Why Colorado Flood Victims and Other Disaster Victims Shouldn't Get a Government Bail-Out

Car in flood waters (CC-BY 3.0)
Car in flood waters (CC-BY 3.0) | Source

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The Natural Disaster Dilemma

Whenever a hurricane or other natural disaster, like a flood or a tornado, strikes some community in the United States, you can bet the house that both the victims and the politicians that represent them, be it Republican or Democrat, will be begging the federal government for a hand-out. Like Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey below, they seem to believe that it is the taxpayer's responsibility to pay for their recovery efforts.

And it doesn't matter the level of responsibility of the so-called "victims". Whether it's flood victims who knowingly live in a flood plain or tornado victims who bought a cheap house in a part of the country called "tornado alley", it simply doesn't matter what the "victim" did. Ultimately it becomes the taxpayers responsibility to pay for some kind of rebuilding effort.

Isn't Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans a perfect example of this point? And that state has a hard core, right-wing governor. Yet, they still wanted as much government money as they could get. Did anybody in that city think, since much of it is below sea level or just at sea level, that if a hurricane hit, there might be a problem? I certainly could have predicted it. So why do I have to pay for the repairs?

Governor Chris Christie Begs for Government Aid

Avoid Natural Disasters with Common Sense

Fortunately, for me, I bought a house on a hill, away from any rivers, far above sea level, out of any tornado alleys, and cut down any trees to avoid lightning strikes and the chance of fires. Then, just in case, I bought something called insurance, which protects me just in case a random meteor drops out of the sky and smashes into my house. However, since I wanted protection from meteors, I built a great big metal shield over my house too, just to be safe.

Governor Christie can whine all he wants, but if you have decided to live near an ocean where hurricanes and other natural events are likely to occur (or where rising sea levels or the occasional big wave might do some damage), why should the tax dollars of somebody like me be used to pay for fixing up your house? Not only that, why should my tax dollars be used to subsidize your lazy, beach lifestyle? If you want to swim in the ocean or get a tan lying on the beach, that's your business, but when you get a sunburn or get your leg bitten off by a shark or your house gets swept away by a hurricane, don't come crying to me for my hard-earned tax dollars to get your leg replaced. Do you know how much an artificial limb costs? I'm not taking food away from my cats just because you can't get out of the water fast enough when the lifeguard blows that damn shark whistle.

And how much of that tax bail-out money is Governor Christie going to eat? Look at that guy. He's really big. I bet once he gets his government bail-out, he's going to be hosting luncheons. If he was really traveling all over New Jersey listening to Hurricane Sandy victims, why hasn't he dropped some weight? I think he's been tooling around on his Segway or something. And who paid for that Segway? Even if the Governor paid for it, now my tax dollars will be subsidizing it because it's probably wet and needs work. I think Christie just wants his government bail-out so he can ride his Segway around in those flooded areas.

Natural disasters are fairly common. They happen all the time. And believe it or not, they are fairly predictable. People who live near the Mississippi are going to get flooded when the river rises. People who build their houses at the foot of mountains are likely to get hit be avalanches. Why should there be a bail-out when predictable things like this happen?

Oklahoma tornado (public domain)
Oklahoma tornado (public domain)

Move Away From Flood Zones

Another place that floods often are homes near the Mississippi River. This is because the river rises and falls depending on rainfall and other factors. Yet, people who build their homes near the Mississippi River, who get flooded year after year, usually go crying to the federal government to give them money to replace their homes. And, of course, their governors, be they Democrat or Republican, always declare those areas disaster areas so they can qualify for that government help.

Boulder, Colorado, where much of the flood damage occured from the Colorado rains in September of 2013, was the number one flood risk in the country. Why should the government pay for any relief if this was the case. The residents knew it was a risk and took the risk.

So here's my advice: move. Move away from these places. Get out of tornado alley because a tornado will probably come down it. Move away from the river that always floods. Move away from the shoreline where one wave means the end of your house. Move!

Taxpayers who are smart enough to live in places where natural disasters are relatively uncommon shouldn't be paying to fix up places where disasters are common.

Avalanche! (CC-BY 3.0)
Avalanche! (CC-BY 3.0) | Source

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Comments 4 comments

RavenBiker profile image

RavenBiker 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

Right on, CHRIS57! Further, insulting, bullying and disgracing obese people is all this Hub accomplished.


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 3 years ago from Northern Germany

Which system would you prefer:

1. Build dykes and dams, set up coastal protection measures

2. Do nothing, no dykes, no dams, but let the public step in for any damage caused by the lack of coastal protection in case of disaster.

Both ways will require financing. 1. will take long term planning and the will of the people to stand in for each other. 2. is the lazy and easy way, only pay whenever necessary, no planning ahead, live for the day.

Of course there is a third version: No dykes, no dams and let everyone suffering from disaster take care of himself.

If all was reduced to personal responsibilty on known hazards, nobody could live on the shore (coastline) because of potential floodings, nobody would live in Los Angeles or San Francisco because of the San Andreas fault. Nobody would live in Kansas, because of tornado alley and Hawaii would be unpopulated because of little vulcanos.


Sychophantastic profile image

Sychophantastic 3 years ago Author

I'm all fine with taxes, but this is about personal responsibility. If you knowingly build your house on a hill with a history of avalanches and your house is wiped out by an avalanche, should you receive funds from the taxpayers to replace your home?


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 3 years ago from Northern Germany

"I simply don't understand why the "above sea level" taxpayers should bail out the "below sea level" taxpayers." What an abyss of selfishness is showing up here. Probably you payed for the road to your house yourself, because you are the only one to benefit from it.

People live together in communities, in social entities, because they need each other and because they understand that many tasks can only be accomplished by sticking together. That is why some clumsy instruments like administrations, like taxes were invented.

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