The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Even Without Climate Change, Flood Insurance Is Broken

    If you insure it, they will build. Chronic flooding, climate change and tightening budgets raise tough questions about who deserves disaster relief. Federal flood insurance has long bailed out homeowners who cling to properties in chronic flood zones. Since 1978, an estimated 30,000 “severe repetitive loss” properties have cost taxpayers $5.5 billion, prompting a short-lived 2012 reform that’s since been repealed. Now the National Flood Insurance Program is $25 billion in debt, and the government’s buying up risky properties — but not as fast as sea levels are rising.

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