John Stossel: Just Because I Take FEMA Money Is No Reason Not To Abolish It

Could there be anything more hypocritical than libertarian John Stossel going on Fox and vehemently attacking FEMA at the same time that he admits having taken money from them three times after his pricey beach house was damaged in a storm? But then again, hypocrisy is a specialty on Fox News.

Stossel explained that he justified building his beachfront house by saying he couldn’t lose “’cause there’s this thing called federal flood insurance and the premiums are cheap.” Without sounding a bit remorseful, he said, “I’m ashamed, I’m guilty… The basement was gone (in a previous storm). You paid for a new basement, I never invited you there but you paid for it anyway. It went out again, you paid again. The whole house went, you covered the house. This is a program that encourages relatively affluent people to build in danger… Stop rewarding people for taking foolish risks.”

I couldn’t help but notice that he didn’t mention a thing about his house being damaged by Sandy. So it seems that Stossel’s newly-found dislike of FEMA likely came at a time when only other people want to utilize it.

Ailes-mouthpiece Peter Johnson, Jr. argued strenuously on behalf of FEMA. But with a lower-third banner such as “WELFARE FOR REPAIRS” and other Fox segments casting doubt on it, you have to wonder if Ailes is trying to have it both ways: applauding the program in the middle of a disaster and setting the stage for Romney or Republicans to defund what has long been a favorite Fox target.

“They paid their premiums… If you’re so rich, why don’t you give the money back?” Johnson asked. “…You’re condemning people that are taking this that have paid their premium that are not rich folks.”

Stossel acknowledged that he “probably” should give the FEMA money back and “probably” shouldn’t take Medicare but insisted that Johnson was “missing the point.” He asked, “Why is the federal government selling it? I blame the politicians. We don’t have special car insurance for Lindsay Lohan.”

Actually, John, we do. And the day you cancel your FEMA policy and refund the money you took from the government the last three times your house was damaged is the day you might have some credibility arguing that the agency should be abolished.


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