From Katrina To Sandy, FEMA Rumors and Failures Keep Swirling

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    From Katrina To Sandy, FEMA Rumors and Failures Keep Swirling​




    by Michael Moynihan
    Nov 9, 2012


    Yes, the agency did try to claw back some of the money it gave out after Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, reports Michael Moynihan. ​




    It’s one of those stories that sends you straight to Snopes, that debunker of Internet myths and conspiracy theories. Could it possibly be true that FEMA, the most maligned federal agency after the IRS, asked victims of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Wilma to repay millions of dollars in relief funds supposedly transmitted in error? And did they really ask for compensation from Katrina victims more than five years after their checks were cashed?

    One can be forgiven a certain degree of skepticism: After the tragedy in New Orleans, a series of stubborn myths percolated online—mass sexual assaults in the Superdome, psychotic New Orleanians attempting to shoot down rescue helicopters.

    But it is indeed true that in 2010 FEMA audited hundreds of millions of dollars it distributed in relief money, sending out 83,000 notices to those who received—and almost surely spent—agency cash. According to the Washington Post, the government was looking to recoup $385 million of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma aid money.

    As money trickles to Hurricane Sandy victims, it’s reasonable to wonder if the feds will someday come skulking back, asking victims to cough up money mistakenly disbursed. According to a 2011 report from the Associated Press, FEMA claims that “procedural changes since 2005 mean future disaster victims aren’t likely to have to deal with large recalls of cash.” Not entirely reassuring.


    After two years of frightening storm victims who received federal relief, the agency—after being prodded by Senators Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Thad Cochran (R-MS), amongst others—announced that it would “forgive” overpayments made to hurricane survivors. But in typical FEMA style, those asked to return cash are required to file a “repayment waiver” within 60 days of receiving a mea culpa letter from the agency. But many of those initial letters seeking repayment were returned to Washington unopened, with thousands of victims having long since abandoned houses and communities devastated by Mother Nature. And also unknown is just how much FEMA has spent attempting to recover its money; the percentage of people willing and able to repay the government is doubtless vanishingly small.

    After its disastrous performance with Hurricane Katrina, and smaller failures since, the agency became a punch line, a perfect example of the Bush administration’s incompetence in the face of a major domestic crisis—underscored by the president’s now-infamous support of agency director Michael Brown: “Heck of a job Brownie.” All of this is undeniably true, and Katrina is remembered as one of that administration’s signature failures. But all the political point-scoring obscures deep institutional problems at the agency that exist independent of who occupies the White House.


    The feckless disaster relief agency had become a feckless debt collection agency.​


    [excerpt]

    Read more:
    From Katrina To Sandy, FEMA Rumors and Failures Keep Swirling - The Daily Beast
     
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  2. oreo
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    oreo Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Ya think--lol. This really couldn't have happened in a better location.
     
  3. OKTexas
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    OKTexas New Life Member of the NRA 12/15 Supporting Member

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    Because of the fine moral up-bringing of many Americans, fraud in a disaster situation is rampant. You can't take the time to investigate every claim prior to giving aid or no one would get it before the situation was over. There have been many prosecutions for fraud and I'm sure more may come.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    We mustn't make fun of government, they are doing their best. :rolleyes: If you feel their best isn't good enough, might look at some alternatives to those in power. You've four years to research.
     
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  5. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    Where are all those campers that were so many during Katrina. Surely these people are in need of the same, which includes winter clothing, and fuel to heat their homes. Wahtever is left of them.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Not to worry. They are blue voters and will be provided for. Right? When's the next election?
     
  7. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    Did you feel and say the same things about Bush during and after Katrina? I doubt it. But that was different. Right?
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Umm, yeah, I did.
     
  9. Jarlaxle
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    Jarlaxle Gold Member

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    Most were auctioned (many having never been used!) for pennies on the dollar...heck, I looked into buying one.
     

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