Government is inefficient, but I repeat myself.
Sandy created massive problems, and New York found themselves utterly unprepared:
Sandy flooded both tubes of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, now called the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, which was one of the major and longest transportation disruptions of the storm. It also ravaged the Rockaways in Queens, particularly the waterfront community of Breezy Point, where roughly 100 homes burned to the ground in a massive wind-swept fire.
Among the other crises Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg faced on a daily basis during Sandy were the shortage of temporary housing, which continues, the long disruption of electricity and gasoline, generators in health care facilities swamped by floodwaters, restoring power from swamped electrical infrastructure and repairing commuter rail lines.
But it didn’t have to be this way:
More than three decades before Superstorm Sandy, a state law and a series of legislative reports began warning New York politicians to prepare for a storm of historic proportions, spelling out scenarios eerily similar to what actually happened: a towering storm surge; overwhelming flooding; swamped subway lines; widespread power outages. The Rockaway peninsula was deemed among the “most at risk.”
But most of the warnings and a requirement in a 1978 law to create a regularly updated plan for the restoration of “vital services” after a storm went mostly unheeded, either because of tight budgets or the lack of political will to prepare for a hypothetical storm that may never hit.
I’ll withhold my typical scorn of “the government should take care of us.” After all, this is a state law meant to address problems that the state would face. However, I will point out the main problem with government solutions:
They don’t work very well.
Had individual citizens taken efforts to protect themselves rather than holding out some fantastical hope of government assistance, the whole region would be better off.
One of the reasons I have so much scorn for democrats is that they embrace the big government statism power that I despise. Republicans at least SAY* they’re against it but then eventually break my heart by giving in to the temptation that is “power.”
To be sure, the devastation that is “Sandy” is, in some areas, complete. Any human with a drip of a spirit and decency would weep at the scene. But the reason we elect people is that we expect leadership.
And with one stroke of a pen, Christie failed BIG time:
Trenton, NJ – Taking action to save homeowners money following Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chris Christie signed Executive Order 107, prohibiting insurance companies from imposing costly hurricane deductibles on New Jersey homeowners. An important part of the recovery of New Jersey will be the influx of funds that occurs when insurers settle claims by New Jersey homeowners. This action will increase the total size of the payments made by the insurance industry, helping residents rebuild their homes and speed New Jersey’s path to recovery.
“We need to ensure that homeowners are not forced to pay higher out of pocket costs than required as they begin the rebuilding and repair process,” said Governor Christie. “While Hurricane Sandy was a devastating storm, it did not meet the regulatory threshold to trigger the application of hurricane deductibles by insurance companies in New Jersey. This executive order makes it clear that consumers do not have to pay these unusually large and often unexpected amounts.”
Now, did the storm meet the threshold to trigger deductible? Maybe, maybe not. But THAT isn’t up to the governor of a state. That’s to be determined by the normal and regular and well understood relationship between the private entities that entered into a legally binding contract.
Governor Christie would be wise to remember that if he legislates away the right to collect deductibles, if indeed they are entitles, he may very well find out that the polices issued to his residents are dramatically more expensive if offered at all.
* Except, of course, things like gay marriage and extreme abortion views. THOSE state powers they are just fine with.
Would you rather have all the gas you wanna buy at 15 bucks a gallon?
Craigslist users started offering gasoline for as much as $15 a gallon to motorists and homeowners not wishing to brave the lines.
Or would you rather have no gas at $3.90 a gallon?
To me, the choice is easy.
Obama is getting rave reviews over his handling of the disaster relief efforts through the area hammered by Sandy:
Autrey did that during Hurricane Katrina, which ripped through the Gulf Coast in 2005. FEMA’s reputation took a beating because of the government’s unacceptable response to that storm. Obama forcefully made it clear he doesn’t want Katrina’s performance repeated:
“I want you to cut through red tape,” he told federal agencies during his Red Cross visit. “I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There’s no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they need — where they’re needed as quickly as possible.
“So I want to repeat — my message to the federal government: No bureaucracy, no red tape. Get resources where they’re needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible, and for the duration.”
Now, FEMA is a government agency. And agency that democrats and Obama wanna keep at the federal agency. Any red tape that exists is because it is a federal bureaucracy. That red tape is there precisely because people like Obama put that tape there.
I’m encouraged that President Obama sees fit to remove layers of government regulation. But I find the praise being heaped upon him a bit ironic, yes?