The latest Washington bailout is one of the most ridiculous yet. It's a bailout that we'll all be forced to pay for to rebuild luxury beach houses in Florida (and possibly California) and take reckless state governments off the fiscal hook.
Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) wants us to pay for the Homeowner's Defense Act (H.R. 2555), which would make federal taxpayers pick up the tab for a disastrous state-run insurance program for Florida's hurricane-prone beaches. The House may vote as soon as next week on this legislation.
Florida has set up a government-run insurance program that promises far more in benefits than they actually can afford to pay. Because of this reckless program, one bad storm could break the state of Florida. So Ron Klein and his Democratic allies are turning to the federal government to bail out Florida and force all of us to pick up the tab.
There is no reason for state governments to be in the insurance business. And there is certainly no reason for the federal government to bail them out.
Instead of injecting government into the insurance markets, private landowners should buy insurance in the private market so that the owner knows the true costs of ownership.
If insurance is not available or is prohibitively expensive for development in risky coastal areas, then property owners (like Al Gore, who recently bought a $9 million villa in Montecito, California) should bear the risk themselves or those areas should be left undeveloped.
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