Monday, May 12, 2008

Foreclosure Bill: Homes or Bombs?

Not sure why I hadn't posted in a week - but time flies when you're not having fun. Though there was tons I could have written about, even the painful reality of Hillary's campaign coming to an end, maybe I was rendered stupid for a few days following her defeat in North Carolina.

But ever the optimist, I've held off on my eulogy for Hillary '08. And on blogging altogether, as I was in a rancid mood last week and didn't want to take to the web to sound like a shrill, malcontent liberal.

Anyway, today's post is pretty simple: Republicans/conservatives love to gripe - selectively - about wasteful spending by the government, especially when said spending happens to actually help Americans, like the proposed $2 billion bail-out for at-risk families in the foreclosure crisis.

CNN reports that the bill proposed by Barney Frank (D-Mass), which made it through the House, will only help a tenth of the 3 million people who are currently embroiled in this fiasco. I guess a start is a start, but the Right contends that the fault lies on those who made a stupid choice, are living beyond their means, and are now trying to pass the bill on to the rest of us.

Not being an economist myself I can only deduce that it's not practical for the government to bail us out everytime we make poor spending decisions. I mean, I went cuh-razy with my college credit card that came with a frisbee at freshman orientation, as did many of my peers. One could say we were the victims of pernicious lenders and are too entitled to a reprieve.

And so it goes with this mortgage crisis bail-out - in theory. Only this time around people are going to be homeless and the repercussions of lapsed mortgages throughout the U.S. will impact other tax-paying Americans who happen to live off the real estate industry. Contractors, agents, administrative personnel, latte vendors -- if millions of people are kicked out of their homes it's going to take a lot more than $600 and a pat on the back to get this economy back on track.

Call me stupid, but this Iraq War business hasn't been an exercise in fiscal prudence either. At $200 million a day to, uh, what are we there for again? Anyway, no safer or closer to finding Osama bin Laden are we as the war reaches the $1 trillion mark. But the case can be made that shock and awe don't come cheap.

As it can be made for the mortgage crisis. Not in the form of Barney Frank's bill, which seems laden with issues, but some sort of government-funded bail out, for lack of a better term, is absolutely needed.

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