Who caused the mortgage meltdown?

Terry Garlock's picture

The best lies have a grain of truth, and if repeated enough, become accepted as common knowledge. As Grandma used to say, “A lie travels twice around the world before the truth can tie its shoes.” And as we all know a great lie can be simplified into a convenient sound bite while the truth is a little more complex and messy.

There is a great lie being fed to you now. For nearly two years you have been told by President Obama that the Republicans are to blame for “getting us into this mess,” the ones who “drove us into the ditch and now want the keys to the car again.” That’s clever imagery, but I hope you didn’t drink that Kool-Aid.

The truth is America has been heading toward an economic reckoning for a very long time. Spending money we don’t have is the irresponsible foundation of our problem, personally and as a nation. How convenient it must be for politicians not to have to come to agreement on allocating limited resources, all they have to do is push their favorite programs and borrow from our children to pay for it, even if there are already five duplicate programs in operation.

Politicians promise the moon to voters to buy their vote with our money, piling up a mountain of entitlement obligations we cannot meet. Those very same louts swiped the Social Security surplus and spent it, worsening the Social Security crisis we are now facing. Add to that Medicare, Medicaid, an aging population, overwhelming debt, spending deficits that seem a bottomless well of red ink and we are facing fiscal Armageddon.

We like things to be simple, so who is the boogyman? Democrats and Republicans like to blame each other but maybe the ultimate culprits are you and me, the ones who hold out the “gimme” hand to politicians. But let’s look a little deeper.

Good thing the guys in white jackets with restraining straps didn’t see me yelling at my TV during the Bush administration. I yelled at the TV telling him not to pull the trigger on Iraq but he didn’t listen. When he did pull the trigger, I was a supporter, but I also thought the rest of us back home at least ought to be paying for it instead of sending the bill to our children.

But I yelled at President Bush for other things. When he preached that Islam is a peaceful religion in the wake of 9/11, I knew we were in trouble.

When he turned airport security guards into federal employees so you and I can pay them the rest of their lives, my yelling escalated into a scream, and I pounded my head on a wall when he created another bureaucracy titled Homeland Security.

My yelling was preceded by disbelief when he teamed up with Senator Ted Kennedy to give birth to the monstrous new prescription entitlement now known as Medicare Part D. Unbelievable.

So the Bush Administration was not innocent on our economic health. But where did the mortgage meltdown come from, the trigger to the crisis that rippled through countless financial institutions?

In 1977 during the Carter Administration, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was passed to counter “redlining,” a mortgage lending practice that declined to lend for mortgages in low-income neighborhoods. The banks said the risk was higher, the government said redlining was discriminatory, and I say they were both right. CRA encouraged lending in low-income areas, but without posing undue risk to the lender. That seems sensible but it was a long time ago.

Flash forward to the Clinton Administration, during which a major push on low-income mortgages led to changes in CRA and heavy-handed political pressure. The President and key Democrats, notably Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, led the charge that created a boom in subprime lending.

Subprime means the borrower does not have the pristine credit and ability to pay that lenders normally require, and the compensation for the higher risk of a subprime loan is a higher interest rate.

Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) are quasi-government agencies with the mission of encouraging mortgage lending by purchasing mortgages from lending institutions, creating securities by packaging the loans for resale, and selling to other financial institutions as income-producing securities.

Fannie and Freddie had underwriting (quality control) standards that kept the sub-prime portion of their portfolio quite low to maintain high quality in the securities they offered, but the increasing pressure of CRA and direction from highly influential Democrats led to lowering underwriting standards.

Fannie and Freddie analysts protested because of the elevated risk and lower quality of loans, but they were forced to accept loans that heretofore would have been summarily rejected.

Some loans accepted by Fannie and Freddie were no-doc loans, absent documentation of a borrower’s ability to pay, a circumstance that would never have been acceptable by traditional standards. But the Democrats, with some Republican support, were pushing hard to make home ownership available to lower income Americans. And push they did. Nevertheless, Fannie and Freddie customers bought the subprime securities since the higher income they paid was attractive.

During his administration President Bush worried about the financial viability of Fannie and Freddie. He proposed measures to bolster their financial strength and re-establish underwriting standards, efforts defeated with Barney Frank leading the charge.

Meanwhile, real estate was booming, and the subprime lending industry boomed with it. Since underwriting standards were compromised, a few “predatory” subprime lenders could get away with dirty tricks like talking borrowers into loans they had no hope of paying.

There were also “liar loans” wherein the borrower simply lied about income and ability to pay, getting away with it by a subprime lender who didn’t do even the cursory underwriting required.

We all like to have a boogeyman to blame, and a few of these cases provided the boogeyman, but the real problem was in mainstream subprime lending where borrowers in great numbers were being encouraged by government to buy homes they simply could not afford.

Subprime lenders found a way to make it happen. They put the subprime borrowers in variable rate loans, with an artificially low “teaser rate” up front to lower their monthly payment, a ticking time bomb with a higher rate and higher payment coming due that would lead the borrower to default.

But no problem, real estate values are constantly increasing, so when the teaser rate expires, Mr. and Mrs. Borrower, just refinance and we’ll give you another teaser rate.

Subprime loans with inherently high default risk piled up at Fannie and Freddie, and the securities they resold to financial institutions had increasing problems that eventually became widely known.

The bubble burst when real estate values took a dip, teaser rate mortgages began to reset to the higher rates in great volume, refinancing was not possible since the loan-to-value ratio was now upside down, subprime borrowers defaulted in large numbers, and the whole government-sponsored low income mortgage ball of twine began to unravel.

Financial institutions were stuck with huge amounts of mortgage securities whose value was evaporating and the domino effect of toxic assets began to be felt in widespread lack of confidence, restrained lending and weakened financial strength sometimes leading to insolvency. America’s economy held its breath.

Fannie and Freddie (taxpayer) losses are estimated at $300 billion, but that was just the surface bleeding while the crisis cascaded throughout financial markets. The bailouts began, but don’t get me started, no more room today.

You might be interested to know that Democrats Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the prime culprits who did in fact get us into this mess, are still pushing the same low-income mortgage agenda even while new waves of subprime defaults are headed our way when teaser rates reset to market rates and borrowers are unable to refinance, unable to make the higher payments.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s mortgage assistance programs both old and new, the ones that use your money to help pay for someone else’s mortgage, are only postponing the inevitable.

Next time you hear President Obama talk about the Republicans “... who got us into this mess,” remember a quote from my mother who would say, “He’s full of balloon juice!” Mom is far more polite than I am.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

kevink
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Terry Garlock. Greetings mate.

On your last couple of opinion pieces, you have been asked very specific and direct questions by me and others about some of your "looser" facts. You have failed to answer them. Yet you have chosen to blog anout other trivial and tertiary issues. I want to take your words seriously, but if you won't even debate your ideas, which I trust you have researched, it makes me think you are just making political noise for the echo chamber to propogate. Fair enough I guess.

tgarlock
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Kevin, you're a smart and I'm sure . . .

. . . decent guy I wouldn't mind meeting over a cup of coffee. But endless argument is not my style, even if I am baited by accusations of lack of courage or loose facts, and there is little chance either of us would convince the other of anything. I said what I meant to say in my op-ed, not for political purposes but because I believe it to be true. I'm not inclined to join the circular firing squad here, but I do occasionally comment when my judgment fails me. Fire away.

kevink
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Terry G. This isn't firing squad stuff. No head shots here.

T-Man simply asked, under your "Obamacare" story, who pays NOW when the uninsured enter emergency rooms? We both know the answer to that.... thee tax payer.

I asked why you call The Affordable Healthcare Act "Obamacare?" The President has no hand in the administering of my policy. United Healthcare does. We just want to have a conversation, Terry. And, trust me, you KNOW you've faced greater foes than us in your lifetime.

Cheers

carbonunit52
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kevink, please don't be too hard on Terry

for it is a long, arduous walk down the mountain.

kevink
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Greetings Carbon

As I have recently relocated, with much help from a Mayor and his Mrs, we should have ample more opportunities to skewer Mr. Garlock's indefensible columns over roasted beans.

carbonunit52
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kevink

Yes, and now with bright and clear weather to match the conversation.

Ninja Guy
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Kevy, I Totally Agree!

Even I, who usually like to jab Terry about getting all able-bodied military retirees off the public dole on each and every one of his posts, passed up commenting on his opinion piece this time--it seemed cobbled together from thoughts stuffed in an old trunk! I wrote a few lines, then thought my time would be better spent cleaning out the clutter drawer in my kitchen in honor of Fireman Rick! Seems T-Gar is running out of steam lately!

Go Falcons, keep the Colts in the Luck Lottery (that boy does have an arm--looks NFL ready right now)!

kevink
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Ninja tricerberus guy, I winced last week when you painted Terry

into the "no socialism for anyone" corner. I expected him to make a half-hearted defense, but he chose the fetal ball or "turtle shell" strategy. It lets you see how little material those who share Terry's opinions have to work with. It is really making his job tough.

As to your thinking of writing a blog, then choosing instead to clean gutters or junk drawers, I was going to write a letter to the editor explaining to the Ann Coulters, Bill O'Reillys, and Shawn Hannitys of the world that if women are paid thousands for claims of sexual harassment at the hands of a man who wants to be our President, it is news. It is not racial. If Mitt Romney had been accused, FOX would have been all over it. If Barack Obama had been the subject of identical accusations, Fox would consider these women national heroes. The claims of racial bias and lynchings by conservatives have been sickening. I also know they don't care. So I put my pen away, and waxed my cars instead.

MYTMITE
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Kev, did you wax poetically?

Sorry, just had to do it.

Davids mom
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We were warned

We were warned by then President Eisenhower (R) about the greed of the 'oil' men who wanted to take over our country. It's a waste of time to play the blame game now. We need to look at the reality of where we are now and work together to seek solutions. Who is holding back recovery funds now? What is the truth about the availability of funds to help those with mortgage problems? It's invigorating to see the PEOPLE stand up to the banks and other financial institutions who took our money (bail outs) corrected their mistakes, and now charge us unreasonable fees to make sure that they continue to make substantial profits. The 'let them eat cake' attitude is creating the anti-Wall Street activity.

NUK_1
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DM: There is punishment pending against banks

All the state AG's got together with the Obama administration about all the class action lawsuits all over the country now in regards to robo-signing affadavits(fraud), failure to possess titles on properties they foreclosed upon(more fraud), the whole MRES system(fraud), etc.

Problem is that most AG's and Obama want a 20billion settlement that wipes the slate clean of all crimes past and even future in these areas of proven fraud. The banks say "that's too much...waaaahhhh!" Fortunately for people who believe the law means something, the NY AG has dug his heels in and refused to sign-off on this BS because there are a lot of pending cases in NY and he can single-handedly torpedo the deal and force the offending banks to suffer the consequences, which will be a hell of lot more than 20bil. They may want another round of bail-outs afterwards, but maybe they should have thought of that while they laughed about existing laws and willfully violated them over and over.

As far as banks making loans to people who they knew had no chance in hell of paying them off...."we" already bailed them out for their stupidity. As far as how they were able to package these terrible loans and get them highly-rated by S&P and Moody's and then sell them to each other and create a huge financial fustercluck, I'm afraid that most got bailed-out for that too simply because the whole global financial system probably would have collapsed otherwise.

This isn't a "greed" issue as much as it criminals running wild and getting away with it so far. OWS ain't going to change that when they have no clue what they are for/against.

suggarfoot
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Davd's Mom we agree

"It's invigorating to see the PEOPLE stand up to the banks and other financial institutions who took our money (bail outs) corrected their mistakes, and now charge us unreasonable fees to make sure that they continue to make substantial profits. The 'let them eat cake' attitude is creating the anti-Wall Street activity."

The problem I think is that people are so busy working to take care of their family, they vote for someone THEY THINK is honest, then turn their backs and trust this person.

We have seen here at the local level, that doesn't work much less in Washington.

People may wind up having to do what they think is unimaginable, that being, something like pulling the crooks and politicians into the streets and tar and feathering them.

That sound far fetched? During the American Rev, they shot them, so in my book, they would be getting off easy with just a little tar.

Our government is corrupt to the point it matters little who goes to Washington. Obama had good intentions but those good intentions were made a mockery of at every corner. The Rep voted against/butchered everything he tried to do to help us.
They have shown they care nothing for the citizens/taxpayers/innocent, only being in power and stopping at nothing to get there. It is all about money.

I wish Ralph Nader would run as an independent.

lion
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Cain

So will all you tea party folks agree that Herman Cain is a disgusting womanizer and a joke as a serious candidate for President of the United States?

In your hatred of President Obama, you apparently will embrace anyone you think is ideologically pure and might defeat President Obama. Even an intellectual light weight, third tier radio talk show host, lobbyist,and blowhard like Caine.

Cyclist
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Cain

According to the Rev. Al Sharpton, Cain is not "black enough". Rev. Sharpton stated about Cain "He hasn't seen what the Black man has seen living in the south."

Come to think of it, neither did the President.

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1824

Davids mom
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Cy

Being 'black' at UCLA, Occidental, USC, or Stanford in California back in the day was not too,too different from being black in other parts of our country. Our President left the diversity of Hawaii to the not so subtle racism at Occidental. I'm not defending Sharpton's comments. In many black households in the south, I'm finding that children were protected by their parents and community from the ugliness of segregation. (Note Condoleeza Rice) Just sayin'.

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lion

I don't hate Obama. He tried, and that is all I ask of anyone. My problem is with the elected politicans that didn't work with him to do something to help the working class.

Yep, it would appear that Cain reached for one to many croches according to the paper today. To her credit, the woman didn't file charges, she just took it and only came forward to support the other ..what...thousand? that have come forward in the past few days. She had sworn states from at lease 2 friends who she told all those years ago when it happened.

Having been there, done that, I can only say that it makes you feel dirty even though you did nothing, and there is always the chance someone will believe him over you. I'm sure that rolled through her thoughts back then. I'm glad she came forward, it was probably very good for her soul and she has closure.

suggarfoot
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I agree with you

The Glass-Steagall Act was put in place 1933. The banks have been picking away at all the regulations and finally got enough lobbyist and crooked politicans to get rid of it in 1999. Ten years later, a lot feel (I'm one of them) that this reestablishing conflict of interest within the financial industry and fostered the "too big to fail" institutions that led to the housing market collapse and its associated financial crisis.

The repeal enabled Citigroup,etc, to underwrite and trade instruments such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and establish so-called structured investment vehicles.

The year before the repeal, sub-prime loans were just five percent of all mortgage lending. By the time the credit crisis peaked, they were approaching 30 percent.

The bill that "repealed" the Act was brought by Phil Gramm (R-Texas) and in the House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa) in 1999. The bills were passed by a Republican majority, 54–44 vote in the Senate and by a bi-partisan 343–86 vote in the House of Representatives. The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999.

Roosevelt closed the banks (back when presidents were great men) to see who was good and who was worthless, he never considered any 'too big to fail'. He went over their business models and books and closed some, gave some limited operating status, and some where considered well run and good to go.

If only for a leader with the grit, honesty, and concern of Roosevelt.

The innocent have been sold for a buck.

halfdollarandlost
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suggarfoot

Way to plagiarize suggarfoot.

conditon55
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Don't Regulate Me, Bail Me Out

The folks in the finance industry own responsability for the melt down. Business always cries for deregulation, like now for instance. And in this case their wish was granted. Then unable and unwilling to police themselves they drove the system to the brink of ruin. Having let the situation get away from themselves they cried for tax payer bailout.

It happend in the 1920s, it happended in the 2000s.

But the responsiblity sits squarely on the poeple who run the businesses. The ciretia to determine as as understood as the phases of the moon and the tides. If the folks in the finance industry claim they didn;t know what was going on, I would say - that is your business. How can you not know your business.

There is a cautionary tale here as congress considers whether or not to reduce oversight and regulation. The industry owns the burden to act responsibly regardless of the letter of the law.

So you idea to blame Banry Frank I say. Really ? Do you really think it is his fault ? If so and this is the prevailing wisdom then we are doomed. Doomed to repeat the same stupid scenarios time after time.

What's that smell ? Its coffee. It is the coffee brewing. Time to wake up and smell the coffee brewing.

NUK_1
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Here's some questions for the re-regulate crowd

Do you think for-profit institutions like banks and mortgage companies should be forced by government to make loans to individuals who are not credit-worthy in any way, shape or form and also cannot even prove employment or income?

Do you think the government should basically guarantee to the mortgage-maker these kind of loans above?

Do you think the functions served by Fannie and Freddie Mac are appropriate? Do you believe in a home-ownership society in America?

Do you think that people who are underwater in their mortgage should be given bail-outs without having to prove employment, proof of income, and ability to repay?

Do you think banks, mortgage companies and investment banks should have been bailed-out in the first place? If so, do you think that these same institutions now requiring much more stringent borrowing requirements are wrong to do such?

Do you believe when you sign a contract to pay a loan back at a certain amount over a certain number of years that you should have to or if your home value declines you no longer are responsible for what you agreed to?

Cyclist
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Do you think for-profit institutions like...

banks and mortgage companies...should be forced by government to make loans to individuals who are not credit-worthy in any way, shape or form and also cannot even prove employment or income?

Eric Holder seems to think so. Gee, I wonder who pulls his strings.

kevink
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Cyclist. Please explain

How the DOJ penalized banks for not loaning unqualified people money. All I remember is Bush 41 running for reelection in 04 on the fact that, under his programs, more Americans than ever owned houses. I don't think Holder worked for him, and Pres. Bush definitely sought credit for this. You don't remember? You pulling a Cain? :-). Have a great day buddy. Hope tests went well.

Cyclist
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Kevin

Bush 41 ran for re-election in 2004? Really?? I didn't know that; tell us more.

Anyways, we all know that past Presidents have used the old home ownership statistic to future their appeal. But as far as I know, none had to use the US AG to force - through threats - banks to make bad loans. See Nuk's post.

But hey, we live in new times!!! Heck we even have a US AG that's involved with gun running. (eyes rolling)

NUK_1
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kevin: DOJ already collected 20mil under Holder for this

http://news.investors.com/Article/577794/201107081851/DOJ-Begins-Bank-Wi...

You'll have to register to see the whole article.

As far as Bush's big push for a "home ownership society?" Really, really dumb on his part. It the typical "it sounds REALLY good and a nice idea" that works in political speech and doesn't in reality.

Also, the Obama home mortgage refi proposal doesn't require lenders to verify income or credit as the govt is guaranteeing it.

MYTMITE
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Isn't that how we got into this mess to begin with? I remember

all the advertising: no money down, no qualifying----as if anyome with an ounce of intelligence couldn't see where this was going. Some of this blame really lies with the homeowner---even at my youngest and dumbest, I had enough sense to know if I didn't have the money, there was no way I was going to be able to pay for a mortgage, insurance, and all that goes with home ownership---same way with these large college loans---what happened to going to school and working at the same time--or working a semester, going to school a semester--going to a jr college for two years and then moving on, going with a less prestigeous college with lower tuition---or taking up a trade which probably would be paying much better now than mosts MBA's? We, as citizens of this country really have to get back to standing on our own two feet and making the extra effort and taking the responsibility.

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@ Mytymite

What? That just makes too much sense! Live within your means? Worry about your responsibilities instead of what someone else has that you want? hahahahaha!!! Never going to happen!!

MYTMITE
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'Ain't' that the truth! It is much easier to blame everything

on someone else. I want to know when it became a necessity to have an Iphone, Wii,latest everything. I personally know people who say they are struggling, can't afford to pay their bills, etc., yet have all the latest technology, eat out almost every day, have designer bags and shoes---something is just so very wrong in this country and it is scary. If this was an evil plot by some country or some group to bring us to our knees it could not be more damaging. Little by little we are going down that slippery slope and the end is in sight. The only ones I see who have made any sacrificies are our service personnel who have lost their lives, limbs, etc., and come home to this situation. Like many great nations before us down through history, I am afraid we are heading into the 'has been' bin and it is sad and, yes, scary.

Davids mom
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There are credit worthy small businesses

Who are not getting help! I heard that in order to be considered for help, you had to be three months behind in your payments. For consideration of modification, you could have only one late payment in the past six months . (I may be way off on this, but it sounds to me like help was difficult to get! Small businesses who were credit worthy were for one reason or another, not eligible. Please correct me. Thanks.

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Dm

I believe Cy said Individuals, not companies. Also I took the topic of this thread to mean Home mortgages. For what it's worth.

Davids mom
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Hutch

Just sharing my opinion. It is too painful to bring out the ridiculous mortgage fiascos that our veterans have had to endure; the fiasco of changing mortgage holders and the property owners not knowing that their property had changed hands and they were in trouble. Banks bragging that they are there to help, and then auctioning the house at public sale. Sometimes the homeowner waited too long before asking for help, but many of those who lost jobs were traumatized. There were those that if the economy hadn't changed, could have kept up their payments. When gas went up, along with food prices, etc., they were too close to the edge to keep up with all of their bills. Part of the education curriculum should include household management for all students BEFORE they graduate from high school. Small businesses in local areas have not been able to get the credit they need to stay afloat. We are still in a catch 22 situation. At least there are CEO's who are trying to help rather than increase their bottom line. Everyone wins when credit opens up for small businesses in local communities.

kcchiefandy
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I did, DM...

"Part of the education curriculum should include household management for all students BEFORE they graduate from high school." -- It was called 'Independent Living' class; it included banking (accounts, checkbook management, etc...), cooking, laundry, etc... Also, most people where I came from lived by one very simple financial rule: if you can't afford it, don't buy it; if you don't know if you can afford it, then don't even look at it!

Davids mom
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We The People

Why do we denigrate government - and then look to a dysfunctional 'Guv ' for solutions! The blame game has to stop! I hope more successful businesses in the private sector follows Starbucks lead and collect funds from the public to loan to small businesses. Next time you're in Starbucks, buy a wrist band for $5.00! While some legislators work hard to insure that Obama is a one term president , the private sector that is concerned about middle America is moving on with a plan to put Americans back to work. Check it out! Hooray for those successful businesses who see beyond the profit margin and realize that it is the consumer that feeds that profit!

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/224162/20111003/starbucks-mcdonalds-corp...

NUK_1
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DM: Just who is looking to government for solutions?

I know almost every Dem does and a good chunk of Repubs and of course the smelly Occupiers, but I don't think the many voters are that clueless these days.

lion
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Republicans

I was pleased to see that House Republicans voted to reaffirm "In God We Trust."

I was starting to have doubts about them. These Republicans have failed in recent years to follow the teachings of Jesus to heal the sick, to feed the poor and help the less fortunate. Conservative Republicans oppose any bills to help the poor, sick or unfortunate because President Obama is for such things and he is a tool of the Devil, or Islam, or whatever. Republicans instead follow the Biblical teaching to never raise taxes on the rich for they are the most blessed of all. (If you cannot find this commandment in your Bible, then you are not using the Republican Conservative Bible.)

Davids mom
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Lion

Roar on! In this economy, I can't believe I'm hearing the mantra 'Get a job!' from some Republicans.

Davids mom
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Nuk

You sort of answered your own question. I don't think we have that many clueless voters, but we'll see. (smelly occupiers ?). No one who is 'thinking' is looking for this Congress to accomplish anything. I think most will be voted out , regardless of party. Those smellies vote! The banks are holding on to funds (and they are republicanesque) in order
to insure that there is no miraculous recovery - but most important, those with isolationist tendencies are realizing that we are part of the global crisis .

AtHomeGym
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Nuk, DM, & The Gov

I think most voters just want the Gov to get out of the way and cease issung restrictive regulations that strangle existing business and make it difficult for folks looking to start something new.

Davids mom
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Starbucks/Nuk and AHG

If their foundation is successful - and almost all of their business endeavors are successful, local businesses will get the financial help that they need - and are not getting from banks,etc. who are sitting on substantial profits! It's worth the $5.00 to me to do something rather than wait for these incompetents in Congress to continue to play their power games. Government is supposed to provide those services that the states cannot provide for themselves. In my understanding, that's national security, etc. (Oops, getting into another issue.)

carbonunit52
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A simple opinion re: financial regulation

I believe that gamblers and speculators should not have access to anyone's equity other than their own.

NUK_1
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carbon: On that, totally agree

Let them gamble/speculate with their own profits, not money that is backed up ultimately by the taxpaying citizen. Giving banks and other financial institutions carte blanche to take whatever risk they want and that "risk" being guaranteed not to lose is insanity.

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All this may be true but

the pin that burst the bubble was the spike in gas prices and delayed availability of gas after the hurricane hit the gulf.

This has still not been sufficiently addressed or corrected and until it is we are in deep crap.

When this foreclosure smoke screen clears we will still have unbearable energy costs that will prohibit a recovery of our economy.

I'm looking into wood gasification and micro-hydro electric power.

suggarfoot
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Joined: 10/10/2007
you do know

that the levee that gave way in MSY had been known by the core of engineers and congress had voted n put aside money to fix it. It seems that Bush took the same money out of the kiddy and used it on the Iraq war leaving MSY at the mercy of fate.

The oil companies have also been let operate things in such a way that a hurricane or carelessness, would/could cause a major oil spill.

All to make the rich richer.

kevink
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Joined: 01/07/2011
Suggarfoot. Let me be loud, clear, and unambiguous

I cannot agree more with your posts under Garlock's opinion piece. I agree with you 100% that attempts to shift blame do not solve the TRUE underlying problems; be it the oversight of financial institutions or the power of the oil industry to buy political influence.
It's amazing to think a congressman has more power than the richest industry on planet Earth. Not much more for me to say, because you and the above posters have laid it out VERY well.

ps. I also hope you realize that no matter what I'm writing about, I always blog with a smile; for realz.... even when talking to jokeawfi.

Cheers

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