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: “file under Giant Federal Band-Aid,” then fair enough.  I understand how you feel and you’re certainly right.  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, I’d have to call this one a winner, even though admittedly it’s 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.  In simple terms, if you’re 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.  Both chambers of Congress now have to approve the deal that was worked out by negotiators, but it appears that it’s really going to happen at this point, so I figured I’d go ahead and cover it.

The House and Senate negotiators also agreed to a $1 billion fund that’ll be available to cities and towns so they can buy and rehabilitate foreclosed properties that are litering some areas and making the communitie’s pillars uncomfortable.

Personally, I think they should have given this $1 billion to the unemployed, making their fund $2 billion.  I mean, for one thing, what’s 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.  It’s 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 won’t be “in the shot” during some foreign dignatory’s arrival.  As far as I’m concerned, if we’re going to turn America’s economy into a third world mess, then let’s open up the curtains and let the blight shine in.

Now, I’m all done being even the least bit mature about this subject, I’m not interested in running for office, and I’d 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 doesn’t solve anything, won’t stabilize the housing market, and is just wasted spending.

My response to this group?  Hmmm… what would be the right words?  Damn. I hate it when I can’t think of the right way to say what I want to say.  Oh wait, I think I’ve got it!  Here goes: Shut up, shut up, good Lord would you please shut up.

First of all, I don’t give a rat’s petute what isn’t sustainable about this program, and secondly, it’s not “spending dumbass,” it’s a loan.

You remember loans, right?  I realize we haven’t 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 doesn’t know that you’re the credit default swap counter party who’ll be cashing in at 50:1 when the bonds you just sold them default, which should be by next spring.  Aren’t you glad we didn’t bother making any of that stuff illegal when we put together the financial reform legislation?  See, I knew that would make you feel better.

Now why don’t you go back to ruining someone’s life for fun and profit and let those that can’t find work have a few months peace at least as far as their mortgage payments are concerned, would you please?

If you’re part of our federal government, and through two administrations you haven’t 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 wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you need help crossing streets and ordering grilled cheese from the kid’s menu, well… now you’ve at least created something that will do something to help someone struggling in the morass you’ve created.

Will it fix the problem?  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.  We don’t have a clue, and neither do you.

It’s simple really, my expectations for government have been so diminished that I can become happy when I turn on C-SPAN and don’t find one or more of my elected representatives drooling on themselves.

So, good… out of work or knocked down by illness and can’t swing the mortgage payments, take the loan from Uncle Sam… why the hell not.  It’s only a billion dollars, so it’s not even one percent of last year’s bonuses at Goldman Sachs.  And at least you won’t 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 can’t get back to work on time for insolvent asshats at Fannie Mae or Bank of America, or wherever.

Don’t agree with me?  That’s okay.  I think of you as pretty much a worthless moron anyway, and I don’t need nearly as many friends as I’ve got now, so… SCAT!  Before I take after you with a broom.  I’m 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.  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.  Well, maybe not… unless of course they’d promise to blow up IndyMac/One West, or something similar.  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.  A couple of reporters repeated the ignorant drivel about how unemployment is now the primary driver of foreclosures.  Saying stuff like that a year ago might have merely shown one’s ignorance, but today it’s just sad.

Then there was the newspaper, covering this new funding, that wrote this little gem:

“The rules of the Obama administration’s foreclosure-prevention effort make it difficult for the unemployed to get loan modifications under the program.”

Actually, I don’t think you can be mad at whoever wrote that sentence.  Down syndrome is a serious disease and it certainly doesn’t help to be unkind to those afflicted by it.  My mother had a way of talking about people who would say something that out-of-touch with reality.  She’d just nod her head and say: “Why, bless his heart.”  And we all knew to be nice to that person, you know… give them a nice slow pitch up the middle, ‘cause 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 “other white meat,” 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.  I swear… I don’t know what it is that makes today’s Republicans so stupid, but it really works.


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