Archive for February 24th, 2010

Democrats, listen up:

Feb 24, 2010 in Disappointing Dems, Economy

These guys are telling you how to do something right and get re-elected for it:

Marvin Bohn, (pictured at right) a 57-year-old former executive chef in Ohio, is another American who wants to work for his money. He’s been getting unemployment checks since June 2008.

“You keep wondering what’s gone wrong. Is there something wrong with you? You apply for jobs you’re overqualified for and you don’t get ’em, and you get chided for making too much on unemployment.”
Story continues below

By contrast, a government job sounds good to him. “Instead of receiving the unemployment checks, even if it’s a fill-in job, it’d be doing good,” he said. “I would be very happy to do that.”

Christopher Hardin of Valdese, N.C., (pictured at right) said he, too, would jump at the opportunity to work rather than put up with the indignity of a futile job search in return for unemployment benefits. “Being 55, I haven’t been able to find any work,” said Hardin, whose most recent job was loading and unloading trucks for an auction house. “I apply for jobs all the time. I don’t get any return email or phone calls.”

Of course. People like to look at the classifieds, see a good job with decent pay, apply, and get hired. Americans work. These guys are sitting around waiting for somebody to put them to use. Of course…

Blackburn, Hardin and Bohn — and however many other Americans want the government to put them back to work, too — don’t have many champions on Capitol Hill or in the White House.

Democratic leaders, increasingly worried that members of their party will get swept out of office in the November elections, are desperate to do something about job creation. But the packages they are seriously considering are a mishmash of ineffective or inefficient measures, distinguished only by their political safety.

Yeah, because they’re awesome that way. Start out compromising with Republicans before you even get into the ring, and then act helpless when they pull you further to the right than you wanted to go.

ACT: Win. SIT AROUND AND GET YOUR THROATS CUT BY PROCEDURE: Go down in infamy as the cowardly Democrats who fell down when the country needed them.

Republicans have overextended their bullshit. It’s been a year and they haven’t cleaned up their act at all. Though if this is Obama’s ground game for November, it might be a good time to start kicking it in. Reconcile, attach a jobs bill to the defense bill, issue an executive order, but above all get people working again, like we did once before. Guys, Roosevelt got elected four times.

-hw

They don’t make the government like they used to.

Feb 24, 2010 in Politics

What we are constantly told we can’t have, we once had.

The Great Depression did not begin with predatory mortgage lending, but economic conditions predictably led to a foreclosure crisis. More than 250,000 families lost their homes to foreclosure in 1932. And every day brought a thousand new foreclosures in the early months of 1933.

As part of its initial legislative barrage on the economic crisis, the Roosevelt administration created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (“HOLC”) in June of 1933, just three months after entering office. The HOLC purchased distressed mortgages from banks, and then negotiated new, more affordable mortgages with the homeowner. Before it ran out of capital in 1935, the HOLC purchased a little more than one million mortgages, or about one in six of the urban home mortgages. (There was a similar program for farm mortgages).

Homeowners applied to the HOLC to buy their mortgage, so the HOLC was able to pick and choose salvageable mortgages. HOLC mortgages required less equity than banks required (20 percent instead of 35 percent) and had lower interest rates (five percent instead of eight percent). The HOLC was indulgent of late or missed payments, and patiently worked with struggling borrowers to prevent default. Still, times were hard and almost 20 percent of HOLC’s mortgages ended in foreclosure.

When the last mortgage was paid off in 1951, the HOLC had turned a slight profit. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., wrote that the HOLC “averted the threatened collapse of the real estate market and enabled financial institutions to return to the mortgage-lending business. … Most important of all, by enabling thousands of Americans to save their homes, it strengthened their stake both in the existing order and in the New Deal. Probably no single measure consolidated so much middle-class support for the Administration.”

Geithner and the elitist Republicans who would block such a measure today can go to Hell.

-hw