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FEMA extortion

February 23, 2014

I am absolutely amazed at the people that think the recent Biggert-Waters Act debacle is simply remedied by thousands of people simply moving away from any area that "may" flood....

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(32)

pinecr

Feb-27-14 9:30 AM

Hey Mike, I am all for not carrying flood insurance and if we have a flood, I am on my own...that would be perfect, becuase my homne will never flood. If I am given that option, I will take it.

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pinecr

Feb-27-14 9:29 AM

If you hold flood insurance and live in PA, your policy is not subsidize by the government...never has been!

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pinecr

Feb-27-14 9:25 AM

Llnda great letter, and to the others who commented on this letter let's just say they have no idea what they are talking about. We are not asking for subsidized flood insurance, we have paid flood insurance for 30 plus years and have never used it....so just tell me why now I have to pay 20 times more than what I paid last year just because the people in the beach areas have been allowed to rebuild their mansions 3 or more times and get bailed out by FEMA without having paid into FEMA. Or what about the people of beech creek that have never paid flood insurance but yet this last storm they wanted FEMA to bail them out. Fair is fair, but asking us to pay more than our fair share is ridiculous. My house has never flooded nor will it ever flood but because I am in a flood plain I have been paying over $1,000 a year for flood insurance. Now I am being sked to pay $10,000 a year and for WHAT? To bail out FEMA..I don't think so.

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Nobody

Feb-25-14 7:39 AM

I agree with you 802. I thought that was a very Compelling letter, and I'm mostly been in favor of the FEMA increase I'm not at all sure now.

Thank you Linda for a fair and well thought out argument. And you know what, Linda Schreiber, I do believe I have changed my mind and agree with you.

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802ParkAve1974everythingtonothingtoeverything

Feb-25-14 7:31 AM

Maybe it's time that somebody gave Mrs. Schreiber credit for writing a factual, passionate, and compelling letter on a subject that should be important to all of us: Our Government suddenly and without warning raising our Insurance rates by many multiples. Imagine if they deductions raised our FICA deductions by 1000%. She is so right, if the government has the temerity to do it to homeowners whose only crime is living in a "maybe: flood zone, what will they do when they discover social security is out of money.

The FEMA flood premium increase is unconscionable, unfair, and a potential disaster to the homeowners , the banks, and what's left of the economy. Rather than argue with Mrs. Schreiber (because she and her family are directly effected by this), but give her credit for writing such an eloquent letter on why it's wrong. Excellent job Linda, and I agree with you on all counts.

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Capricorn1

Feb-23-14 5:23 PM

I said no such thing. What I am saying is that if the Biggart-Waters act is repealed and people aren't paying in enough to pay for the program, we will all be subsidizing your insurance. -Mike

You won't be subsidizing my insurance because I don't carry flood insurance. As I told you before, I live in the home I was born and raised in that has been in our family over 100 years and has NEVER had any incident of flooding, But now somehow this property is considered high risk even though every property surrounding me is low risk. I live north of the city above Grampian, no where near any water and now I'll probably have to fork over money to have this corrected because if I ever put it on the market, it will be worthless with it's current rating. And they have been finding mapping errors such as mine all over the country.

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Tgrammiex4

Feb-23-14 2:46 PM

I would like to know the breakdown on what FEMA pays out to those who have no flood ins. in comparison to those who do have ins.How many are given FEMA funds that don't even own property?

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 1:19 PM

nobud74-"This is what happens when you rely on the govt. You are their slave. They can and will do anything to you they want and you are stuck. I feel very bad for these people and the likely financial crisis it will create across the nation is going to affect every single one of us. Nobody will be exempt."

Let's not forget the reason the Government got involved..... because private insurance wouldn't provide insurance because there was too much risk involved and they knew the people wouldn't pay the price that they needed to charge to make sure they remained solvent.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 1:15 PM

Capricorn1-"You keep insisting that you as a taxpayer subsidize everyone that lives in flood plains.."

I said no such thing. What I am saying is that if the Biggart-Waters act is repealed and people aren't paying in enough to pay for the program, we will all be subsidizing your insurance.

Further, FEMA has been borrowing from the US treasury to pay it's NFIP debts, and, as of 2011 (the last data I can find at the moment) is $17.75 BILLION in debt. That money is coming from the US Treasury, our tax money.

I am all for risk assessment, but the NFIP being $17.75 BILLION in debt tells me that they aren't charging enough to recoup their losses, and that is as big a part of risk assessment as where you live.

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Alsever

Feb-23-14 1:13 PM

Want an example of FEMA misuse of money--Go up to Ralston and look at the $8 million dollar bridge paid for with FEMA money to replace the local bridge destroyed in the first "96 flood. And yeah that was the first '96 flood--I worked with FEMA doing Damage Survey Reports on both '96 floods--do you remember both?

Got very tired going out to bail out same people for the fifth or sixth time--but you can NOT force them to move; you can only dump money on them when they flood.

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nobud74

Feb-23-14 12:38 PM

This is what happens when you rely on the govt. You are their slave. They can and will do anything to you they want and you are stuck. I feel very bad for these people and the likely financial crisis it will create across the nation is going to affect every single one of us. Nobody will be exempt.

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Scott36

Feb-23-14 11:55 AM

But the fact remains that only 20% of the properties are subsidized, yet 100% of premiums are scheduled to go through the roof. So who is really paying for these subsidies and FEMA waste?-Capricorn1

Better question: Who is taking advantage of(capitalizing on) a situation???-Scott

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Capricorn1

Feb-23-14 11:26 AM

Mike, the web page I cited from Cato actually referenced independent and government audits of FEMA that uncovered massive waste. I did not reference any opinion of the Cato Institute. You stated you never seen any proof of massive waste in FEMA and I simply directed you to the results of such audits. You keep insisting that you as a taxpayer subsidize everyone that lives in flood plains and as I referenced in PolitiFact, that just isn't true. Do I feel that those that live in HIGH PRONE areas, that continuously sustain damage, should pay more, of course. But that isn't what this Act does. No risk analysis was done on individual properties, they are relying on flood plain maps that have been proven to be riddled with errors, and they are raising rates extremely high on 80% of those that were never receiving subsidies in order to recoup the money that this failed agency squandered. To continue to have the opinion that 5 million homeowners should relocate is nonsense.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 10:03 AM

Tgrammiex4-"Well Mike, IF our ins. was subsidized we were never informed.We are not the evil people you make us out to be"

I never said anyone was evil. Just because I believe that flood insurance should be based on risk just like any other insurance and that premiums should cover all costs to run the program doesn't mean I think that the people who need flood insurance are evil.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 9:57 AM

Capricorn1-"This $3 billion a year agency should be abolished. -Mike

I couldn't agree more!"

You do realize that excerpt was from CATO, right? That is what CATO has to say about FEMA.

Notice they also say -"In a well-functioning private marketplace, individuals who chose to build houses in flood plains or hurricane zones would bear the cost of the increased risk through higher insurance premiums."

They agree with me, that if you live in a place at risk for floods, hurricanes, etc., you should be responsible for paying your own costs. And since no insurance companies will undertake giving out policies to cover it, you would be responsible to pay for damage out of pocket.

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Tgrammiex4

Feb-23-14 8:15 AM

Well Mike, IF our ins. was subsidized we were never informed.We are not the evil people you make us out to be that are taking advantage of you and your tax dollars. We were aware that our house was in a 100 yr. flood plain when we bought it. We did the responsible thing and purchased flood ins. which was NOT required by our mortgage co. at the time.We understood there was some risk, but we bought a home we could afford and thought we did the right thing by insuring it.We have gotten water twice, and I can tell you that the Flood Ins. covered practically nothing and took months to process the claims.

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Capricorn1

Feb-23-14 8:02 AM

"A government auditor’s report found that at least $1 billion out of $6 billion in one FEMA aid program for Hurricane Katrina was paid out fraudulently, including money spent on a Girls Gone Wild video.

Last year, an independent audit of FEMA’s disaster contract management conducted for the inspector general’s office spent forty pages detailing mismanagement and wasted taxpayer money. For example, three of the contracts had cost overruns of 1000 percent or more for activities such as housing inspections.

A new audit from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general finds that FEMA has yet to even approve a recoupment process for a whopping $643 million in improper disaster assistance payments made to 160,000 applicants following hurricanes Katrina and Rita."

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eriklatranyi

Feb-23-14 8:02 AM

All of you forget how the process works.

Congress authorized the spending. Look at Katrina and Sandy, where billions were allocated,to pet projects and non-flood related projects.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 8:01 AM

Tgrammiex4-"My question is, if the gov't has subsidized all these policies, why were policy holders never told this? We have had flood ins. for 18 yrs. and this was never stated in our policy nor disclosed by our agent."

Grammie, according to what I've read this morning (trying to verify numbers provided by the letter writer and looking into waste) the program was started with the intent to subsidize many of the policy holders subject to flooding.

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Capricorn1

Feb-23-14 7:59 AM

This $3 billion a year agency should be abolished. -Mike

I couldn't agree more! But the fact remains that only 20% of the properties are subsidized, yet 100% of premiums are scheduled to go through the roof. So who is really paying for these subsidies and FEMA waste? Mismanagement of FEMA has created this mess, NOT 80% of those that carry flood insurance who aren't subsidized.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 7:53 AM

First thing I find from CATO on FEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency Any time there is a natural disaster, FEMA is trotted out as an example of how well government programs work. In reality, by using taxpayer dollars to provide disaster relief and subsidized insurance, FEMA itself encourages Americans to build in disaster-prone areas and makes the rest of us pick up the tab for those risky decisions. In a well-functioning private marketplace, individuals who chose to build houses in flood plains or hurricane zones would bear the cost of the increased risk through higher insurance premiums. FEMA’s activities undermine that process. Americans should not be forced to pay the cost of rebuilding oceanfront summer homes. This $3 billion a year agency should be abolished.

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Tgrammiex4

Feb-23-14 7:53 AM

My question is, if the gov't has subsidized all these policies, why were policy holders never told this? We have had flood ins. for 18 yrs. and this was never stated in our policy nor disclosed by our agent.

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Capricorn1

Feb-23-14 7:40 AM

I keep hearing about mismanagement of FEMA/NFIP funds, but I've not seen any proof of it happening. Where is the proof? -Mike

See: Federal Emergency Mismanagement Agency- Cato Institute

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 7:27 AM

Add the last statement to this one-"The Tampa Bay Times explained: "Like any other insurance, flood premiums don't reflect real-life events; they reflect risk. With its 1,200 miles of coastline, Florida is still considered more at risk than any other state. Just one major, slow moving hurricane that hits a populated part of Florida's coast could dramatically increase the state's flood claims. And private insurers have been unwilling to provide flood coverage.""

There is a REASON that private insurers are unwilling to sell flood insurance; the risk is too great because of the potential for damage. That's the way insurance works.

I keep hearing about mismanagement of FEMA/NFIP funds, but I've not seen any proof of it happening. Where is the proof?

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 7:15 AM

From the article-"Scott said "Over the past 35 years, Florida families have paid into the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) over $16 billion, four times more than the amount they have received in claim reimbursements." A study from the Wharton Center concluded that Florida’s "policyholders paid $16.1 billion in premiums but collected only $4.5 billion in claims reimbursements: that is, premiums paid over time were about 3.6 times the insurance reimbursements." That statistic from the study covered 1978-2008, but it’s likely the trend has continued through 2012." "

So, for the last 6 years no flooding, hurricanes or tropical storms have been included.

Also from the article-"The only key point that Scott omits is that this imbalance is common: Lots of states pay more in premiums than they receive in claims. A major storm could change that dynamic, and the purpose of insurance is to protect against such an event."

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