Eating your cake and having it

Oh, huh. Guess who pays for it if Mar-a-Lago gets smacked by a hurricane.

The taxpayers.

In the first nine months of his term, America has gotten depressingly used to Donald Trump using his presidency to suck up money for himself. It’s not just the constant Mar-a-Lago trips. Foreign dignitaries are encouraged to stay at the president’s D.C. hotel. Hurricane Harvey photo ops are a chance to plug his latest shit hat. The Secret Service has spent so much money on Trump Tower in New York that the agency can’t even afford to stay there anymore.

But we didn’t know we were insuring his expensive resort.

[A]s the Huffington Post reports, any flood damage Mar-a-Lago sees will likely be paid for by the American people–and for once the payout has nothing to do with Trump being president.

That’s thanks to something called the National Flood Insurance Policy, a Nixon-era FEMA program that provides federally-backed insurance coverage to areas with high flood risk that private insurers won’t touch. That sounds magnanimous at first, but in practice it means that the people who mainly benefit are the wealthy owners of beachfront property.

It doesn’t sound magnanimous even at first if you know anything about it. I grew up in New Jersey and I remember gazing in fascinated shock at houses perched on sand dunes yards from the ocean that had been torn in half by recent hurricanes. Did people stop building houses there? No they did not. Federally insuring them was always a stupid idea.

Trump previously pocketed $17 million in insurance money after Hurricane Wilma damaged some Mar-a-Lago roof tiles, though HuffPo reports it’s not “publicly available” whether that was through NFIP or not. But they did confirm that the gold-leafed monument to shamelessness is currently covered, meaning Trump is legally monetizing his own climate change denial.

No doubt he’ll pocket more millions for sweeping up after this one.

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