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Bush Rejecting Hurricane Loans at Record Rate, Or Maybe Not

Everyday or so the media has to invent a new reason to be outraged by the Bush administration. Usually they are accusations pushed to the media by some Democrat and the media reports them as gospel. Repeatedly, they don't stand up to any scrutiny but that does not matter. The only thing that matters to said Dems is that they got another day of Bush bashing in the media.

Here's today's salvo.

Report: Bush rejected storm loans more than other presidents

By FRANK BASS
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House has rejected hurricane disaster-recovery loans at a higher rate than any other administration in the last 15 years, according to a congressional study by Democrats.

The report, expected to be released Wednesday, said business and home loan approval rates averaged about 60 percent after Hurricane Andrew devastated much of south Florida in 1992. The trend continued through the rest of President George H.W. Bush's administration and into the Clinton administration, according to Democratic members of the House Small Business Committee.

After Hurricane Wilma surged ashore in south Florida last year, the approval rate for low-interest, taxpayer-guaranteed loans by the Small Business Administration had dropped to barely 15 percent. Overall, Democrats said, approval rates for home and business disaster loans since 2004 have averaged about 35 percent.

"This was a monumental disaster, and it requires a monumental response," said New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez, the panel's top Democrat. "That hasn't happened. People are suffering, and it's the SBA's role to provide assistance."

The SBA has tripled its staff over the past year to deal with the series of major Gulf Coast hurricanes. Despite the increase - from 1,500 employees to 4,500 - the report found the agency's approval rate has continued to drop with each disaster.

SBA officials, who were expected to defend their efforts before the House panel Wednesday, offered several explanations for the sharp drop-off in loan approval rates, including changes to the loan application process.

During previous disasters, officials have said they tallied only applications that stood a chance of approval. A new computerized system, however, counts all applications, whether or not the loan might be approved.

SBA officials give other reasons but this first one says it all for me. As a Katrina survivor (hate that word) I can shed some light on this. FEMA and the SMA both give out loans/grants to various small business. (and I think even regular citizens) However, recently (and I suspect when this new computer system went on line) they changed the application process.

We heard REPEATEDLY on the local news that if you wanted a GRANT you had to fill out a SBA loan application. IF YOU KNEW YOU WOULD BE REJECTED FOR A LOAN and only wanted a grant, the method of applying for the grant was to fill out loan paperwork.

In fact, if memory serves (and I'm near positive it does) if you wanted any further assistance from FEMA (a trailer or rental reimbursement) you filled out the SBA paperwork. I know "everyone" was filing it out. (Everyone except me so I don't know what all the loan applications were gateways for.)

People from FEMA came on the radio and said "Even if you don't know that need any assistance from FEMA at this time, fill out the SBA paperwork before the deadline so we have the application on file."

When you change it from a true loan application to a general purpose aid application of course the approvals go down. This is bolstered by the bottom of the story:

In Louisiana, for example, nearly 3 in 5 applicants couldn't meet credit standards, the SBA said. Another 1 in 4 said they couldn't repay the loans, and 1 in 10 didn't make enough money.

So 25% of the people were approved but didn't want the loan? Then why did they apply? That should ring a few bells with people. And why did 60% of the people applying not make the credit grade? Because -again- they were told that if they did not get a loan they might qualify for a grant. DUH! Poor people applied.

So the cycle continues....

Dems make a baseless charge, the media repeates it, it is easily debunked but that never gets any media play, then the media does a poll where some increased number of people are outraged over the issue, proving not that Bush is a bad person but that people believe the media spin.

Lather, rinse, repeat.


Comments (6)

I visited a business disast... (Below threshold)

I visited a business disaster recovery center right after the hurricane. SBA has been phoning me every two weeks and leaving a message reminding me to apply because I never turned in the paperwork. I assume that like every other bureaucracy, they are doing everything they can to get as many names in the database as possible in order to secure increased administrative funding.

This is why the bad people ... (Below threshold)
Omni:

This is why the bad people of the world get away with so much, and exert so much influence on people who should know better; it only takes a moment to spew out a plausible lie (and deliberately twisting a story or leaving out important points to alter the conclusions people will draw counts as lying in my book), but it takes some time and effort to convincingly refute a lie... and few folks can bother trying to refute, and even fewer care to listen to the refutation, making it easy for liars to sway public opinion.

(sigh)

EVERYTHING is Bush's fault.... (Below threshold)
DoubleU:

EVERYTHING is Bush's fault. Bush has to be the hardest working President to be doing all this stuff personally.

Here in Florida after Andre... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Here in Florida after Andrew the fraud rate was astronomical. No doubt it's the same in Louisiana.
People with lousy credit aren't likely to repay these loans. Are we demanding that the government should be less responsible with the taxpayer's dollars than bank's with depositor's dollars?

This does not let the SBA o... (Below threshold)
doctorj:

This does not let the SBA off the hook though. They have been so nonresponsive to local businesses that the small business owners are now turning to an organization formed by New Yorkers after 9-11 -Second Wind. http://www.secondwindnetwork.com/
Others could not wait for the SBA loans and went the bank route (Hubig's Pies is an example.) All of this to me is MORE examples of how our current government is not doing the job we tax payers send them the big bucks to do.
In a side note, one night about a month after the hurricane I couldn't sleep because I was going to visit my mother's house in Pass Christian, MS and I wasn't sure I could emotionally handle it. C-Span had an SBA hearing with four business owners from the Gulf Coast area (New Orleans, Biloxi, Covington). They treated these owners with cruelty. The cold face of government at its best. The head of the SBA was a self important peacock of a man. (In other words a pr*ck.) As I have said many times, I will NEVER feel the same way about this country or its governmemt.

You think the last 5 years ... (Below threshold)
JEFF:

You think the last 5 years of Bush destroying the universe were bad, just wait for the next 2 when he gets ahold of "hHHHUUUU" Irans nuclear weapons !! than he,ll really feel powerful and destroy everyone in his sight..




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