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Governor Chris Christie has found yet a new way to aggravate the heck out of me, and reminds us what a terrible leader he would be even if he weren't the alleged perpetrator of half of a dozen scandals, many of which may be criminal, if proven. Now, Brian Donohue brings us an under-reported story of Christie riling up supporters by campaigning against the National Flood Insurance Program when no alternatives exists for his constituents. New Jersey is a highly developed coastal state that Donohue reports is one of the most storm-battered in the nation, in Chris Christie: 'FEMA is the new F-word.' So what's plan B?

Amid widespread complaints by Hurricane Sandy victims over low flood insurance settlements, Christie has repeatedly - and in classic Christie fashion - called for the federal government to get out of the business of flood insurance. ... “FEMA is the new F-word,’’ he told a crowd at a Port Monmouth town hall meeting last month. ... “The federal government has to get out of the flood insurance business,’’ he told a crowd in Berkeley Township two weeks later. “It’s no good at it.”

Sounds great as a way of riling up the crowd, who for reasons, beyond reason, cheer him on. But the big problem is no alternative form of flood insurance exists because private companies realize that insuring properties in high risk flood zones makes no economic sense. Banks will not issue mortgages on properties in these zones without flood insurance. So Governor Christie is leading his own supporters off of a cliff for nothing but political applause, and apparently to look good to free market Tea Party extremists in other states.  

It wouldn't be easy to lure private insurers back into the market. And it's even harder to imagine companies not charging even higher rates - and requiring higher home elevations - than the federal taxpayer subsidized program that property owners are already complaining about.

So why are residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties going nuts and cheering every time Christie proposes this? And what other options is Christie proposing for a program that is so crucial to the very existence of large swaths of New Jersey communities?

Why are journalists not highlighting and challenging Governor Christie for advocating policies that would devastate his constituents and his state? And why are business experts not pointing out the economic impact the loss of the National Flood Insurance Program would have on the state of New Jersey?

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Comment Preferences

  •  As it turns out it goes beyond scandal with (9+ / 0-)

    Chris Christie.
       He isn't a very good governor either, in that he's not serving the best interests of his constituents.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:28:58 PM PDT

  •  I could actually get behind this though (10+ / 0-)

    Not for the reasons that Christie is pushing but eventually the government is going to have to get out of the flood insurance game because of global warming. The rules are going to have to change, we'll pay for your damage but ONLY if you move inland to higher ground. You want to stay? Then you're on your own, best of luck to ya!

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:37:32 PM PDT

    •  Yes, there have been big problems with the (8+ / 0-)

      Federal Flood Insurance Program. We have cases in Massachusetts where rich people keep rebuilding million dollar vacation homes on sand bars that get destroyed ever few years.

      Last October the rules changed to push rates closer to true risk.  I don't know if this is going to fix the problem or not.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm remembering some Congress critters that (5+ / 0-)

        got their homes trashed in hurricane Katrina and bitched to high heaven about flood insurance while pocketing million dollar checks. The current system has some problems, for sure.

        Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:49:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't want to pay to do the right thing. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, ontheleftcoast, fixxit, a2nite

          Both of the following are true:

          * It's not fair to the taxpayers to subsidize flood insurance forever. The taxpayers will just repay to build flooded properties over and over.

          * It's not fair to homeowners to let them build under one set of rules, then change the rules to make their houses uninsurable, or only insurable at unrealistically high cost.

          So what's the solution?

          The taxpayers should buy them out, at something approximating market value. The homeowner would not be forced to accept the offer--but the homeowner should understand that if they decline the offer, they will be on their own in the unsubsidized free market for flood insurance.

          Like so many, many unpopular ideas, a buyout would (a) be the right thing to do, and (b) cost less in the long run, but (c) we won't do it because our perspective is fixed on the short-run cost.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:06:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why can't I have federal earthquake insurance? (4+ / 0-)
      •  Yup! . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, cotterperson, rubyr

        I don't live in a  flood plain. My house isn't in an earthquake zone.

        I have both types of insurance on my house because, heh, I live in my house and well, I NEED my house.

        I buy flood insurance from FEMA and I buy EQ insurance through the California EQ authority. Same limits. The EQ deductibles are A LOT higher for the flood.

        My flood insurance premium is about 1/4th the price of my EQ insurance.

        So when people complain about the price of their flood insurance, I like to tell to wait.... and then I roll my eyes for a few minutes....

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:05:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Inland higher ground property is going to (4+ / 0-)

      fill up fast as whole communities flood, especially if no-growth ordinances remain in place.

      That might mean residents already in those places have to give up some land, especially if they have large properties that aren't being used for anything that otherwise benefits society.

      Eminent domain anyone?

      Folks should be careful what they wish for.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:09:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that's what I was thinking (0+ / 0-)

        If people are no longer allowed to live in a flood zone, where is everyone going to go? We're talking millions of people here. There might not be ANY open space other than flood zones then.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 08:22:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does "pay for your damage" include... (4+ / 0-)

      buying me out, or do I have to abandon my Cape May County (elevation 8-10 feet) property?

      My property is currently valued at $145K with $100K for the land and $45K for the house and garage, insurance wouldn't hafta pay more than the replacement cost for my house, but if it were decreed that I can't be paid for the total loss of value, how am I going get a new place to live with only the $45K for the house?

      Can't even buy a mobile home for that much.

      (I didn't buy the property, my Gramma did about sixty years ago...I want to get the heck outta there, but there are three houses for sale around me that have been for sale for more than three years!)

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:17:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I don't have a well thought out plan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, leftykook

        I'm just stating the obvious, the inevitability of climate change means we're going to have to come up with a different plan for flood insurance. I don't know what that plan will be but we won't be able to keep doing what we're doing.

        Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:20:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not worried too much for me.... (4+ / 0-)

          ...but Gramma's house in the Villas is the only piece of inter-generational wealth transfer I have to offer my daughters and granddaughters, and on that time scale, I can easily see the house either losing a lot of it's value, or even becoming uninhabitable....I gotta get outta this place!

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:39:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The gravy needs to stop at some point... (0+ / 0-)

      I realize that you can't just pull the rug out from under people, but I think for the long term, Christie is kinda right on this - just not as quickly as he advocates. Even now when premiums are slated to increase a little to attempt to approximate reality, everyone screams and Congress backs them back down to give-away levels. People need to be encouraged to leave flood zones! Things are obviously only going to get worse. Much of New Orleans should never have been allowed to be rebuilt where it was - it will only flood again at some point. I realize that racial sensitivities made it very difficult to say no back then, but at some point, someone is going to have to say no. Some point of sliding scale for reimbursement and higher premiums is going to have to be put into effect.

      People want to live in the desert and have their water bill subsidized. People want to live by the ocean and have their view and ocean breezes subsidized. People want to live in Nome and have their fuel oil bill subsidized - (ok I can't begrudge them on that one...). Anyways the flood insurance gimme for many areas has to be curtailed and better behavior needs to be encouraged.

      •  Gravy? WTF? (0+ / 0-)

        They're talking mostly about people's primary residences, not vacation homes. Many of them are not near the ocean, just in an area that floods. You know average working people who struggled to buy said homes. Unless you have some property to sell them to build a house on, maybe you should think this through.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 08:25:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, grover

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:53:35 PM PDT

  •  And why are voters so (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, WheninRome, Dirtandiron

    fucking stupid that I increasingly find it hard to care about their problems?

    •  Media brainwashing. (0+ / 0-)

      Talk radio and Fixed News have them seeing the world through the eyes of the Koch Brothers as they slowly sink into poverty. The slide into poverty is gradual and creeping so no one notices until they are close to foreclosure. Think the old saying about a frog, if you put a frog into hot water, he will jump out. But put him in nice warm water, and he will just think it's nice warm water, until it's too late.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 08:28:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's stupid & so are his voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharman, WheninRome, Dirtandiron

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:45:00 PM PDT

  •  there is so much wrong with Christie... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    ...that this one is one too many?  

    It is not his narrative, his New Jersey first, he'll live and die on that uninsurable shore.  But we can figure there is some money in his opinion, maybe some insurance companies want to, for staggeringly high rates.  I could get earthquake insurance (I live on a fault) except, if there weren't an earthquake I could use twenty years of the premiums to build a new house, and I made that bet over twenty years ago.  

    Flood zones are rated and premiums are figured and to quality for federal insurance you have to rebuild to certain standards, so maybe that's it, his contractor friends don't want to comply with those standards? Maybe they already didn't, and will be facing lawsuits from those who can't get the insurance because their contractors are represented by Wolff Sampson and were promised they could get away with substandard work, and now Sampson is under investigation and Christie might not be able to make it 'legal' for them?  

    There must be an angle, with Christie there is always an angle.

    If he's delusional and thinks he has a shot at the top of the ticket, he may think this will counter the opinion that he used Sandy to steal from Missouri and Alabama taxpayers? Or would have, if those states had paid more in taxes than they received in federal money?  

    we'll see?

  •  Here from twitter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    RT @MEClosets: .@neilpX @LOrion If Christie’s down on FEMA they must have caught on and cut his supply of graft money.

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:19:49 PM PDT

  •  Flood Insurance makes it Impossible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shmuelman, Dirtandiron, a2nite

    for Chris Christie and the rest of the Jerzy Boyz to step in
    and SKIM a few Million off the Top.

    Just give the Money to Christie and his Real Estate
    development "Friends".

    What could Possibly go WRONG ?

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:07:49 PM PDT

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