New Legislation to Offer $1 Billion in Federal Loans to Help Unemployed Homeowners Pay Mortgages
Okay, so if your response to reading this is to say: âfile under Giant Federal Band-Aid,â then fair enough.Â I understand how you feel and youâre certainly right.Â But, in terms of federal responses to the foreclosure crisis, and considering the rich tradition of meaningless blathering and epic failure that has come before, Iâd have to call this one a winner, even though admittedly itâs potential to create anything even remotely sustainable is essentially nil.
Apparently, unemployed homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments may very soon be able to access $1 billion in federal bridge loans, accordording to a deal negotiated in congress and included in the financial-overhaul legislation.Â In simple terms, if youâre unable to make your mortgage payment because of being out of work or illness, you may soon be able to get a stopgap loan from Uncle Sam.
Some in the House wanted a $3 billion fund for such loans, but in the end settled for $1 billion as negotiations between the two sides ground to a halt in what I imagine was the typical flurry of partisan immaturity over a subject not well understood by either side.Â Both chambers of Congress now have to approve the deal that was worked out by negotiators, but it appears that itâs really going to happen at this point, so I figured Iâd go ahead and cover it.
The House and Senate negotiators also agreed to a $1 billion fund thatâll be available to cities and towns so they can buy and rehabilitate foreclosed properties that are litering some areas and making the communitieâs pillars uncomfortable.
Personally, I think they should have given this $1 billion to the unemployed, making their fund $2 billion.Â I mean, for one thing, whatâs the point in giving a billion dollars to cities to buy up dilapidated foreclosures, while leaving plenty of other in the unemployed class to lose another billion dollars in soon to be dilapated foreclosures.Â Itâs like cutting off the end of a blanket and then sewing it onto the other end in order to make it longer.
For another, this is like spending a billion dollars to sweep up the homeless people, moving them a few blocks away so they wonât be âin the shotâ during some foreign dignatoryâs arrival.Â As far as Iâm concerned, if weâre going to turn Americaâs economy into a third world mess, then letâs open up the curtains and let the blight shine in.
Now, Iâm all done being even the least bit mature about this subject, Iâm not interested in running for office, and Iâd rather live under a bridge or more likely a palm tree that rejoin politically correct, ladder climbing corporate America, so let me address those of you tempted to say something predictable about how this doesnât solve anything, wonât stabilize the housing market, and is just wasted spending.
My response to this group?Â HmmmâŚ what would be the right words?Â Damn. I hate it when I canât think of the right way to say what I want to say.Â Oh wait, I think Iâve got it!Â Here goes:Â Shut up, shut up, good Lord would you please shut up.
First of all, I donât give a ratâs petute what isnât sustainable about this program, and secondly, itâs not âspending dumbass,â itâs a loan.
You remember loans, right?Â I realize we havenât any in some time, but if it will cheer you up, maybe you can find someone to securitize these, package them up, get them some triple A ratings, and sell them as bonds to some foreign country that doesnât know that youâre the credit default swap counter party whoâll be cashing in at 50:1 when the bonds you just sold them default, which should be by next spring.Â Arenât you glad we didnât bother making any of that stuff illegal when we put together the financial reform legislation?Â See, I knew that would make you feel better.
Now why donât you go back to ruining someoneâs life for fun and profit and let those that canât find work have a few months peace at least as far as their mortgage payments are concerned, would you please?
If youâre part of our federal government, and through two administrations you havenât come close to getting anything having to do with the foreclosure crisis even remotely right, so much so that there are now millions of people who consider you so unfailingly incompetent that they wouldnât be surprised to learn that you need help crossing streets and ordering grilled cheese from the kidâs menu, wellâŚ now youâve at least created something that will do something to help someone struggling in the morass youâve created.
Will it fix the problem?Â Of course not, but you guys in government even talking about fixing the foreclosure crisis is about as productive as my wife and I discussing how NASA should go about building the next space shuttle.Â We donât have a clue, and neither do you.
Itâs simple really, my expectations for government have been so diminished that I can become happy when I turn on C-SPAN and donât find one or more of my elected representatives drooling on themselves.
So, goodâŚ out of work or knocked down by illness and canât swing the mortgage payments, take the loan from Uncle SamâŚ why the hell not.Â Itâs only a billion dollars, so itâs not even one percent of last yearâs bonuses at Goldman Sachs.Â And at least you wonât have to think about pouring cement down all the drains and removing all of the copper wiring in the house before giving it back when the bank finally forecloses, assuming you canât get back to work on time for insolvent asshats at Fannie Mae or Bank of America, or wherever.
Donât agree with me?Â Thatâs okay.Â I think of you as pretty much a worthless moron anyway, and I donât need nearly as many friends as Iâve got now, soâŚ SCAT!Â Before I take after you with a broom.Â Iâm tired of having to spend time making my metaphors monosyllabic for your ilk anyway.
Plus, if I was at all unsure of my position on this program, the clincher was finding out that the cost of both programs is being covered by a tax on large banks and hedge funds contained in the bill. Â Oh come on… I don’t know about you, but I think I might even vote to fund Al Queda if I knew that’s how it was going to be funded. Â Well, maybe not… unless of course they’d promise to blow up IndyMac/One West, or something similar. Â It wouldn’t have to be Goldman… I’d be flexible.
There were a couple of additional unbelievably stupid statements made in the press about this program.Â A couple of reporters repeated the ignorant drivel about how unemployment is now the primary driver of foreclosures. Â Saying stuff like that a year ago might have merely shown one’s ignorance, but today itâs just sad.
Then there was the newspaper, covering this new funding, that wrote this little gem:
âThe rules of the Obama administration’s foreclosure-prevention effort make it difficult for the unemployed to get loan modifications under the program.â
Actually, I donât think you can be mad at whoever wrote that sentence.Â Down syndrome is a serious disease and it certainly doesnât help to be unkind to those afflicted by it.Â My mother had a way of talking about people who would say something that out-of-touch with reality.Â Sheâd just nod her head and say: âWhy, bless his heart.âÂ And we all knew to be nice to that person, you knowâŚ give them a nice slow pitch up the middle, âcause they had been touched, and all the help they could get in this world would never be enough.
Oh, and by the way… Republicans, the âother white meat,â during the two-week-long debates over the bill, reportedly tried to kill the program in its entirety, saying that the country couldn’t afford to spend more money on homeowner help.
Ladies and gentlemen, and there you have it… a message that should have been paid for by the Obama in 2012 campaign.Â I swearâŚ I donât know what it is that makes todayâs Republicans so stupid, but it really works.
BTW: A READER WROTE IN REGARDING THIS ARTICLE AND OUR CONVERSATION, WHICH IS WORTH READING, CAN BE FOUND HERE.
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