I Wish I Were In Paris

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Barack Obama Facts - Fact #3

Barack Obama's plan for foreclosed-on homeowners is to give them a tax credit which would equal about $500.

Don't just believe me; I'm simply the conduit here.

Read what Max Fraser wrote way back in February and see if you trust your eyes or Obama.

"As the subprime mortgage debacle drives a recession that threatens financial markets around the world, the Democratic presidential candidates are pushing plans to address the crisis. John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are pledging substantial federal resources to stabilize the mortgage market and intervene on behalf of borrowers. Barack Obama's proposal is tepid by comparison, short on aggressive government involvement and infused with conservative rhetoric about fiscal responsibility. As he has done on domestic issues like healthcare, job creation and energy policy, Obama is staking out a position to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well. Edwards's plan includes a mandatory moratorium on foreclosures, a freeze on rising interest rates for at least seven years, federal subsidies to help homeowners keep up with payments and restructure loans, and explicit measures to rein in predatory lenders and regulate the financial sector. Clinton's plan is weaker--a voluntary moratorium, a shorter freeze, less commitment to new regulations--but she has promised $30 billion in federal aid to help reeling homeowners and communities.

"Only Obama has not called for a moratorium and interest-rate freeze. Though he has been a proponent of mortgage fraud legislation in the Senate, he has remained silent on further financial regulations. And much like his broader economic stimulus package, Obama's foreclosure plan mostly avoids direct government spending in favor of a tax credit for homeowners, which amounts to about $500 on average, beyond which only certain borrowers would be eligible for help from an additional fund.

"'One advantage to the tax credit is that there's no moral hazard involved,' one of Obama's economic advisers explains. 'There's no sense in which you're rewarding someone for taking too big a risk. If you lied about your income in order to get a bigger mortgage, then you're not qualified. Do you really want to give a subsidy to the guy who wasn't prudent?' Obama has used similar language on the campaign trail. 'Innocent homeowners,' he has promised, those 'responsible' borrowers 'facing foreclosure through no fault of their own,' would get help restructuring their loans. But no such luck for those 'claiming income they didn't have' or 'lying to get mortgages.'

"[...] Austan Goolsbee, an economist at the University of Chicago who calls himself a 'centrist market economist,' has been most directly involved with crafting Obama's subprime agenda. In a column last March in the New York Times, Goolsbee disputed whether 'subprime lending was the leading cause of foreclosure problems,' touted its benefits for credit-poor minority borrowers and warned that 'regulators should be mindful of the potential downside in tightening [the mortgage market] too much.' In October, no less a conservative luminary than George Will devoted a whole column in the Washington Post to saluting Goolsbee's 'nuanced understanding' of traditional Democratic issues like globalization and income inequality and concluded that he 'seems to be the sort of fellow--amiable, empirical, and reasonable--you would want at the elbow of a Democratic president, if such there must be.'"

Now, I don't know about you, but I make about $400 every two weeks. I put some of this money away for gasoline and food and various other expenses and the rest is cash-on-hand. I live at home because I can't afford to live on my own.

If I were a homeowner who had just been foreclosed upon, I'm not sure that I'd be able to do anything with $500, other than perhaps wipe my ass.

Imagine yourself with two children and you're a single mother or father. You scraped just to get what you have and you hardly, if ever, make ends meet but at least you have a roof over your head.

Now imagine you're the same parent of two but you've just had your home taken away because the bank that you foolishly thought was working for you (you should have known that banks don't give a shit unless you're doing something for them) was, in fact, working for themselves. You have no roof over your head, nowhere to stay, you're out on the street.

Now imagine you're the same parent of two, without a home, nowhere to go and Barack Obama gives you $500 in a tax credit, which is not to say that you'll ever actually see that $500, but let's pretend you would.

How far do you think that $500 would go? How long do you think you could make that $500 last?

You're about to lose your job because you've been trying to find shelter for yourself and your kids so now you're about to lose the only source of income that you have. I mean, other than Barack Obama and his tax credit.

How far do you think you can stretch that $500 now that you have nothing to back it up with?

Once again, I ask progressives if this sounds progressive to you. And again, I ask conservatives if a socialist would really do this kind of shit.


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