Frank McEnulty: The Federal Government and Natural Disasters

The tornado in Kansas a while back was a terrible thing. I haven’t seen total devastation on that scale in America since I was living in Florida and Hurricane Andrew went through the southern part of the state. No one, no community can fully prepare for a disaster of that magnitude and it requires the help of local, state and Federal officials to help get things back to normal.

However, it has long been my belief that politicians secretly welcome natural disasters for the opportunity it gives them to pander to the electorate. While they may certainly care about the people affected by these tragic events, politicians also use them to be seen as caring and to throw our money around like, … well, like it isn’t theirs.

For years I’ve thought that there should be a more rational and organized response to natural and other disasters than the current system of knee-jerk politicians swooping in and doling out our money in an inefficient and wasteful way.

As President, I would propose a national disaster insurance fund be established to deal with these horrible situations. Although, as they say, the devil is in the details, a rough outline of how I believe the plan should work and be set up would be as follows:

  1. There would be a specific set of disasters covered under the insurance. For example, the policies would cover losses from earthquake, flood, hurricanes and tornadoes.
  2. Current owners of property would have 5 years to decide to get into the program. After the 5 year transition period were over, if you didn’t have the insurance, there would no longer be any Federal assistance to individuals property owners in the event of a natural disaster.
  3. For buyers of new property, they could decide to buy the coverage anytime after buying their property. However, if they did not purchase coverage, they would have no right to Federal assistance in the event of a natural disaster.
  4. The policies would be sold through existing insurance companies, much as earthquake coverage is currently sold in California.
  5. No one would be forced to buy, but I would assume, much like fire insurance, that anyone who has a mortgage on their house would be required to do so by their lender if they lived in a zone where there was the potential for any of these major disasters.
  6. Prices would be kept reasonable by two key facts. First, there would be a large number of property owners involved in the pool which would spread the risk. Between those property owners in hurricane, earthquake, flood and tornado zones quite a bit of the country and a tremendous number of properties would be potential buyers. Second, the Federal government could subsidize the coverage – the subsidy coming from what is not given out each year in emergency disaster funding.

This program would accomplish several things.

First, it would make people responsible for doing what is necessary and proper to protect their property in the event of a catastrophic loss caused by a natural disaster.

Second, it would establish a true fund to pay for these events.

Third, it would allow people in certain parts of the country to know that they aren’t underwriting the cost of the rebuilding the areas where these things always happen. Whether it is hurricanes in the Southeast, tornadoes in the Midwest or earthquakes in California, why should someone in Arizona or Idaho (where natural disasters are fairly few) be required to contribute their tax dollars to continually rebuilding beach front property or homes in “tornado alley”?

Finally, it would take away the ability of the politicians to use our money to further their own political gains – at least in this area of life.

One on the main planks of Presidential Campaign platform is that of personal responsibility. If you have property, it is your responsibility to see that you have the proper insurance coverage to ensure that if something tragic happens you have the coverage to rebuild your house. I believe an insurance program of this kind is the government’s “responsible thing to do”.

Thank-you for continuing to pass on my emails and supporting my campaign. If you have any questions for me concerning where I stand on certain issues please send me an email. What I’d like to do is answer a bunch of questions in one of my weekly emails to give everyone a better flavor for where I stand on the issues that I haven’t discussed with you already.

Please ask your friends and colleagues to sign up for my weekly emails through my website at www.frankforpresident.org . The more extensive my list becomes, the more I can get the media to pay attention to what I am trying to accomplish.

With your help, “Anything is Possible in America” and we will make a difference as we move towards the election.

Thanks

Frank McEnulty

frank@frankforpresident.org

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