I have been reading with great interest the newspaper articles, opinion pieces and letters to the editor concerning the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012. From the government's standpoint, it is understandable why they want to raise revenue to fund FEMA and make up for the debt they have of twenty five billion dollars. With what seems like ever increasing natural disasters occurring across the country, it is necessary for the money to be there to help those who are in need.
The question becomes, where does the money come from? The Biggert-Waters Act puts the burden solely on the shoulders of people who live near a body of water, whether that be an ocean, river or stream, using new floodplain maps that are at best questionable in their accuracy. We've all read of the potential pitfall of that plan homeowners who paying $1,000 a year in premiums having them increased to $4,000, $6,000 or $8,000 and higher.
What other groups of people has FEMA targeted? Do the residents and businesses of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa have to pay a "tornado insurance" to FEMA or else have their mortgages foreclosed?
FEMA needs to be funded. In this country we have always helped our neighbors in need, whether they are across the street or across the country. We do that through our tax dollars paying the costs of FEMA and other help agencies. But my neighbor is eighty two years old and has lived on Pine Creek almost all of his life. He's never once had his home flooded, never had to ask FEMA for help, but he could never sell his house because the mandated FEMA flood insurance will make a buyer's mortgage too expensive.
The solution? Raise the federal earned-income tax rate by one-tenth of one percent nationwide on individuals and businesses. That is an increase so small that we would never notice it, yet collectively it would pay FEMA's debt in three years and would provide full funding for them. Have it written into the law that funding goes to FEMA only and that when FEMA is fully funded, the tax is temporarily rescinded, until it is needed again.
This solution is simple, cost-effective, and does not destroy the lives of people and communities. And, it can be done now. What are we waiting for?
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom