Nebraskans should not feel guilty about seeking federal help

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

By and large, Nebraskans are an independent lot, and don’t like asking for help.

Sen. Ben Sasse, visiting flooded areas with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday, noted that Nebraskans who had lost everything in the flood were standing in line at shelters, but it was to volunteer to help their neighbors, not help for themselves.

Sasse, who has faced criticism for voting against extending the federal flood insurance program that underwrites all flood insurance, will have a first-hand perspective as a reformed program comes up for debate.

Gov. Pete Ricketts has asked for an expedited disaster declaration to speed federal funding, but as Ricketts noted, Nebraska has never experienced a disaster of this scale. A loss of $1 billion to the already struggling agriculture industry is probably conservative, and roads and bridges will stretch governmental budgets at all levels for years to come.

Like the flood refugees in line at emergency shelters, Nebraskans don’t like to ask for help, but they shouldn’t feel guilty.

Personal finance website WalletHub surveyed (http://bit.ly/2USK1Vy) all the states and found Nebraska is the ninth-least dependent on federal support.

Forty-five other states get more federal tax money back from the government than we do, we’re 36th in federal funding as a share of state revenue, and 26th in share of federal jobs.

Like parents who care for their young children and are then cared for in their old age, Nebraska has done its part for the nation and deserves help in this time of need.

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