The highway death rate in this country is about 120 deaths per day; or roughly 44,000 annually. Those deaths are typically reported individually on page 8 of local newspapers, if at all. But when a commercial airplane crashes (about every two years) killing 120 people, it becomes headline news and is billed as a “horrific national tragedy” with an outpouring of sympathy and condolences from the President on down.
We are seeing that very same phenomenon today as the rate of home foreclosures rise. Foreclosures have been a routine occurrence in this country for over two hundred years, but you will never see those idividual “tragedies” on the front page of the New York Times or the top story on MSNBC or CNN.
And because it has been elevated to an “American tragedy” on the same scale as Katrina, it is only natural to expect our showboating politicians to run to the nearest camera and utter Ronald Reagan’s nine most terrifying words in the English language: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
I’m having a real problem here, folks.
I am seeing Congress about to pass a Three-Hundred BILLION dollar bailout package that will pass through the hands of irresponsible borrowers right onto the balance sheets of irresponsible lenders. I have been watching greedy, sleazy lenders loan money to borrowers whose only qualifications for the loan is they must have a pulse and know how to sign their name. I have witnessed illiterate borrowers taking out 100-125% ARM loans without knowing what the “A” in that acronym means.
Our politicians are in basic agreement that this problem is a result of borrowers being lured into no-downpayment ARM loans by unscrupulous lenders when the borrower clearly had no means whatsoever to repay their mortgage debt. On that point, I will agree. So which politician on Capitol Hill will be the first to tell me why I am being asked (uh…er….I mean TOLD) to “save” the homes of these “poor” Americans when they never should had that home in the first place? Why am I being told to finance a $400K home for families making $40K per year?
The “fix” being bounced around the walls in Congressional chambers (with Republican support) is getting dangerously close to Liberalism: “If it’s broke – then more money and more regulations will solve the problem.”
This is election-year politics at its worst.