Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Blanco: So what if Louisianans are stupid and impatient? The American taxpayer must underwrite our dim-witted way of life. SO, WHERE'S OUR MONEY!
Blanco Says FEMA Rules Delay Rebuilding

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- The wait for federal standards for home building is hampering Louisiana's hurricane reconstruction efforts, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is developing a new set of recommended standards for rebuilding in hurricane- and flood-prone areas. The guidelines will probably suggest that damaged homes be rebuilt at higher elevations and with further protections against flooding.

The ability of homeowners to keep or afford insurance may be linked to compliance, which also could drive up rebuilding costs. But the first new preliminary set of standards won't be out until March or April in New Orleans and several other areas, with the final guidelines not expected until August, Blanco's administration says.

The wait is stymieing people who want to rebuild in accord with the new standards so they can be eligible for assistance and get insurance [Ed. – insurance underwritten by the federal government, no commercial insurance company would broker it otherwise], Blanco said in an interview with The Associated Press…

Further, Donald Powell, President Bush's chief federal hurricane recovery adviser, has told Blanco the Bush administration would not support a home buyout bill that many in Louisiana see as crucial to post-hurricane rebuilding, the governor said. She worries that could hurt the bill's chances of passage in Congress.

The bill, sponsored by Louisiana Rep. Richard Baker, a Republican, would create a federal corporation that would borrow money to buy tracts of hurricane-damaged homes, repair them and resell them. Homeowners and lenders would get mortgage relief.
In other words: Yes, the homeowners knowingly bought/built in a flood/hurricane plain. Yes, they were grossly irresponsible in not buying homeowner’s insurance. Yes, a competent banker would never have offered these fools a mortgage. Yes, everyone involved was reckless but, hey, that’s why we have taxes.

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