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When kings make risky bets it is the serfs who pay. According to NBC News the plutocrats have successfully gotten the federal government to make taxpayers liable for the consequences of increasingly likely floods on expensive waterfront homes. The 99% can now not only look in wonder at the ornate plush homes on the beaches, they can underwrite them.

Will the rich even say thank you?

As homeowners around the nation protest skyrocketing premiums for federal flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has quietly moved the lines on its flood maps to benefit hundreds of oceanfront condo buildings and million-dollar homes, according to an analysis of federal records by NBC News.

The changes shift the financial burden for the next destructive hurricane, tsunami or tropical storm onto the neighbors of these wealthy beach-dwellers — and ultimately onto all American taxpayers.

Yes friends, you will be paying for the losses the rich take on their beach houses. Yes friends, the same people who have gotten rich from causing climate change will have you pick up the tab when the consequences of what they’ve done damage their property.

Is this the 1%’s strategy to deal with climate change? Have the 99% pick up the tab.

In more than 500 instances from the Gulf of Alaska to Bar Harbor, Maine, FEMA has remapped waterfront properties from the highest-risk flood zone, saving the owners as much as 97 percent on the premiums they pay into the financially strained National Flood Insurance Program.

NBC News also found that FEMA has redrawn maps even for properties that have repeatedly filed claims for flood losses from previous storms. At least some of the properties are on the secret “repetitive loss list” that FEMA sends to communities to alert them to problem properties. FEMA says that it does not factor in previous losses into its decisions on applications to redraw the flood zones.

What are the odds places that repeatedly flood will flood again?

The cynicism of having the government pick up the tab for rich waterfront homes is something to behold. If anyone could pay the high premiums it is the rich – if they want the home they pay the price. If flooding is getting so bad due to rising sea levels from climate change perhaps instead of redrawing flood lines to put the insurance burden on the public the federal government should be looking for ways to stop climate change.

We are getting the first look at how the rich plan on dealing with climate change – externalizing its costs onto everyone else.

Photo from Hannes Grobe under Creative Commons license.