Thursday, January 15, 2009

In The News

Let's see, Irsael bombed the crap out of the terrorist aiding UN building, oops!

Obama says "YES" to repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

Congress is lining up for $825 billion more.

Hillary confirmation goes ahead for Sec. State.

If these are not clear signs of the end of the world, I would eat my hat. If things could get worse the President elect and his cronies in Congress will find a way to make the rest of us utterly miserable. Instead of truly figuring out what happened to the money already spent on saving the economy and verifying that it did any good, Congress just wants more money to throw down the rabbit hole to see if things turn around. If I remember correctly, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. Where are our voices of sanity? Where are those conservative "Blue Dog Democrats"? God knows that Pelosi, Reid and Obama have zero clue about what to do and Franks and Dodd should already be behind bars for their actions leading up to the current situation.

I guess Congress will not get the picture of America's disgust with Congress and its handling of the economy, until we actually march on the Capitol with torches and pitchforks. Promises don't keep people in houses and paying off big banks apparently doesn't either because a couple of them are coming back to the trough saying they didn't get enough the first time. This cycle will continue as long as the housing market is in free fall. Once the housing market stabilizes the level of bad debt can be truly assessed and foreclosures will return to reasonable levels, but in the mean time continuing to let foreclosures occur drives the market down with no end in sight.

Ben Stein made a reasonable argument as to why the bailout of the auto industry makes sense and why the same would hold true for home foreclosures. If you have a way even if it is costly and unpopular to prevent the hole from getting deeper then we should do what it takes. If we don't want more people out of work then we provide the bailout to the automotive industry and if we want the economy and the housing market to stabilize then we prevent foreclosures. Does this fly in the face of free markets and self reliance, yes; but does it prevent things from continuing to free fall hurting everything and everyone, again yes.

I don't agree in rewarding greed and mismanagement, but we need to establish a bottom which to start recovering from. We can put all kinds of new checks and balances in place to prevent such a meltdown again and we can force payback by those asking for a handout, but that can never happen if we continue to free fall from one record low to the next. I don't agree that we should just keep letting Congress have a blank check to give to their lobbyist buddies no strings attached either. I think we should have well reasoned legislation that stops foreclosures and job losses. We need the money to cover the stupid people that bought way more house then they could afford. We should require them to keep the house and pay as much as they can via a restructured mortgage, which could be adjusted as the market recovers or they can afford to pay more. Their wages could be garnished to pay their mortgage and they would be placed in a special tax status which ensures that the American public doesn't pay any longer than necessary for their stupidity.

This idea would prevent people from walking away from their homes and keep the expensive roof over their heads. Would this house be a mill stone around their necks? Yes! They bought a house they couldn't afford and the rest of us are paying for it, so it should be painful for them. I am not sure how hard this would be, but it is the same idea as federal student loans. You pay what you can when you can and they stick with you until they are paid off. You can do things like teach or join the military to offset a portion of these loans, so that maybe an idea here as well. I am open to any suggestions about how to solve the housing market issue. I hate the idea of a free lunch, but unless we do something more targeted we are wasting our tax dollars feeding the greedy bankers.

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