I’m sure by now you’ve seen the Rick Santelli video where he had a meltdown on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange over the President’s…Mortgage Bailout Plan? I don’t know what we’re calling it yet, but Santelli’s beef seemed to be what the beef is with most of these bailouts…bailing out irresponsible people with the tax dollars of those who were responsible.
When I hear of bailing out mortgages, I always think of this one story that was on the front page of my local newspaper last year. A woman was saying she couldn’t afford her $750,000.00 home (that’s three-quarters of a million dollars) that she bought – not doing any research into the school district, property taxes, or prices of the other homes in the area – just because she liked it and assumed it was a good price. I digress.
There were two things aboot what’s being known as “The Chicago Tea Party” that caught my attention. One was the White House’s reaction to it, essentially saying Santelli was an idiot who never read the plan. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs even expanded that to cover all of cable news, saying that if he listened to cable news during the campaign he would think they lost every news cycle.
Yes, the White House is complaining that the news is being unfair to them. Let that one simmer for a little while.
The other thing was how Santelli’s comments are being misconstrued. Yes, we all know that he’s a big scary “derivatives trader” and that in class warfare anyone who makes more money than you is the enemy. But listen to the question Santelli asked. Do we want to bailout the people who irresponsibly bought houses they couldn’t afford, when many economists claim that even with a bailout there’s a good chance they’ll still wind up defaulting?
Or, do you let the houses (and cars for that matter) go to foreclosure so that American’s who have been doing the right thing – saving money and renting when they couldn’t afford to buy (two friends of mine come to mind) – have an opportunity to buy at a reduced rate, either by way or auction or simply because the house prices are in their prices range?
Yes, having houses for sale in your neighborhood can lower your property value, but they can also give you the opportunity – as someone who has “played by the rules” and saved your money – to buy that house as an investment, and maybe rent it to a younger family who is just starting out?
Methinks if the Obama Administration had good answers for those questions, they wouldn’t be considering celebrity endorsements to help sell their bailout.
UPDATE: Le sigh…
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