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

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.

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  1. Laura March 15, 2006
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  3. DoubleU March 15, 2006
  4. cubanbob March 16, 2006
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  6. JEFF March 16, 2006