Barack Obama sounded a strong populist note in his Kansas speech, but he can't change his own history: His HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) was helped very few people keep their homes. Congressman Dennis Cardoza of California -- soon to retire, alas -- has been aggressively pushing another plan: Renegotiate all mortgages on "underwater" houses and extend payments to 40 years. This morning, he told Cenk Uyger of the Young Turks that this program would be the equivalent of an $85 billion tax cut. (I'll post that interview if it becomes available; the one above, also valuable, is from the end of October.)
The Obama administration has not exactly laughed in Cardoza's face, but they did everything short of that.
Cardoza tries to meet with members of the Obama Administration regularly to talk about what can be done with the housing crisis, but he says his efforts have largely fallen on deaf ears. In early October, he met with Edward DeMarco, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and DeMarco conceded that he had never met with a person who had been foreclosed upon, Cardoza says. “These people don’t live in the real world,” Cardoza says. “They don’t see the pain in people’s faces. It’s just an absolute outrage.”
Some of my readers will sneer at Cardoza, who calls himself a Blue Dog. But the Central Valley of California is a rather conservative place, and he is likely to be replaced by a Republican.
By the way: I am continually stunned by the way Republicans spin the growing discontent with Obama as a populist rejection of "liberalism" or even "socialism." Look, for example, at this absurd piece of right-wing histrionics:
Cardoza made multiple pleas for Obama to tour the Central Valley with him so he could see the devastation created by failed liberal government policies.
No. Cardoza made clear, when talking to Cenk, that he wanted Obama to see the devastation caused by failed pro-Wall Street policies. In fact, Cardoza used language that would have made any OWS protester proud when he condemned Tim Geithner as a creature wholly controlled by the big banks.
This speaks to a larger issue. Every time someone castigates this administration for its failures, the rightists try to spin that critique to their own benefit. The right even tried to hijack the OWS movement in its initial stages. It's a thin line we trod: On one hand, we must damn Obama; on the other, we must damn those who damn Obama.
"It's a thin line we trod: On one hand, we must damn Obama; on the other, we must damn those who damn Obama."
Boy, is that ever true. I'm so freaking angry at Obama I could spit. The speech the other day: now he's the resurrected Teddy Roosevelt. Oh, Pul-e-ese! If flapping your lips was a sign of leadership, Barack Obama would be King of the World, a title he aspires to.
But the Republicans? Newt Gingrich? Mitch McConnell? Rick Perry et al? They're beyond redemption. We're talking toads of the worst kind. And mean-spirited. Anti-everything that has any human value. This is all about the blessed ideology, that doesn't work and has brought nothing but misery.
What a conundrum we find ourselves in. Makes my head spin.
posted by Anonymous : 1:36 PM
The Obama administration should be tried for federal hobbs act violations, extortion under the color of right.
Homeowners were forced to default on their mortgage BEFORE they could even apply for HAMP.
Using taxpayer funds to lure homeowners into a default just for the privilege of APPLYING for HAMP, (not getting HAMP, but just applying for it), is a federal hobbs action violation).
I've been advocating Justiable Debt Restructure, Cardoza's plea is milder version of my idea.
Geithner is so empatico for his wall street buddies and is fearful of the "losses" all of his rich wall street investors will "suffer" if homeowners are given an across the board 4% flat rate, 40 year mortgage.
Dare we even speak about lowering credit card interest rates for those who can actually pay down their credit card debt?
What Barack "Baron Von Muchausen disease by proxy" wants is that all the money goes through his hands first, before it goes to any little person.
Any solution that actually simply allows people to fight their way out of debt, he's not interested.
"Geithner is so empatico for his wall street buddies and is fearful of the "losses" all of his rich wall street investors will "suffer" if homeowners are given an across the board 4% flat rate, 40 year mortgage."
But what gets me is this: Banks traditionally don't want to own foreclosed homes, and they get rid of them, quick, at fire sale prices. Wouldn't they too profit from mortgage restructuring?