Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Housing "Crisis" And Other Stories

I wish I could get this housing bailout straight in my head. Back in Jimmeh Carter's day the government started making banks loan money to people who could not pay it back. This increased during Clinton's Presidency.

Almost all the way through the Bush years they made this work by continually lowering interest rates. These lower interest rates, along with a few other tricks, kept real estate prices going up, far past the actual value. Also, far past what many people who are serious about their household finances could actually afford.

So a LOT of people who could afford a reasonable house payment were priced out of the market, many others had to move way out of town. I understand that there are lots of folks in places like California commuting fifty to a hundred or so miles, one way.

Now this housing bubble could only last so long, it shouldn't have lasted at all. Rising housing prices don't help most homeowners. If I woke up tomorrow and discovered that my house and lot had quadrupled in price that would mean, what, exactly? Well, my taxes would increase. I'd just love that. Oh, but I could sell! And then live, where?

I understand that lots of people who could easily afford their house payments kept refinancing every time their house "value" increased, then took the extra money out out bought fancy cars or big screen TVs. And now we are supposed to feel sorry for them. So, now the paper "value" of their houses have dropped but they are stuck with big payments. Um, if every time they'd refinanced they'd applied that extra money to the principal amount they'd probably be fine. Now we are supposed to beggar the whole economy to rescue them.

So that is two classes we are supposed to rescue, those who should never have bought a house in the first place and those who wasted their opportunities to build their equity. There is a third class, those who bought houses as investments in order to sell them at a profit. Now I have read the Constitution. Nowhere in it is anything about how all investments must turn a profit, nor does it say anything about empowering the government to take money from a citizen who has not made a bad investment and giving that money to someone who has.

The reality of investing is that some investments make money, some lose. The people that sold before the dotcom bubble burst made money. Those that held on too long got burned. Such are bubbles. Oddly, the people who warned about this real estate bubble are blamed for it and the people who caused it are "fixing" it. This only makes sense because the mainstream media has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the political party that caused the bubble. The only good news is that this same media is losing money itself so it is questionable just how long this can continue.

Have you noticed that all of a sudden it's okay that we have prisoners in Afghanistan? Suddenly it's not a war crime to roam the skies of Pakistan with armed Predator drones potting the odd Jihadi? And nary a peep from the left? Now, don't get me wrong, I think potting Jihadis is something we need to do far more of. Thing is, there has been nothing by Congress, nor by the UN, authorizing this. So, shouldn't the left be weeping and wailing?

Does anyone at all plan on stopping Iran from flinging nukes all over? I don't think Israel has planes with the legs to hit Iran's nuke facilities. Seems to me that someone would listen to what this I'madinnerjacket is saying and decide it's kind of a Bad Idea to let this clown have a beebee gun, much less nukes. Just because the Izzies can't do anything nonnuclear about Iran doesn't mean that Iran won't be a bunch of radioactive craters a few minutes after Tel Aviv starts glowing in the dark. I'm told that Israel has a second line in their motto of "never again". That second line is "If again, not us alone." I would be very surprised if the cruise missiles on Israel's subs don't have nuclear warheads. I would be even more surprised if Israel has some hardened sites with cruise missiles aimed at not just Tehran but Damascus and several dozen other Muslim cities. Yet the whole damned world is just letting this happen. Yoo Hoo! World! There is a little something more important than Glow Bull Wurming.

But Congress wants to call up Karl Rove. Congress is dripping with lawyers but they cannot seem to understand that the President doesn't NEED a reason to fire U. S. Attorneys. They serve at the pleasure of the president. Congress can't seem to do anything about Dodd. Or Rangle. Or Jefferson. For God's sake, no one managed to notice that Obama got a sweetheart deal from a since-convicted felon to buy his mansion. But they're still talking about the Republican culture of corruption.

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