. . . so that New Yorkers and New Jersey-ites can live on the beach. That's the "moral hazard" effect of federal flood insurance. If all those people whose homes on the beach in NY and NJ have been flooded out had to pay free-market rates for flood insurance instead of incredibly cheap, federally-subsidized flood insurance, very, very few of them would build expensive homes in the paths of hurricanes. Everyone else's insurance rates go up in order to subsidize the beneficiaries of federal flood insurance. Having caused all that housing devastation, the government (i.e., Obama) now plays Santa Claus with the president appearing in New Jersey today to promise fat checks all around a week before the election. Perfect.