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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)

FortySixand2

Feb-23-14 4:43 AM

So it's not ok for anyone to get subsidized groceries or health care, but A-Ok to get subsidized flood insurance. Yeah, you should fit right in with the teabaggers.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 5:28 AM

Linda Schreiber-"FEMA has collected 49 billion dollars in premiums since 1978, they have paid out, including all disasters, 43 billion dollars as of 2012. Where did the excess of 6 billion dollars go?"

I'd like to see that in black and white somewhere. The only thing that shows up in a google search is this LTE.

Linda Schreiber-"So all of you people that think that thousands of homes should be torn down because their furnaces might get damaged or their carpeting might get wet every 5-10-50 years"

No, not the 50 year people. How about the people whose homes are threatened or flooded every couple of years, or every time there is a flood. That'd be a start.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 5:34 AM

Linda Schreiber-"...lets find a solution so we can all live where we are happy and can afford. Our forefathers came to this country to seek liberty and freedom."

Yes, our forefathers came here to seek liberty and freedom. They didn't expect, nor did they want, the Government to subsidize the way they lived. You are free to live where you want. In fact, you were free to choose to live in a flood zone. You perceived it to be 'affordable' to live there. The reason you perceived it to be affordable is because your flood insurance has always been subsidized. How about you allow the rest of us to have liberty and freedom by not paying to subsidize your cheap living?

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mikekerstetter

Feb-23-14 5:36 AM

Let me save Jeff the trouble:

"If you are concerned about the huge flood insurance premium increases, Join us online at Stopfemanow dot com. Stop FEMA Now is a national group of primary and secondary homeowners fighting for affordable flood insurance, for all and to delay and repeal the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. We have chapters in every state but need you to help us. Get facts, not rumors, come join Stopfemanow dot com."

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susquehannaretriever

Feb-23-14 5:53 AM

Thanks Mike, appreciate your "thoughtfullness" for a change!

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eriklatranyi

Feb-23-14 6:10 AM

This FEMA debacle should serve as a warning to all citizens of the dangers of dependency on a centralized, faceless government.

All these home owners put their faith in gov't and that same gov't betrayed them.

If you think this will not happen with universal health care or with other forms of assistance, you are fooling yourself.

Stand against the dangers of a large central gov't....join the Tea Party!

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Capricorn1

Feb-23-14 7:00 AM

Mike, over 5 million property owners nationwide hold flood insurance, but only 20 percent are subsidized. In the state of FL alone, policyholders paid $16.1 billion in premiums but collected only $4.5 billion in claims reimbursements. This is true on many states. Having the attitude that you are subsidizing everyone that is required to carry flood insurance is totally false and to think that FEMA has not squandered bullions of dollars in funds, is having your head in the sand. This program, like many government program has been mismanaged from day one. Medicare/Medicaid alone loses 100 billion annually to waste, fraud and abuse and you find it hard to believe that it's not rampant in FEMA? As a result, this is going to affect everyone nationwide, including those that call people stupid for living in so called "flood plains".

See: Rick Scott says Floridians pay far more into flood insurance than they get back in claims -PolitiFact

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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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