James Lee Witt and James Loy are dead wrong to pretend that a national catastrophe fund would be anything other than a bailout for wealthy beach homeowners.

Although they depict it as a matter of “pre-funding” expenses taxpayers would pay anyway, they neglect to mention the program they favor would, for the first time, put taxpayers on the hook for rebuilding private homes. In fact, Congress already sets aside money each year to pay for the infrastructure, rescue and human services costs that accrue after disasters.

Their proposal would create a new federal program intended to bailout homeowners and insurance companies who live or do business near the coast.

And the people who would benefit from this new federal program would almost all be well off. People receiving food stamps or relying on Social Security as a primary income source rarely own homes and, when they do, typically live well inland. Indeed, the Institute for Policy Integrity has found the areas most likely to be hit by flood waters are amongst the country’s wealthiest.

The fact that opponents of this idea include the National Taxpayers Union and National Wildlife Federation — groups that rarely agree — should set alarms off about what a bad deal this legislation is for the country.

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