Call ’em out, Johnny

McCain finally lays the blame where it belongs:

WAUKESHA, Wisc. — John McCain may be going out of his way to praise Ted Kennedy at debates, but he is using another Massachusetts Democrat to draw boos.

In response to a question about whether McCain would investigate those responsible for the mortgage crisis, he pointed the finger at “willing co-conspirators” in Congress.

Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd are two of them,” McCain said, so riling the crowd by the mention of the first name that few probably heard the second.

Atta boy. Are we finally starting to see some fight in the man who shouted “Fight with me!” a month ago?  Time will tell but at least he got the perpetrators right this time.


More monetary musings

The recent meltdown on Wall Street has produced a sense of urgency among politicians and pundits to get something done…  fast.  But haste isn’t always a good thing — especially where Washington is involved. Fortunately amidst all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, there are a few voices of reason surfacing. Here’s Newt Gingrich weighing in on the proposed bailout:

I think the idea of giving the Secretary of the Treasury $700 billion to bail out Wall Street is just so profoundly wrong. I can’t quite imagine that they’re moving forward with it. I mean, it’s wrong in every way. It’s wrong to take money and bail out Wall Street. It’s wrong to give that kind of power to the secretary of the treasury. Watching this Congress write it makes me worry about what all the hidden details will be.

Agreed. Clueless lawmakers are the reason our financial system is in this mess in the first place and the less they get involved in the ‘solution’ the better. I was actually happy last week when Congress for once admitted they didn’t know what the hell they were doing and announced they were going home. But alas… once again the scent of pork came wafting under their sensitive noses and they scurried back to Capitol Hill.

Bailouts might be politically expedient but they are never a sound solution. Every time the government steps in — like the overprotective mommy bailing her spoiled child out of trouble — they make matters worse somewhere down the line. And unlike a Fannie Mae loan, that’s guaranteed.

I’m not saying there won’t be rough roads ahead and I’m not trying to dismiss the seriousness of the situation. But having weathered a storm or two over the years, there are two things I know with certainty.

  1. Panic, worry and negativity NEVER make a bad situation better.
  2. Panic, worry and negativity are GUARANTEED to make a bad situation worse.

That’s why I don’t engage in any of that nonsense on this blog.  Gloomfest ’08 is alive and well elsewhere on the internet. If you’re one of those who hungers for and thrives on dire prognostications then your nourishment is just a click away. But you sure as shinola won’t find it here.

As for me, I have full confidence that we will get through this and be a stronger and wiser nation for it. Just how strong and wise we become depends largely on how much the government chooses to stay out of this and let the free market reign. Let a correction do what it was meant to do… correct. We’re a tough people. We’re going to be fine.


-- Cartoon by Steve Kelley 

Another fine mess

The fallout from our current mortgage crisis has been chilling to watch. The names appearing in our headlines are big ones. Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Lehman Brothers… longstanding giants that we had assumed to be permanent fixtures in the financial industry are suddenly falling like so many colossal dominoes. Still more are expected to in the near future.

So just where and when did this all start? The answers are actually quite simple but some of you might not like them:

Washington. 90s.

Talk show host and “equal opportunity offender” Neal Boortz sums up the situation on his website:

1. Almost all of the financial problems we see today are based on bad mortgage lending. That would be lending money to people to buy homes who didn’t qualify for a loan.

2. The Democrats, under Clinton, strengthened a government-created monster called the “Community Reinvestment Act.” This law was then used by “activists” and “community organizers” (like Obama?) to coerce lending institutions to make these bad loans … millions of them.

3. Now we see what happens when political “wisdom” supplants good loan underwriting. When private financial institutions are virtually forced to make loans to people with a bad credit and job history .. this is what you get. Enjoy it.

That’s what it comes down to folks… the current chaos in the mortgage industry is the direct result of the policies of Democrats and our former Do-gooder-in-Chief.  These are the fruits of government-sponsored liberalism.

For those who may be bothered at that pronouncement, here’s a deep dark secret… I was once a liberal myself. We’re talking 20 years ago when I was just a young hare. In fact, a lot of us conservatives were liberals when we were young. We saw suffering and injustice in the world, we got passionate about it and we wanted it fixed. Nothing wrong with that. The problem occurs when we naively look to our government to fix it.

That’s when the real fun begins… when you first utter those six magic words “There ought to be a law…” Once you say that, 500+ lawyers in Washington perk up. That can never end well.

And that’s exactly what has happened here. Activists got fired up over what they viewed as unfair standards for home loans. Washington got involved. Laws were passed. Banks were pressured or sometomes forced into making loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. Banks went belly-up when those people didn’t pay them back.

The world doesn’t run on good intentions.  Leaving your problems in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats will always ultimately make matters worse.  Every single time.  Washington will only become more powerful and you more helpless to forces beyond your control. You can learn that now and stop voting for candidates who promise to right all the wrongs in your life or you can learn it later. But trust me, you will learn it… if you are paying attention.

A tax burden as big as a house
September 8, 08, 12:49 pm
Filed under: fannie mae, Freddie Mac, politics | Tags: , ,

Have no fear ye troubled masses of home owners…. the government’s got your Fannie:

US government takes on big role in mortgage market

Here we come to save the day

No need to learn responsibility, homeowners… Uncle Sam’s got your back. By dawn’s early light and to the singing of birds, the Prez posted your bail this morning:

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Wednesday signed a massive housing bill intended to provide mortgage relief for 400,000 struggling homeowners and stabilize financial markets.

Bush signed the bill without any fanfare or signing ceremony, affixing his signature to the measure he once threatened to veto, in the Oval Office in the early morning hours. He was surrounded by top administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Housing Secretary Steve Preston.

Full story below:

President Bush Signs Housing Bill to Provide Mortgage Relief, Stabilize Markets