$620,000 to a Maine Broccoli Farm?

Why is it news when our government mismanages our money?

Roughly $1 of every $5 in loans the Small Business Administration directly made to companies hurt by the Sept. 11 attacks has fallen into default, leaving the government with an uphill effort to recover millions of dollars in taxpayer money.

The agency is just now learning about the magnitude of businesses that went under or stopped making payments. Its Sept. 11 direct disaster loan program often gave recipients two years before their first payments were due, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

$245 million is in default. Now you’d think the business that received these loans were based in New York City right? Wrong.

Taxpayers are picking up the tab for a $992,000 loan made to an Atlanta hotel; $986,000 to a Florida boat dealer; $620,000 to a Maine broccoli farm; and $38,900 to a Lubbock, Texas, computer store.

$620 grand for a broccoli farm – I guess Americans just couldn’t eat the vegetable after the events of 9/11. Makes perfect sense to me. Heh.

The SBA loan programs received increased scrutiny from Congress and elsewhere after an AP story in September disclosed that some companies with Sept. 11 relief loans from banks under the STAR program weren’t harmed by the attacks and didn’t even know their money was being drawn from the program.

Oh, you mean like the loan made to the Utah dog boutique, and the perfume bar in the Virgin Islands? Puhleeze.

The SBA says that while some loans might have been made in haste, the agency is vigorously prosecuting people who obtained tax dollars or loan guarantees under false pretenses.

When they can find them, of course.

This is just another example of a broken government agency. Who is going to clean this one up? Who is going to be fired over this waste? Who is going to pay?

Me and you, that’s who.

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