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Obama Seeks More Help for Homeowners

Updated 4:57 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut
Having warned earlier in the day that "things are going to get worse before they get better" with the economy, President-elect Barack Obama pressed the Bush administration on Sunday to do more to help homeowners struggling with their mortgages.

Obama said in a news conference in Chicago that he has not seen the kind of aggressive action to slow the rate of foreclosures that he had hoped from the White House.

"If that is not done during the transition, it will be done by me," Obama said, noting that "my team has had some conversations with the administration."

Obama is considering a moratorium on foreclosures, among other steps. He has also urged the Bush administration to figure out a way that banks and mortgage holders can renegotiate the terms of their existing deals, to bring payments down.

In an appearance on "Meet the Press," Obama said that it is more important to address the issue promptly than to worry about whether undeserving homeowners will take advantage of any new recovery program.

"If my neighbor's house is on fire, even if they were smoking in the bedroom or leaving the stove on, right now my main incentive is to put out that fire so that it doesn't spread to my house," Obama told anchor Tom Brokaw.

Obama also used the interview to again portray the crisis as an opportunity to rebuild the country, both structurally and culturally. Saying his top priority is to create jobs within a sustainable framework, the president-elect waved aside concerns about the rising deficit, commenting, "We've got to provide a blood infusion to the patient right now."

One day after announcing his plan to implement the largest public works program in decades, Obama said he would also press to enact stricter regulation on the financial industry.

Obama appeared at the news conference with retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki, his choice to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"No one will ever doubt that this former Army chief of staff has the courage to stand up for our troops and our veterans. No one will ever question whether he will fight hard enough to make sure they have the support they need," Obama said.

By Patricia E. Gaston  |  December 7, 2008; 2:56 PM ET
 
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Comments

I pulled these numbers together:

In Foreclosure ----Percentage - Entering - Delinquent - Layoffs
2007 1st Qtr.----------1.28%-------0.58%-----4.84%
2007 2nd Qtr.----------1.40%-------0.65%-----5.12%
2007 3rd Qtr.----------1.69%-------0.78%-----5.59%
2007 4th Qtr.----------2.04%-------0.83%-----5.82%
2008 1st Qtr.----------2.43%-------0.99%-----6.35%----247,000
2008 2nd Qtr.--------- 2.75%-------1.08%-----6.41%----214,000
2008 3rd Qtr.----------2.97%-------1.07%-----6.99%----597,000
2008 4th Qtr.----------x.xx%--------x.xx%-----x.xx%----853,000 + Dec.

Posted by: buzzm1 | December 8, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If President Obama halts foreclosures, why would anyone continue to make payments on their home???

I fear that this type of action could actually make things much, much, worse.

Many of these people in foreclsoure obtained home loans during the No credit, bad credit, no problem, no qualifying period, and rightfully don't qualify to own those homes. Many of them are illegals who shouldn't even be in our country.

There wasn't anyone that bailed out my 401K during the dot com bust. I took my lumps and moved on.

Posted by: buzzm1 | December 8, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

We need to be careful of impending "class warfare,: i.e. we prudent, play-by-the- rules, responsible homeowners vs. homeowners who foolishly got in over their heads. But doesn't mean we need to subsidize the fool-hardy. A major problem now which needs to be addressed is passing regulations to prohibit all the real estate speculators substantially fuelled this mess in the first place.

While usually it's the States & local gov. who control RE legislation, these are not usual times. Nor usally does the FED (we the taxpayers)usually give massive bailouts/loans. Therefore, the FED needs to enact National RE legislation. This is a national emergency. Some suggestions:

In the min '60s working in France, I was stunned by laws forbidding sale of residential property for 7 YEARS after purchase. We could do something similar, (with certain exceptions, death, catastrophic illness, etc. Just look at the newspapers' foreclosure listings. The terms & regs are set up so that only wealthy speculators could consider bidding: no advance viewing property, pay full purhcase within 24 hrs, etc.

Many prudent ordinary Americans could or would buy at least a substantial portion of houses on market: with proper mortgage rules (down payment, based on actual income -- excluding welfare, food stamps as Fannie Mae/Mac has allowed and encouraged.

If many (established) church communities & non-profits supported just one foreclosing residence by temporarily take-over & rental conversion, with appropriate rules, another dent in the housing market might be made. These are only smaller range efforts & not simple to work out, but do-able.

We must demand to know, "Where are the prudent, appropriate 'strings attached' safeguards for all the money we taxpayers have let our gov. & Congress basically just 'give away""? Please, please, we must hold our gov. to the fire to regulate all these bailouts. And let's call a spade a spade. For all their fancy talk, they're still basically bailouts. Please, write & email several Congressmen. We must let them know all of us are not fools!

Posted by: ConcernedcitizenIntegritymattersaboveall | December 8, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

RE: Bank of America, et al & taxpayer bailout:

I had assumed we taxpayers were receiving some measure of oversight by Congress & our gov. on the usage of the Billions of $$$$ we gave or loaned -- apparently very little or none. Why isn't the MSM hammering away at this raping. Case in point: Chicago closing of Republic WIndows with almost no notice to employees. )See Obama & Sen. Durbin& State of IL governor responses.) Company says Bank of America cancelled their financing. While I am not qualified to evaluate apppropriate eligibility for specific loans, Bank of America is abusing the $25 Billion, specifically re foreclosures.

How do I know this? This week I received an unsolicited offer from them for a reverse mortgage. Presumably thousands of other senior citizen homeowners also received offers -- like myself, seniors in somewhat or decidedly affluent suburbs. So instead of responding to very much needed loans in the housing crisis, BOA is using our tax dollars to try to buy up -- dirt cheap -- real estate in affluent communities, un-solicited.

While not even middleclass financially, as a senior, I neither need nor want a reverse mortgage. My very modest home is paid off & I live frugally as a widow, near of bottom rung, financially, of my community. Why should BOA be using taxpayer money (25 Billion)to acquire add'l, valuable real estate not even on the market nor facing foreclosure? Let's insist our well-paid government "servants" hold these banks responsible for freeing up credit with these funds where it is truly needed & to help get the economy going. This is a disgrace!

Please, please, challenge the MSM & all Congress to provide oversight on our dollars (what we have left in our IRAs & 401(k)s so as not to be destitute in old age.)

IL governor today ordered the State NOT TO DO BUSINESS WITH BOA --till the situation is examined for public responsibility.

Posted by: ConcernedcitizenIntegritymattersaboveall | December 8, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

The problem with restructuring mortgages at a lower amount is that it circumvents the rule of law and makes legal contracts worthless thereby scaring off foreign investors.

I'm for helping struggling homeowners who did not use their houses like an ATM and actually LIVED in their homes instead of trying to flip their property to make a quick buck, but the above is not the answer.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I have to continue this blog because our world is now full of cynism. What about "Do unto others . . . ". Picture a double income family making OVER 125,000/YR buying a 399,000 home and 8 months later, one spouse suffers from an embolism followed by major surgery and best of all loses his job. I am talking about professionals. Now, the other spouse refinances and ends up with an adjustable mortgage. Family has 2 children, medical bills and one income of 75,000. It sounds like a lot but not enough to sustain all the expenses based on their previous six figure income. They sell one car, remove children from private school. (Picture this, while their kids attended private schools, they still paid the taxes and subsidized for the public schools) All they have left now is to try and save their home. How would you like to be in their shoes? The government cannot save just that one family, the only way is to have a universal package. I agree with people who are upset about the greedy home buyers, however, most consumers have followed the market. They did not create the packages that were handed to them. As educated as I am, I never expected to be in such trouble with this adjustabe that was handed to me as the only choice. Be considerate for once. As a nation, it should be one for all and all for one. You don't mind bailing out wall street and the car industry but you bark about bailing out these individuals who are right now facing foreclosure. . . right before the holidays. . . It's Christmas - take heart!

Posted by: mn6161a | December 8, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

TAKE BACK CONTROL OF MONEY

The American economy rests on the back of the American worker and consumer. Taxpayers own the government and currency is only a tool enabling commerce.

Take charge of it. Get it working for you, not against you.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/12/revising-government-relationship-to.html

Once this is done, the other problems will resolve naturally, including home owners making their mortgage payments.

Posted by: JamesRaider | December 7, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"Do you really believe that most people loosing their homes were greedy and living outside of their means? "

Most people greedy? Probably not. Living outside of their means? Yeah, I do believe that.

Posted by: mikem1 | December 7, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

If I am going to help anybody with homeownership, I'd like to set my priorities and help my two children who do not own homes, and have children!

Yea, and I'd like to be the President someday too, meanwhile you fight fire with fire!

Posted by: electress | December 7, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I am sympathetic to and have no problem with helping those people who purchased homes that, at the time, they could reasonably afford and who, because of layoffs, illness, or other misfortune are about to lose that home. However, those who purchased houses using ARMs with artificially low interest rates, gambling that they could flip it before they had to pay the later higher rates which they knew they could not afford, deserve no sympathy and no help. When you gamble sometimes you lose; that's why they call it gambling. A distinction must be made between the two groups in any plan to assist homeowners.

Posted by: ben9 | December 7, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"Baloney. My cost of my house was artificially inflated ....

Posted by: kmccorma"

Then why did you buy the house? You probably wanted something you couldn't afford and now you want *me* to pay for *your* mistake.

Signing your name to a contract is supposed to mean something.


Posted by: mikem1 | December 7, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's the bad news. As the new opposition party, Republican politicians and mouthpieces have a vested interest in making the mess they created get even worse now that Democrats control government.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 7, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

If anyone of you here tries to get on this program ONLY because your house is worth less than the payment you are otherwise fully capable of making, you deserve to be locked up and castrated (or spayed, for the ladies).

You bought it, you can pay for it, put on your big kid pants and deal with the temporary downturn. In 5-10 years, the market will have rebounded, and you'll get your fracking money back.

How utterly childish.

========================
Baloney. My cost of my house was artificially inflated and now I will be looking for a "do over". It does not make sense to keep dumping money into a depreciating assed that I will never be able to recover.

Posted by: kmccorma | December 7, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of saving homeowners from foreclosure but how do you save homeowners who are out of work and have no savings?

and homeowners who have more house than they can afford? Should we rescue the homeowners who bought above their means and do nothing for those who bought wisely?

The questions are hard, but if the government is going to start subsidizing those who make poor economic decisions with their household incomes the nation will only go further downhill.

Good money after bad never helps, it just postpones the inevitable.

Posted by: StarsAndStripesForever | December 7, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

TAKE BACK CONTROL OF MONEY

The American economy rests on the back of the American worker and consumer. Taxpayers own the government and currency is only a tool enabling commerce.

Take charge of it. Get it working for you, not against you.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/12/revising-government-relationship-to.html

Once this is done, the other problems will resolve naturally, including home owners making their mortgage payments.

Posted by: JamesRaider | December 7, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

TAKE BACK CONTROL OF MONEY

The American economy rests on the back of the American worker and consumer. Taxpayers own the government and currency is only a tool enabling commerce.

Take charge of it. Get it working for you, not against you.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/12/revising-government-relationship-to.html

Once this is done, the other problems will resolve naturally, including home owners making their mortgage payments.

Posted by: JamesRaider | December 7, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Theo7 wrote, "Welcome to Obama's Socialist Republic..."

No prob. Gotta be better than Dubya's Socialist Republic, where 700 billion picked from the pockets of honest taxpayers got tossed at the miscreants who created the newfangled forms of debt we now colloquially call "toxic".

Posted by: officermancuso | December 7, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

BS...pure democratic BS. All he is doing is paying back the poor for their votes and more than willing to screw over those who scrimped, saved and only took on what they could afford. I do not work to support every deadbeat in this damn country; lobbyists, rich, poor, Wall St or the Hedgies.

This must be wealth redistribution he wants, think I'll just hit the welfare skids and join all the ones he is dying to support.

Posted by: zendrell | December 7, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Obama's Socialist Republic...

Posted by: Theo7 | December 7, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware that we had a government which could simply decree an end to the enforcement of contracts. That way madness lies.

Are all private contracts now subject to being over-ridden after the fact, arbitrarily, by government?
Posted by: officermancuso

Yes, the Congress can pass laws at anytime restricting or enlarging the jurisdiction of the federal courts. However, since the vast majority of foreclosure proceedings take place in state courts, I'm not sure how much the federal government can take a stake in it.

Posted by: Rob63 | December 7, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Do you really believe that most people loosing their homes were greedy and living outside of their means? Foreclosures happen for many reasons. We can't be so narrow minded to think that. We will all be affected by this whether there are bailouts or not.

Posted by: isitreal | December 7, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

SiSePuedeCA

You helped create the problem. Why did you buy an overpriced house?

I refused to participate in this game. I rented instead of buying a house. I need the prices to go back to their historical levels: the median house price should be equal to 2.5 times the median income.

Posted by: lshm | December 7, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

MarieDevine wrote:

"The word of God warns not to seek after riches, not to get into debt or be security for others (insurance), but to help the poor. Those were our investment guidelines.

"The word of God says the devil comes to lie, cheat, steal, kill and destroy. When you see something like war, conflict, mortgages, education loans, car loans etc. we need to see if there is a way to have the benefits without the costs. We could be satisfied with much less. A bigger or more expensive car or house has more ongoing expenses than something that makes you feel "like you have or are something special". We are children of the living God; we should need no more verification of our value than that."

-----------------------------------

We are members of a society whose government is not allowed to recognize any creed as a governing philosophy.

Wise religious people will find ways to express their arguments which will make those arguments appeal to citizens regardless of their religion or lack of it.

USA politics works best when someone says, "Come, let us reason together." It works worst when someone says, "OK, lets get all the Catholics and Evangelicals over here, and all the unbelievers over there."

Posted by: officermancuso | December 7, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

If anyone of you here tries to get on this program ONLY because your house is worth less than the payment you are otherwise fully capable of making, you deserve to be locked up and castrated (or spayed, for the ladies).

You bought it, you can pay for it, put on your big kid pants and deal with the temporary downturn. In 5-10 years, the market will have rebounded, and you'll get your fracking money back.

How utterly childish.

Posted by: JamesPDBuchanan | December 7, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Putting a moritorium on foreclosures does nothing but reward greedy buyers and lenders - it is not a fix and it is not fair to the rest of Americans who have to struggle to make their monthly payment.

If President Obama wants to be so very generous then do it for all Americans - forgive us all our mortgage payments during Obama's time in office.

Giving all Americans the same break would stimulate the economy and not reqard those homeowners and lenders who got us all into this huge mess.

Posted by: mgd1 | December 7, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Our economic woes will be over when we see the real reason for our financial crisis. The way is prepared to overcome this; but first we must acknowledge why we have these problems. The word of God warns not to seek after riches, not to get into debt or be security for others (insurance), but to help the poor. Those were our investment guidelines. We were not to make money off other people. We need a renewing of our mind to the ways of God's wisdom.

The word of God says the devil comes to lie, cheat, steal, kill and destroy. When you see something like war, conflict, mortgages, education loans, car loans etc. we need to see if there is a way to have the benefits without the costs. We could be satisfied with much less. A bigger or more expensive car or house has more ongoing expenses than something that serves your real needs. We do not need something that makes us feel "like we have or are something special". We are children of the living God; we should need no more verification of our value than that.

Posted by: MarieDevine | December 7, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This so overdue. Not only is this the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do as well. This will go a long way to ease the devaluation of real estate, devastation of neighborhoods and ease the plight of homeowners whose only prospect is to live on the streets.

Thank you for the saying aloud that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

Martin Schwartzberg
Chair
National Foundation for
Affordable Housing Solution, Inc.
Rockville, MD

Posted by: SchwartzbergM | December 7, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The word of God warns not to seek after riches, not to get into debt or be security for others (insurance), but to help the poor. Those were our investment guidelines.

The word of God says the devil comes to lie, cheat, steal, kill and destroy. When you see something like war, conflict, mortgages, education loans, car loans etc. we need to see if there is a way to have the benefits without the costs. We could be satisfied with much less. A bigger or more expensive car or house has more ongoing expenses than something that makes you feel "like you have or are something special". We are children of the living God; we should need no more verification of our value than that.

Posted by: MarieDevine | December 7, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

If the financially responsible people get to refinance their mortgages at the same rate the financially irresponsible people get in this inevitable bailout, I have no problem with it.


Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 7, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

10% of homeowners are behind in payments or facing impending forclosure. Helping this group of borrowers is going to be a hugely expensive task. The alternative is to dictate that banks will take losses when they restructure the individual troubled mortgages. And, as we're learning from the Chicago plan closing sit-in, the $700b banks received already was theirs. It wasn't supposed to help businesses that are troubled.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 7, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I am not a fickle supporter of Barack Obama. My support doesn't wane & fire up, depending on every policy decision and announcement he makes. My support is unqualified partly because he is not torn asunder or distracted by every fear uttered from the crowd.

Posted by: homesellaustralia | December 7, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

aeaustin wrote, "You have to be really stupid to continue to whine about helping those who got scammed by the loan sharks and schisters....."

Either that, or you really have to be stupid to ignore such a widely known bit of conventional wisdom as "caveat emptor".

Posted by: officermancuso | December 7, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

President-elect Obama is correct and up-front. Bush bailed out his Financial Industry cronies and, true to form, told all of the little people to f**-off! You have to be really stupid to continue to whine about helping those who got scammed by the loan sharks and schisters.....

Posted by: aeaustin | December 7, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is considering a moratorium on foreclosures"

I wasn't aware that we had a government which could simply decree an end to the enforcement of contracts. That way madness lies.

Are all private contracts now subject to being over-ridden after the fact, arbitrarily, by government? If so, don't we now enjoy the worst of socialism, without having had a taste of the best of it?

Posted by: officermancuso | December 7, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

It's a whole lot bigger than housing.
Thomas 777 at 8:04 pm gets it.
Few do.

The Great Consumer Crash of 2009 - Quinn is a professor at the U.Penn Wharton School of Business.

What he failed to address was $ 31 trillion in CDS & other derivatives , 25% of which are in failure.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/90892-the-great-consumer-crash-of-2009

As Sweigert & Lovell said from Apollo XIII ; "Houston we have a problem".

America is in the exact same seat as Sweigert & Lovell were in April 1970.

Posted by: rtfanning | December 7, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

If true to form, here is how the mortgage holders bailout will go:

The program will stipulate that only people who are truly capable of affording to stay in their home will get adjustments in their rates. As part of the plan, they will predict how many mortgages will be saved, in order to prove it's worth doing in the first place.

In practice, as they discover that most of the people with distressed mortgages can't possibly afford to stay in their homes, even if their rates are lowered substantially, they will tacitly relax the standards of creditworthiness so that the program appears to be working. Six months later, the problem will re-appear, only by then, we will have added another $2-Trillion in actual debt, and the usual crowd willing to buy T-Bills will have had time to find alternative ways of storing their wealth.

We are suffering the consequences of building an economy on credit-limits and minimum monthly payments. For ten years, the banks have been deferring the collapse by making it easier and easier for people to tap into their home equity, which in many cases was highly inflated to begin with. At the core of our problem is a disconnect between the real cost of earning dollars, and the euphoria we feel when we can buy something, but hang on to our cash at the same time. This disease has afflicted 80-million wage earners, over half of our workforce. The financial moguls at the top of the heap have been extracting their cash as quickly and in as large chunks as possible for the last several years, knowing full well that the system was collapsing. Their co-conspirators in Congress are providing cover as they abandon ship in their fully provisioned lifeboats, heading for their various safe havens hidden away in defensible locations around the globe.

If our new President chooses to allow them to get away with it they will. If he has the clarity of vision and the Will to take the heat, he can stop bailing these thieves and racketeers out, and instead turn the DOJ loose on them, and administer the kind of measures necessary to restore an economy based on real-dollar transactions, earned income, and productivity which enables this country to regain a positive balance of trade.

The first step is to recognize how truly deep the hole we're in is, and stop digging it any deeper. That will be the hardest one, and he has a little over six-weeks to decide whether or not to take it. We can only hope he does.

Posted by: thomas777 | December 7, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

To those of you commenters who lived within your means": What if I had done the same, but lost my job. Do I sell the house after all the money I have spent fixing it up and taking a loss or do I take advantage of a new program that gets me a lower fixed rate? Unless you have saved for a dozen+ "rainy months" lets skip the attitude.

Posted by: garyvalan | December 7, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Very dangerous times we live in when no one seems to be able to make it without being propped up by someone else.

Irresponsible mortgage holders, non-competitive businesses, the entire finance sector, and many of the 50 states, all facing immanent collapse without subsidies from the Fedgov.

All the while the Fedgov facing immanent collapse without subsidies from the Chinese. How long until the Chinese figure out there is no chance we are going to pay them back?

Aint it sweet.

Posted by: PattiORiley | December 7, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Obama. It isn't a fire. If foreclosures continue, prices will fall. And, if we bail out everyone then prices stay super-high. Which means the prudent can never buy a house. So, does finding a fix for everyone encourage people to behave they way we want them to? Perhaps. Maybe the way modern capitalism wants people to behave is reckless, foolish, impulsive.

Send me another 10 or 15 credit card applications. This time I'll fill them out. I'll talk to my kids about this new life lesson.

Posted by: rusty3 | December 7, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Wake up people. This is more of a problem than bailing out homeowners not living within their means. And this crisis is affecting more people than those in that category. In my neighborhood, houses have devalued $250,000 due to area foreclosures. Those of us not in foreclosure are stuck paying mortages on houses that are worth much less than just 2 years ago. I would like to move to be near my kids in another part of the state where I could buy 13 acres for 195,000. But I cannot sell my house (now worth 300,000) because I paid more than that for it and will lose money to sell right now. It is very frustrating.
And to defend those persons in forclosure, there were very sleazy people/companies who knew some homeowners would not make it and the homeowners went for it because they believed in the American dream to own a house. I don't feel bad for those lenders at all- they were risking and they knew it.

Posted by: SiSePuedeCA | December 7, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah but Rooster some of us have lived within our means regardless of what everyone else has done, we dont go out of our way to put ourselves in debt, For example I dont and have never had a credit card so I avoided that "trap", I pay cash for what I buy, I pay my bills every month with only my income, I dont go out to eat every night or even 3 or 4 nights a week, maybe 2 times a month if even that often. If I want to purchase a high ticket item like a TV I save for it. I didnt fall for paying 3 times what a home was worth, I waited.

Posted by: debraf66 | December 7, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

jabailo-
Maybe Joe the dumber will put it out for you.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 7, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

No one mention, not even Obama, the abusive real state taxes that local governments forces on us. In my case the real state tax I pay is about 30% of my total mortgage payment. Even when house values are way down, the taxes still are at the same level or more because they cleverly raised the tax rate. County executives are making extraordinary salaries for part time positions. Where is the outrage!

Posted by: blueyes1 | December 7, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse


Hey, all you Po' Folk!

My mansion is burning -- run in there and save the furniture...and don't scratch anything either!

Posted by: jabailo | December 7, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

It would be easy to live within your means if executives weren't taking all the profit you earned for them. As long as people keep blaming the victims, the entitled rich will keep getting away with fleecing us all. There's never a shortage of sycophants to suck up to the rich and buy into the neocon flim flam.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 7, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama,

I voted for you, in part, because you stressed the importance of personal responsibility.

Using my tax dollars to bail out greedy, irresponsible, ignorant homeowners was not what I had in mind.

I've lived within my means. Where is my free house?

Posted by: bryc3 | December 7, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

feel like a complete idiot for living within my means.

Posted by: brewstercounty
**********************
We are the few among the many, the one bright spot will be when this is over and the many are still fighting to regain their stability, we will have had ours, we will have weathered this storm easier and be in a much better place

Posted by: debraf66 | December 7, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Lets not pick at analogical nits. An even better analogy would be your neighbor's house falling into a sinkhole. The point is, when property values fall, they don't just affect one house, but a whole neighborhood.

Actually, what this country REALLY NEEDS is a credit consumer's Bill of Rights. Interest rates at 20% and above on credit cards is isane, late penalties and surcharges are outrageous, and variable rate mortgages are usarious.

The person most people fear to come knocking on their door is the local banker asking for more money. Many people could still afford their mortgage payments if they were converted to fix rates.

Posted by: ethanquern | December 7, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

JoeJankovic - I believe what got us into trouble initially was the completely un-backed credit that fueled home purchases to begin with. Forced lending. Our country's money system, like that of the rest of the modern world since the late 60s/early 70s, is built on the idea of limitless credit, which in reality is limitless debt. To the banks. This is going to have to change someday. If we had a backed dollar, we'd have less corporatism, less speculation, but plenty of growth for those who care to work for it. Not just growth for those who know how to play the system, and/or are connected. Back the dollar with both gold and silver, and I am certain we'd have a more sound economy with less dramatic booms and busts, and real manageable growth, not the steroid-like growth we are taught to embrace and defend.

Posted by: patrick4 | December 7, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

It's official now. The prudent will be forced by the coercive power of government to bail out the foolish. I feel like a complete idiot for living within my means.

Posted by: brewstercounty | December 7, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Wrong analogy. Our neighbor's house isn't on fire.

The correct analogy is one of our neighborhood bank irresponsibly lending money for a house to someone who can't afford it. Do we subsidize their payments? Or do we help them transition into a rental situation that they can afford?

If they're going to subsidize, they should subsidize for everyone who owns or wants to own a house, not just for the least responsible.

Posted by: postfan1 | December 7, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It appears Obama has signed on to the Barney Frank/Chris Dodd of lending responsibly!

Give them the money and we do not care if the lenders get paid back.

That is what got us in trouble initially.

Posted by: JoeJankovic | December 7, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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