With Washington, D.C. a winter disaster-area and pundits thoroughly exasperated with the stubborn snowpocalypse, most East Coast residents are ready for a return to more mild temperatures. Though many D.C. pundits complain about the high cost of snow clearance, virtually no one thinks that cutting off funding for snowplows is a good idea.
Matt Mayer at the conservative Heritage Foundation begs to differ. Mayer argues that with most states facing budget deficits, state governments are likely hoping for snow-removal money if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declares the storm an emergency. Since FEMA has a history of issuing warnings for what Mayer calls "routine events," he worries the federal deficit will surge if FEMA has to foot states' snow-clearing bills:
Given the federal budget deficits, FEMA can’t afford to cover 75% of the costs of state snow removal either. It is high time for this federalization of routine events to come to a halt and for states to plan and budget for what are known events every year.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.