people by simple virtue of the fact that it’s easier to see something painted on a white canvas than something painted on a black canvas.

            But my wife is Asian, and while I burn, she just gets a sexy tan. So I’m hoping my mixed kids will get the benefit of her olive skin.

            1. Mixed folks are lucky when they get the best of both sides, unlike, say, Lenny Kravitz. I most definitely look younger than I am. My wife, being Thai, will look like a 12-year-old girl until she hits 50 or so, and then she will metamorphize into her mother.

              While my wife and I aren’t considered to be “ugly people,” my daughter, somehow, entered a whole another level. Like kid model/actress level. It’s been a trip to see how people of all ages already give her preferential treatment based on her looks.

              1. Actually if your wife is Thai, and knowing your heritage, I bet your daughter is going to be stunning.

                I really, really, really don’t understand racists views on purity. Not only do you get better-looking people, nature favors genetic cross-seeding. The ultimate fate of purity is entropy.

            2. Ok, I was just looking for an explanation. I actually agree. Mixed race girls are really beautiful

            3. “by simple virtue of the fact that it’s easier to see something painted on a white canvas than something painted on a black canvas.”

              Why do you ate velvet Elvis?

        2. I feel you. However, even in an anarchist society, societies of mutual aid are necessary because one man can only do so much. In a sane would, there would be a quid pro quo aspect. Cali helps NY with 9/11, so that NY would help Cali when their next earthquake happens. Cali gives water to Nevada, so Nevada would give them….something?

            1. Indeed. And the hookers feed Porn Valley.

              It’s the Circle of Life!

              1. Yeah, here’s the thing. If Shumer set up a charity, and asked nicely, I would be inclined to help out.

                It’s the fucking bullshit of telling everyone that “A storm fucked up my place and that’s everybody’s problem!” and then pointing a gun at me to extract cash, that makes my blood boil.

  6. If I woke up looking like Schumer, I would just run towards the nearest living thing and kill it.

    1. That photo looks like he’s trying to shoot force lightening at somebody.

      1. I would pay a lot of money to see Revok explode Schumer’s head.

  7. HANK: Luanne, sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Now there’s two ways you can deal with it. You can cry — and that’s the path you’ve chosen — or you can not cry.
    LUANNE: How do you not cry?
    HANK: Well, instead of letting it out, try holding it in. Every time you have a feeling, just stick it into a little pit inside your stomach and never let it out.
    LUANNE (trying it): Are you supposed to have a pain under your rib?
    HANK: Yes. That’s natural. The body doesn’t want to swallow its emotions. But now you go ahead and put that pain inside your stomach too.
    LUANNE: I think it’s workin’, Uncle Hank. I feel sick, but not sad.

  8. If we can run to the deficit every time we need to pay for something, there’s no end to it, like wiping your ass with a hula hoop.

  9. As loathsome as is Schumer, it’s pretty much obligatory for senators and congresscritters from areas which have experienced natural disasters to shill for federal relief.

    1. New York should try to have someone who doesn’t repulse the rest of the nation do the asking. Really bad PR.

  10. Shit, maybe libertarians should move off of their opposition to global interventionism and advocate full empire to help pay for all of this stuff. I mean, that’s probably the end game, anyway, if we’re a gigantic military power facing an economic collapse.

    1. The problem is that our incompetent empire would spend more money then it took in.

      1. Well, plunder the world, then plunder other worlds. Space is big, that would keep us afloat for a while.

        1. No, the Chuck Schumer’s of the world would have us giving money to anyone with a handout around the world and around the universe. There would be a never ending list of need, snow storm on Titan, hurricane on a planet circling Alpha Centauri, etc. While the John McCain’s would have lists of places to bomb, bomb, bomb.

          1. I think you’ll find that their altruism will disappear once they don’t have to deal with elections anymore.

  11. Does the federal government ever count nickels and dimes in this kind of situation?

    1. Hahahaha.
      The Feds count nickels and dimes when they’re stamping them out (theiving help) but in any other situation, no.

      1. Not when they collect from taxpayers; they just round up.

  12. The fleecing has already begun.

  13. Does anything ever happen in New York that the taxpayers everywhere else in the country aren’t supposed to pay for?

    “This isn’t a New York disaster, a Connecticut disaster, a Jersey disaster. It is national disaster.”

    Actually, it’s a New York, Connecticut, and Jersey disaster.

    We here in California are trying to recover from our own political disaster.

    What is it that New Yorkers are always looking for a handout?

    1. I think Jersey needs some help. They are in very, very serious trouble.

      Jersey’s biggest issue.

      1. But it’s their own damned fault:

        New Jersey law blocks alcohol retailers from buying supplies from out-of-state distributors, but Gov. Chris Christie said he would consider lifting that restriction.

      2. Liquor drought looms in New Jersey after Sandy floods distributor’s warehouse


        Although I haven’t actually noticed any shortages.

        1. I have. My local dive has been sans three kinds of whiskey for a week now. Tragedy beyond words.

    2. Wait, Ken, you (like me) live in California, and you were freaking out over how much you (and I) had to vote for Romney to save the nation from Obama? Hahahahahahaha

      1. You think voting for Romney was futile in California?

        Were you under the impression that a vote for Johnson someone wasn’t a futile exercise?

  14. Yes, I think we should expect the federal deficit to get just a bitlot larger.

    FIFY, JD

  15. It will be a glorious day when economic reality means that they can no longer put it on the credit card, and they have to choose between cutting spending or providing disaster relief. I will be there to call them heartless monsters whichever path they choose.

  16. Is there a more despicable person on the planet than Chuck Schumer? Seriously, he could die tomorrow and I’d throw a fucking party. There aren’t many people I can say that about. Incidentally they’re all politicians.

    1. Elizabeth Warren ?

      1. Imagine if Schumer and Warren had a baby.

        1. I’m thinking of Mel Brooks in “Blazing Saddles.”

      2. Give her time, I’m sure she’ll give Chuckie a run for our money.

  17. I’m starting to believe those rumors that Schumer is a secret agent of the Chicoms. Where are the Birchers now that there is a real
    commie threat to America??

  18. I mean, first they get how many billions for 9/11?

    Then they get $500 billion or so to bail out Wall Street.

    Now how much do they want for this hurricane?

    When does it stop?

    At what point does the rest of the country say, “Um, we’re already spent a trillion or so on New York over the past ten years!”

    Taxes are already ridiculously high in New York–if you can’t get enough tax revenues to take care of its own infrastructure, then maybe New York should start slashing its budget elsewhere.

    1. You can’t cut the large-soda-ban-enforcement budget! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!!!

  19. Pay for the cleanup…are you ready for this?

    By invading the Cayman Islands!

    1. I have a bettr idea: Let’s cut open that goose what lays them eggs and get all the gold at once!

  20. Is he trying to use the Force to pull the money to him?

  21. Why don’t they just write it off?

  22. Chuck Schumer Thinks the Deficit Taxpayers Should Pay for Sandy Damage

    1. Fine with me, if I can also get a check for the damage Ike did to my house. Sure, I was compensated by my insurance company, but there are greater principles involved here.

    2. Chuck Schumer Thinks the Deficit Children of Taxpayers Should Pay for Sandy Damage

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