Should the Federal Government Help New York & New Jersey Rebuild?

The northeast was recently devastated by super-storm Sandy and the local government has found that, unlike in other natural disasters, federal action and relief has been slow coming.

To some it appears a matter of the politics of fiscal responsibility, while others cry out that catastrophes are non-partisan. Should the government respond? How should the government respond? Are we even asking the right questions?

Debating this issue is Brian K. White of and Dean Chambers of

Brian K. White —

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the efforts to rebuild the coast of the northeast have required special attention. So who should be on the hook? I have a few thoughts on this, but let me start by saying that the federal government should indeed roll in with the checkbook out to get the rebuilt and back up to speed as quickly as possible.

I have a conservative congressman friend in Montana who feels the victims of Sandy should all just be left to fend for themselves. He lives on a hill and is eager to explain why he doesn’t have flood insurance, but last year a tornado ripped through Billings, and he was spared only by chance, and his insurance would NOT have covered it. He said that those on Staten Island should have had insurance, even though they may have lived there for 50 or 100 years with zero risk of flood prior to 2012.

We need to help those who are incapable of helping themselves. Failing to do so would force a significant percentage of the northeastern coast into bankruptcy, and that would damage America for at least a generation.

Dean Chambers —

We have funds in the federal and state budgets for relief from natural disasters and this has come to be expected to be a legitimate function of government. However, we should be sure that these funds and programs aren’t abused in the ways that most government programs are, and become another opportunity for waste, fraud and abuse by local politicians.

More than $85 billion was dedicated to federal relief after hurricane Katrina and hundreds of millions of this money found it’s way into abuse and fraud while the city of New Orleans has taken many years too long to be rebuilt. The abuse and fraud was obscene, including money wasted by government agencies on trailers that were never used and government agencies handing out $1,500 cash debit cards to anyone waiting in line to get one. We need more safeguards in place to make sure that relief money goes to those who truly need it rather than those who can figure out how to game the system.

Brian K. White —

Waste, fraud and abuse is an easy target, save for the part where it’s not actually easy at all. Everyone can agree we need to avoid those things, and there are systems in place to identify, prevent and prosecute them when they do. That’s not what we’re discussing. We’re discussing the fact that Republican legislators chose not to vote on the relief bill until there was a public outcry, and even then, many chose to vote against it, even those who had received Katrina aid in the past.

I know it’s fashionable to oppose new spending, but when hard-working people are literally under water is not the time to be dicks about it. These people paid their taxes, took every reasonable precaution for where they lived, and are now suffering nonetheless. When it comes to being wise and reasonable about America’s spending addiction, let’s first look to corporate welfare and the fact that 25% of American corporations pay zero federal taxes. Let’s look at the massive corn and dairy subsidies. But while we’re doing that, let’s also look out for the family that just lost everything they’ve ever owned, not realizing that the flood insurance they bought and paid for only covers possessions damaged in certain rooms, but not the foundation.

Dean Chambers —

Republicans delayed the bill because it was rife with waste, fraud and abuse, and as usual, the liberal Democrats in Congress decorated it like a Christmas tree and put all kinds of spending unrelated to hurricane relief in the legislation. Republicans have every responsibility to work to reduce the pork while making sure the aide that is needed is received by those who need it.

Author: Brian White

Brian first began peddling his humorous wares with a series of Xerox printed books in fifth grade. Since then he's published over two thousand satire and humor articles, as well as eight stage plays, a 13-episode cable sitcom and three (terrible) screenplays. He is a freelance writer by trade and an expert in the field of viral entertainment marketing. He is the author of many of the biggest hoaxes of recent years, a shameful accomplishment in which he takes exceptional pride.

1 thought on “Should the Federal Government Help New York & New Jersey Rebuild?

  1. This should not even be a question. This shouldn’t even be asked. This should be considered done. Why would you even doubt or consider it? We take care of our own. Forget politics, we’ve got poeople out of their homes for how long now and you want to paly the SHould we or Shouldn’t We game? That’s sick. Congress should be ashamed. I doubt they know how to feel that though.

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