“When it rains it pours”, so goes the adage coined by ad executives at the Morton Salt Company(1) around 1910 and what is pouring today is the deluge of red stained dollar bills from the Federal treasury. That’s where Senator Mary “Louisiana Purchase” Landrieu comes in at…again. You see, as Congress’s tentacles have spread across the entire continent, many hazardous industries have been taken over by the beast. One industry that is inextricably linked to Louisiana and now hornswaggled by Congress is flood insurance or what is now aptly titled the National Flood Insurance Program or NiFIP (pronounced “nigh phip”). Residents of 5 LA parishes(2) may have noted that their flood insurance zones have recently changed-probably for the worse-and thus your insurance rates are set to rise. Did you notice WHO it was that did the flood zone adjustments? Our friendly neighborhood ice & MRE dispensers of first resort: FEMA(3).
I doubt the author of (sic) “trading a little liberty for essential security” could have imagined the Continental Congress running an insurance company or why citizens would tolerate such a thing, but alas, that was then and this is now. The bigger problem with this expanding hole in the levee Congress pours money into is that, precisely because Congress now subsidizes flood insurance, people won’t move from areas prone to flooding. This is what drove Congress to get FEMA involved in redrawing the flood zones and for good reason. Earlier this year NiFIP had to ask for its borrowing authority to be increased from $9.7 billion to a whopping $30.4 billion(4). Landrieu wants FEMA to delay the new rate hikes by law until all evidence is considered, a sentiment worthy of a productive endeavor but not for one bleeding red ink.
Landrieu challenger, Rob Maness, makes some sense on this saying(6) “While we have a moral obligation to help those who are currently enrolled in the program, the bigger picture is to get insurance out of the hands of government and back to the free market. Additionally, homeowners who are not at a high risk should not have to pay higher premiums at the cost of others.”
Landrieu’s upcoming re-election opponent Rep Bill Cassidy also wants the rate hikes delayed(5) but offers no word on the truly “conservative” response: return flood insurance back to insurance companies and stop subsidizing repeating disasters.
2. Plaquemines, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Charles Parish and St. Tammany Parishes
6. Maness, statement of 16 July, 2013.
“The effort by the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act was a good step, Republican
Senate candidate Rob Maness of Louisiana said today, but there are bigger issues in play as the measure moves to the full Appropriations
“While we have a moral obligation to help those who are currently enrolled in the program, the bigger picture is to get insurance out of the
hands of government and back to the free market,” Maness said. “This is an important issue that our campaign is looking to effectively address
other than the current recommendations being pushed such as increasing subsidies. Additionally, homeowners who are not at a high risk
should not have to pay higher premiums at the cost of others.”