Friday, February 20, 2009

Class Warfare at its Worst

If you listen to the right, the stimulus package and the housing package is all about the government taking money from "responsible" people and giving it to "losers." Crap! By the right I mean Republicans in Congress, talking heads on cable news, Faux news especially and of course the blowhards on right wing radio.

The biggest problem with their argument is, as usual its not based in fact in anyway whatsoever. If you listen to them, the entire economic crises has been caused by irresponsible people getting loans they didn't deserve or couldn't afford. That any help for people for those having a mortgage crises is just throwing money to dead beats.

Dead beats? Let's look at the bad mortgages for a moment. Yes there are a few that took loans that they could not afford, knew they couldn't afford it and never expected to afford them. Very few. The vast majority of these loans in trouble were in fact given to people that made reasonable careful decisions based on history. They expected, like has been the case for many years, that two things were a given. Those things being that they would have more income in the future, and the value of their home would increase. Until the last year very few people in this country did not operate with that belief. I myself was told more times then I have hairs on my head that it was stupid to rent that its just throwing money away. That I should get into a mortgage any mortgage because I can't lose. Luckily for me I didn't listen. But how many did? Millions. Meanwhile the mortgage brokers, the Realtors, the developers, the banks, the security traders all got rich off these loans with little risk. They used policies not forced on them, not demanded by anyone, but because they could make money. Period. Yet if you listen to the right it's the homeowners at fault, and not the greed of these people.

They love to blame of all things the "community reinvestment act." Let's talk about that act for a moment. It is not as the right would have you believe, an act that forced banks to give loans to poor jobless black people. In fact the purpose of that act few disagreed with. At the time of major bank acquisitions, when the local banks were being gobbled up by major banks, there was genuine concern that money invested in your local bank would be invested no where near where its depositors were. Instead of building homes and businesses in your community, it would be building casino's in Vegas, High rises in New York City, or retirement communities in Florida. The community reinvestment act simply required Banks to invest in the communities they served, where their deposits came from. Period. The use of this as a scape goat by the right is only one of a series of thinly veiled racist accusations.

Another huge group of mortgages in trouble are refinanced mortgages. These are not homes for the poor or the barely solvent. These were to provide additional funds to build pools, take vacations, pay for college, open businesses. Some of these yes were taken out by the unwise without thinking, the vast majority seemed a good risk at the time based on history of property values and income.

The stimulus nor the mortgage recovery plan has a single thing to do with redistributing wealth. It is to stem a tide that began in the Reagen era. A belief that if you allow the wealthy to get wealthier the benefits would trickle down. Instead what happened is that greed led to more greed, false wealth was created, many got rich, yet heaven forbid we blame them as they have money now and are "winners", it's the losers that are losing their homes at "fault". Again I say, Crap!

Before you are quick to blame all these "losers", you better take a quick look at the value of your house. What position would you be in if either you or your spouse lost your job? How quickly can you be suddenly jump from the "winner" category to the "loser" group.

The fact is the stimulus package and the mortgage relief packages as proposed by our President will help everyone winners and losers. It will stem the tide that is leading all of us, yes all of us, toward economic ruin. So put your racist finger pointing in check and realise this is what America needs, and that includes us all.

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