Schumer Protects Wealthy Hamptons From Flood Insurance Hike

[Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0]

Chuck Schumer talks a lot about how disastrous climate change is and how greedy rich people destroy the country. The Senate majority leader often proposes increasing taxes on the wealthy to pay for his pet projects. In reality, however, he only cares about protecting wealthy New Yorkers. His latest gambit to prevent reform in flood insurance reveals he’s much more concerned about the Hamptons than anywhere else. 

The New York Times revealed, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency was preparing to announce new rates for federal flood insurance on April 1, so that the prices people pay would more accurately reflect the risks they face. The change would very likely help reduce Americans’ vulnerability to floods and hurricanes by discouraging construction in high-risk areas. But it would also increase insurance costs for some households, making it a tough sell politically.

Last week, the office of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, pushed back on the changes, according to several people familiar with the discussion. That pushback has caused FEMA to pause the rollout of the new rates.

Senator Schumer objected to the flood-insurance overhaul when it was first announced in 2019, citing its potential to raise costs for people on Long Island. The new system would mean steeper rates for some high-value homes, and the southern shore of Long Island includes the Hamptons, which have some of the most expensive real estate in the country.”

When Schumer became Senate Majority Leader after the 2020 election, he vowed to take on climate change, saying, “This is the first time Democrats have decided to go on offense on climate change.” What he didn’t say is that he wants the middle class to pay for it rather than the extremely wealthy in New York City. 

This is not the first time the New York senator has said one thing and done the other. When President Trump signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, Schumer claimed, “The top 1 percent got a tax break, now they’re doing great. I don’t begrudge ’em. But they don’t need a tax break.” 

A few years later, once Trump was out of office, he told the truth: the tax breaks included increased taxes on the wealthy, but he wanted them gone. In 2021, Schumer pulled “every string he can right now to ensure that a tax cut for rich liberals makes it into President Biden’s infrastructure legislation.”  

It’s good to remember that when Democrats say they want to tax the rich, they never mean themselves or their neighbors. They mean the upper-middle class who work for a living. That’s why they proposed a middle-class tax hike to pay for a giveaway to the rich:

“According to Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, households in the top 0.1 percent of earners would receive an average benefit of about $150,000, while those in the middle would get closer to $15. Repealing the caps would cost about $350 billion by 2026, and an estimated 85 percent of that revenue would end up in the pockets of the richest 5 percent of Americans.”

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