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Pete Flint, Home Buyer in Noe Valley, San Fran...

How would you grade President Obama’s handling of the housing crisis in 2009?

Asked by Pete Flint, Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA Fri Jan 15, 2010

Housing has been one of the key focus areas for Obama during his first year in office – he tried to keep homeowners in their homes with the Mortgage Relief plan and tried to spur sales with the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, among other things. How would you grade his performance on housing and what do you think needs to be done in 2010?

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Thom,
Rather than focus on the corporation and their twisted messages to the American people, invest a bit of faith in your neighbors to look through the propaganda of the day and see their own individual truth on the issues. Accept that far the majority of the apathetic votes caste are on the far left or far right and that they simple cancel each other out in an election leaving the decision to 20 or 25% of the American people who are in the middle of the political spectrum who take the time to cast informed votes on issues the issues of the day. Accept the fact that each and every election is a step in what the nation as a whole sees as the ‘correct direction’ Sometimes that step is a jump to the far left or a jump to the far right, but mostly it is steps in the direction of slightly left of center. Hrm…. add a bit of gyrating of the hips and I guess you have the “time warp.”

Let the corporations do what the corporations are going to do and be countered by what our labor unions are going to do. Frankly, almost everyone will twist the available facts to suit their message and exclude those that don’t support it. Right left or in the middle. There have been countless elections since 1788 and we haven’t got it right yet. But we have managed to live through the worst times and the best times and survived them both. So I can easily give us an A+ on that one. Even if we haven’t reached that goal of domestic tranquility quite yet.

To me the root cause is in us. We expect too much too fast for a complex system such as our government to provide. But even if it was possible for the government to provide our demands quickly, we rarely take an opportunity to declare success in their endeavors before we have changed the goals and the expectations. To me, 2008 was about stopping the hemorrhaging economy. It was done. However, in the two years since 2008, the American people have changed their demands to jobs. Can we take a moment before we continue screaming for the blood of our elected Representative and Senators to maybe thank them for stopping the hemorrhaging economy?

Apparently not. So much like winning the war in Iraq, I find this a bit disappointing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 3, 2010
What part of this is npt understood, You had a president that threw us into a war on rumors of weapons of mass destruction, which never existed by the way, cost 1.3 Trillion so far and this same president talked about a Trillion dollar project to Mars, What then did he do for us? He walked out of the white house with wall street in a spiral not seen since the great depression. You had republicans running back to Washiongton in October of 2008 ready to okay what ever bail out was needed, not for the American people, the tax payer, but for the Banks and the insurance companies! We saw them being bailed out as they turned around and foreclosed on a record number of homes, Tax payers were foreclosed on and then after being expelled from their homes were mmade to bail out the same people that demanded their homes to be foreclosed upon. So tell me what did the last administration really do for us, they spent money we never had and then they placed tax breaks to the wealthy which took income coming in that would have paid for some of this expense. Try barrowing money as you tell the loan officer that you will be taking in less income. Tell me one more thing Where the hell was John McCains head when he decided to have Sara Palin as a running mate? Tell me why after all this she couldn't finish out her term as a one term Governor. I once respected John McCain and now well he is just like the rest, do wehat ever it takes to win the office even if you have to flip and flop! Honestly I have watch the Republican Party change and to be honest to you all, it is not an educated man's party anymore! Joe the Plumber, what was that, he wasn't even licensed, how was he ever going to be a contractor. Then there is this $250,000 dollar a year income bracket, unfortunately as a Realtor I see very few people in the bracket, in Florida they say the Average Doctor is making about $120,000 a year, The fact is that only 6% of the country makes this bracket, the rest are far less, yet the party the voice of the people as you constantly apout, seems to be very upset that we have taxes on this income bracket that is not fair. What does someone making $100,000 or less a year give a damn what goes on with a higher income bracket. Seems you have lackies that seem to do your bidding.

You remind us that Obama needs to act in the consert of the wil;l of the people, you seem to have forgotten that it was the will of the people that got him into office. By the way your will is not the same as my will, so do not play this will of the people crap! Your party lost the office because of the will of the people! Jeanne F says Obama deserves an F for all he has done so far, if that is the Case, then Bush should have been expelled be cause he performed far worse than this president. So please stop all this crap about the president and learn to respect the office even though it is not your president of choice. Understand that it is not your will that this president seems to represent, but it is mine, and I find it insulting that you think that my will is of less value than yours.
The Republican party incouraged at its rallies to make disrespectful statements about this president, posters that offended me, and honestly the nasty way you all speak aboutanyone that disagrees with your party's stance. Remember this the republican party is the Party of Lincoln, remember, he started a war to make the Southern States to bed to the will of the Federal Government and return to the Union. They used violence to make them submit to the Government, where was the will of the people then. Oh we know that the cause was just because we ended Slavery, but we made States bend to the will of the federal government and we did it with extreme force. This was the Republican party at work in its birth years. The party now wants us to believe that we allow states to have their own say in their governing and the Federal Government should not be involved. Stop taling out of both ends and offer more than the constant droning for more tax cuts.
One final thought, We have debt, the republicans say we should pay for our projects, but if you give tax breaks then our income lessens and our debts and their interest only rise, what fool doesn't see that simple math! Maybe it is just an oversight or there was too much tanning oil in Johns eyes!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 29, 2010
More about the Vice Presidents visit to Manchester Nh 8/26/10

With the arrival Joe Biden came the helicoptors, early and often they cirlced my house in circular patterns knocking me out of bed a little earlier than normal. Later in teh mroning when the motorcade made it's way from the Manchester airport to the home where the press conference was being held, ALL roads were closed, cutting the city in half and closing off key roads to the highway, bank, my appointments and my lunch.

I wish a little warning of road closures would have been made public. So i thought hmmm, the motorcade would be an opportunity as my car is stuck in traffic, cant go straight, cant turn around to get out of the car and watch, maybe make a sign to join the others gathering, maybe wave or tell him he is number 1. As i looked around someone stoile my idea with a large foam finger you would find at a baseball game with the finger moved a little towards the middle. I wish i though t of it and i wish i had my own foam finger.

But then came the PD that no one could stand on the road or sidewalk to watch the vice prez go by where we were stopped. Back to our cars it was... no chance to see the flash of black limo. No chance to see or be seen... More importantly to see our representaives in Washington flanking him to remind them to respect the people of NH in what we stand for instead of voting with the wicked witch of the west 98% of the time despite what the will of the Nh people are.

But it is ok Mrs Shea Porter and Mr Hodes. We will see you in November when it is time to reelect you.... The will of the people will then have its voice that you silenced and deliver your one way ticket out of Washington.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 27, 2010
Yesterday Joe Biden came to my home town, Manchester NH to "celebrate" (cough cough) the 200,000 home in the country that was weatherized with stimulus money. With throngs of reporters following the one report that stands out is this morning newspaper report from the AP: "While the Recovery Act has helped increase renewable energy, the fact that it is a one-time jolt makes it difficult to project that the growth will continue for the next couple of years," the AP reported.

The administration reported this is the Summer of Recovery. As the end of the Summer of Recovery comes to end with Labor day approaching fast... stimulus spending is going to end up like the home-buying credit and "cash for clunkers" -- with a big crash when it runs out of cash.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 27, 2010
Back to the original topic, Obama is no different than a doctor in an emergency room, the patient, our economics was just wheeled in from a terrible auto accident. It is bleeding everywhere and there are multiple injuries, some we can't see others that are very obvious! It takes time to find out the vitals, time to stop the bleeding, then more intense testing to see what else is wrong, it takes time to stablize the patient, get the patient from the ER to the OR, to the ICU, and eventually to a regular room where recovery can continue! This is by the way, not Obama;s fault, try looking at banks that were oblivious of financial standing, if the house appraised my Yorkie could have gotten a mortgage back in 2004. We saw Builders selling homes with 0% down, we saw our Children in College buying Lattes with their Mastercard, We saw Aprraisers making calls on values that stunned even us the listing agents. We saw people walking in the door of our agencies looking for Flip homes, people that couldn't afford the cars they drove to our office in. Life was good, provided you looked through the right shade of glasses. Now we sit here and we look at the president like a spoiled child looks at it's parents and we go, Fix it Daddy! Get real! Do we put men on the moon if even one person in this country hungers or struggles, do we give Pakistan 10 Billion to be our friend, Do we hold hands with Arab kings , knowing they disrespect our economy and that 11 of their countrymen plotted against us and struck us on 9/11. Stop with the blame and use you influence as profesionals in this field and fix what you can here and now, and if you're an American Citizen act like one, My Father always told me this was the best country in the world, He taught me to respect it, it's flag, it's people and it's way of life! He was a Republican through and through, today if he were alive he would frankly be ashamed of the party he supported, 40 senators sit there and grouse and they do nothing to help. The do nothing days are over, it is not more important for your party to be in power than it is for our country to be in power, and it is not, we are looking bad to so much of the world that it is shameful. I am an immigrant, I am a proud Citizen of the United States, I have served my country and I never once did any of it for one party over the other. And Debbi if you can't be respectful for the office of the president fine, I put my life on the line for that freedom, just sit back though and ask yourself, what have you done for your country other than be a puppet for a party!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
-Higher taxes will undermine and destroy the already anemic economy.

The Bush tax cuts has already seen to destroying the economy.... Time to go back to the rates under Clinton, even Alan Greenspan agrees.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
Mack, what I hear is a call to stop taking sides -forget who is to blame - we are in trouble, we all are in trouble, and however we got here, we are here and heading to the edge. When you are going the wrong way, you need to stop, think and get on the right path. Forget about how you got lost, it's time to find our way home.

I'm sorry I couldn't help myself but to tune back in - just when I thought I was safe, the Q&A notification function that hasn't worked for me for months kicked in.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 20, 2010
Nice to see agreement among you three- Gabe, Jeanne, Deb(PA). So if we dump Obama and install an unknown republican in the WH, and enough Dems for some conservative, roll-back Reps we will be on the right track for economic recovery. I got it. Even though they have had no ideas to date, when they have the power, they can be counted on to develop some. If we just trust them one more time, we should be OK soon. Just one thing, please articulate one more time the conservative approach, the essence of which will be what we should all expect and want. Be specific if you can, i.e. not just roll back help for GMC so they sink or swim. Or, create more jobs without a plan for doing so. Convince me and there will be four. Good luck my fellow Americans.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 20, 2010
Gee, Debbi(pa), you passed up another opportunity to refute my baseless assertions.

Paul's problem regarding short sales is really everybody's problem. As Gretchen Morgenson pointed out in Sunday's NYT, two-thirds of primary mortgages are serviced by banks who do not own them but hold the accompanying seconds, and those servicers have an interest in making sure that amounts owed on the second lien, which it owns, continue to be paid even if the first loan, which it has no interest in, slides into delinquency.

There is no "fair and equitable" solution to this mess. If borrowers are going to have their feet held to the fire, we are all going to suffer. If borrowers are let off the hook, those who fulfilled their obligations are going to be resentful.

But the fact is, you can't squeeze equity out of a house that's underwater, and it shouldn't take longer for a bank or servicer to process a short-sale app and figure out whether a home is under water or not than it takes for an insurance carrier to write a life-insurance policy. And the head-slapper of all this is: the faster the banks approve short sales, the more bidding and the higher prices they'll get for them, resulting in lower write-offs.

So, what's stopping them?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Mack-
Give up, they truly want to go back to the days of reaganomics. Jaffo Nerr is closer to their truth and than they may want to admit. They really care nothing about deficits, they truly want to end social security and medicare just to pay for tax cuts. They completely ignore the fact that reagan had to increase taxes 3 times because the deficits created by his tax cuts. They work from their own set of facts, they claim that the policies under FDR didn't help the country. There's a very interesting article by Tom Friedman, who I normally don't agree with much, in the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/opinion/18friedman.html?hp
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
I'm going to tackle the final question in Pete's original post - "what do you think needs to be done in 2010?"

My response: the only thing that will help the market is the upcoming election. If we all learn from the last 18 months and vote with our heads this go around, we stand a chance of righthing this ship. If not, well then the forecast is grim.

Nice to interact with you Deb - and who in the heck are you Mr. Jaffo Nerr?
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
"Doesn't much matter; the fact is, the rich stay rich and the middle class foots the bill. Mostly because the middle class seems to believe it is better to sacrifice themselves than to inconvenience the rich."

Hmmm... just my experience but the truly wealthy that I know that started with Middle Class wages had one basic concept that they understood: Cash Flow.

The Millionaire Next Door is an excellent book that goes over the concepts for anybody on a Middle Class wage to break the barrier.

But... it does take some sacrifice. Unfortunately... if everybody were to make those sacrifices and don't spend their money on everything they don't need, the Government wants it so they can spend it for you to "keep the economy going".

It's a Catch 22.

Personally... I'd rather spend my money in my local businesses then give it to some idiot in DC.

Just my thoughts...
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
Everybody believes in limited government and not overspending. What people don't agree on is what limits the government should impliment and what/when they should spend.

The war in Iraq is according to most economists the #1 expense that took our spending over the top (now followed by the war in Afghanistan. Yet 70% of all Americans backed it and apparently all Republicans....yet they don't wish to owe up to what they said in 2002. The fourth quarter of 2009 pushed our country (when lehman brothers fell) over the economic cliff...after the 2008 2009 fiscal calendar year but prior to the end of 2009. That was when we hit over 9% of debt to our GDP and it's stayed there every since.

Carter had the lowest GDP. Truman had the HIGHEST (in today's dollars) becaues of WWII and Bush the First and Reagan were the FIRST PRESIDENTS since Truman that TOOK THE graph upward. What was their excuse as they didn't have a major war on their hands at the time.....they cut taxes.

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

In short.....War is what unbalances the budget or reducing revenue.

I think we do need to get out of Afghanistan as quickly as we can. We should have been building that road we promised, increase education opportunities for women there via social orgnaization and back off the war effort as quickly as possible. We've proved that we can push the enemy back. That's all that's ever accomplished in war....you don't stop war from happening in the future and what precisely is the definition of victory in this war. It's pretty abstract.

Will that stop wars in Afghanistan...probably not considering the regions history. But I think education works better than warfare for changing people fundamentally in their core beliefs and we could spend a tenth of the amount we are spending now and have a deeper impact on the region
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 24, 2010
FAILURE...JUST LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE.
1. WHERE ARE THE JOBS?
2. WHERE IS THE STIMULUS MONEY FOR NEWLY CREATED SHOVEL READY PERMANENT JOBS?
3. WHERE ARE THE SAVED JOBS?
4. WHY ARE OUR TEACHER JOBS TAKEN AWAY FROM US????!!!?
5. WHY AREN'T THE PEOPLE'S WANTS CONSIDERED?
6. WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE?
7. WHO WANTS CAP & TRADE? HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY HIGHER UTILITY COSTS?
8. HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY ALL THESE NEW TAXES JANUARY 2011?
9. WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR HOPE AND CHANGE HE PROMISED US?
10. WHY ARE 20,000 PEOPLE GOING TO LOSE THEIR JOBS IN THE GULF COAST?
11. WHY WAS OIL DRILLING STOPPED BY ONE MAN...THE PRSIDENT?
12. WHY CAN'T ARIZONIANS BE FREE TO RUN THEIR OWN STATE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM PILLAGE AND MURDER AND USING PEOPLES LANDS AND RESOURCES? I CAN'T TAKE OVER SOMEONE ELSE'S HOME FOR MY OWN!
13. WHY DOES THE GOVERNMNENT HAVE TO KEEP GOING INTO TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF DEBT? 14. HOW COULD THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS DESTROY THE AUTO COMPANIES; IT WAS THOUGHT THEY HAD UNIONS?
15. WHY DID THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES (BANKS) LOWER PEOPLE'S GOOD CREDIT CARD LIMITS TO OUR LOW BALANCES TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE WE CHARGED TO THE LIMIT? THAT DESTROYED EVERYONE'S CREDIT SCORES AND GAVE HIGHER PERCENTAGE RATES TO BORROW?
16. PEOPLE CAN'T BUY HOUSES BECAUSE THEIR CREDIT HAS BEEN RUINED!
17. THE LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE TO SUFFER AS THEIR HOMES WERE TAKEN AWAY ALONG WITH GIVING UP THEIR HOME AND PETS AND SCHOOLS AND FRIENDS?
18. WHERE IS "OUR" AMERICA?
19. DOESN'T ANYONE CARE?!
21. I AND MANY OTHERS HAVE HAD OUR EYES OPEN!!!! NO MORE OBAMA. HE WAS NOT OUR BLACK HOPE!
22. HE'S DUMP{ED US AFTER HE GOT OUR VOTES!!!!!!
22. NOW HE'S GOING AFTER THE HISPANIC VOTE TO MAKE THEM LEGALIZED TO SAY THE HELL TO THE BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO PLACED HIM IN OFFICE WITH FREE RIDES TO GET TO THE POLES OR ABSENTEE VOTING TO MAKE SURE WE DID VOTE!
23. HE IS A LIAR! HE LIED TO US! GOD WILL JUDGE HIM HARSHLY!!!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 23, 2010
From Dee's Profile: "too caring to a fault." Man if that's caring, spouting tea party BS and right wing balderdash, give me nurse Rachet from Cuckoo's nest. I'll take a lobotomy before I will let that kind of thinking prevail. Good job Jerry, answering. Why not copy and paste into new box and answer each item. Here's one:
Why do we need national health care (financing reform)? Because millions are not covered now, US citizenship deserves better than uncontrolled fee-for-service charging by providers as if we are all a never empty pot of money, for example, breast cancer treatment costs $55,000 for the major drug used to be followed by the next treatment for the next disease, and the marketing of medical services should not be the same as selling shampoo or cereal to the maximum number of people, but for proven purposes where benefit is without question. We need more primary care providers and fewer plastic surgeons, more generic drugs. IMHO.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 23, 2010
Donna - Tell that to Congress and the guy that currently sits in the Oval Office.

They are in total control. They have the obligation to set the tone! In any organization, the tone and culture are set at the top. The buck should stop there, too.

To whom much is given, much is expected. A bell curve does not apply here. There is no "A" for failing to deliver. And frankly, they are not there to moderate each other's points of view. All they do when they co-mingle is come up with more "pork" deals.

There are there to represent their constituents. We the People, we the employers. And to prioritize the nation's problems and address them. We the People will be speaking clearly in November, because they are not "hearing" us now...
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 23, 2010
"The housing report is next we will be back in sixty seconds when we ask the question who made the most money during the housing crisis?"

Mack did.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 22, 2010
Gabriel, you are enigmatic, a philosopher king at the frontier of the inexplicable. I will ponder these things for the rest of my days: "The rest are looking for Atlantis and swimming upstream." and "Most of the sellers are on prozac and watching their favorite show flip that house."

I must go. There is opportunity in the chaos! I just finished looking at pictures of Kandahar in 2003. Completely bombed out. No roofs on the houses. Yet people still selling fruit and cigarettes! Making sacred commerce! FREEDOM!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 22, 2010
Dona brings up a good point. Excess,greed, irresponsibility played a vital part in our real estate demise.
Some of it still goes on. Construction is one of our largest industries a practice that cannot be outsourced overseas. Construction is light years ahead of all other industries when it comes to competition and efficiency.
For most industries cutting prices is a constant challenge. For the construction companies it is the opposite.
The price per square feet keeps going up. The state subsidizes the cost with taxpayers money just so that the prices are not prohibitive. Construction companies don't give a dam about keeping prices down. The costumer is going to pay come what may. One of the big costs is building materials. The trade in building materials goes through a wholesalers who set their own prices. Since there is not any real competition there. NO one is talking to the construction companies about unreasonable prices. The buyers cheerfully pay what they are told it costs and in the end the price burden fall on the renters or the tax payers.
Some builders fed up with the high cost of building materials import everything from Thailand and China at major savings and keep the cost difference instead of saving the public in the construction costs.
We have also been made victims of these practices of faulty materials that proved both unsafe and dangerous. Unfortunately the problem of producing materials here in the USA is always more expensive because of labor costs. Much of this excess created by the unions. To unravel the mistakes of the housing crisis we need to see the different layers of greed that fueled it and most of those practices needs to be regulated.
One thing for sure the cost of a home can be drastically be reduced under normal conditions if greed was not so overwhelming.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
To answer this question I would ask a question. With 3.5% down and a gift from the government, 8,000 do the buyer's have any skin in the game? Who wouldn't walk away from this type of investment when times get tough and they over spent. What a great plan. Not.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
TOO MANY OF YOU HAVE DRANK THE KOOL-AID AND HAVE FALLEN FOR THE BLACK LIBERATION PARTY, OBAMA AND HIS CHICAGO THUGS, APPOLLO GROUP, VAN JONES, AYERS, NANCY POLOSI ("try the new health care bill, and I'm sure you'll be surprised and like it aha aha aha" ) , HARRY REID, OUR NEW HEALTH CARE ADVISOR WHO WAS NOT VETTED AND APPOINTED DURING JULY 4TH CONGRESSIONAL RECESS ALL KNOWING REAL WELL THAT HE WOULD NEVER PASS IN THE HEARINGS ('we will have to re-distribute the wealth"....."care will have to be rationed"--Don Berwick)!

SO, HOW DO YOU ALL LIKE THIS HOPE AND CHANGE YOU VOTED FOR? HOW MANY DID OR DO YOU KNOW WHO HAVE LOST JOBS FOLLOWED BY HOUSES YOU SOLD THEM?!

NOW I FIND OUT THAT MY TAX DOLLARS WILL BE PAYING FOR FEDERALLY FUNDED ABORTIONS!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
Carl, you think massive spending is a good idea. What do you do when in 2020 the interest on the national debt is $1 Trillion each year? That is MORE than social security. It is more than medicare. It is even more than will be spent on the military.

Even the debt commission is saying this level of spending is unsustainable and could sink this country financially.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
It is odd to me, that the new law concerning the buying of a home on the new plan coming out of Washington says that the new home buyer must bring the house up to date on the latest energy efficient appliances which include A/C and heat. now that is going to add thousands of dollars to their expenses just to buy the home. some one said, the reason was that it convince people to remain in the home rather than selling it within a couple years. while that might be true, I still have to ask, how is it that gov. should be "making" people do anything? what happen to "freedom?" I keep telling people every time the gov. signs something into law, we the people lose a bit more freedom. If I were looking to buy a house right not, I think I would think twice before I took the help from the gov. . I like to think we all deserve to be free to buy and sell at our own choosing...
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
I think the President is doing an outstanding job. As he keeps saying and as most people with a little common sense understand - there is no quick fix to the massive problems we face and there are no perfect solutions. Job growth is at least heading in the right direction and most economists feel that we have turned a corner. We are much better off now than we were 18 months ago.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
Jeez Gabriel,
You may not agree with Mack but I don't think there is anyone on this thread that has been clearer about their beliefs and where they line up on the political spectrum.

Along the lines of what Jerry said, and what I have stated repeatedly before, expressing a belief system with the intent of changing other people's beliefs is apparently quite futile here.
This is the annoying circular talking that I have spoken of- round and round it goes.

Now that people on this thread have made their feelings clear about Obama and the whole Republican/Democrat thing, I challenge you all to come to some sort of agreement about what the common goals are. My guess would be that people are in agreement, for the most part, about what needs to be done, what goals should this country have(obvious example is getting the economy back on track). Its just how we get there that people differ.
Wouldn't it be really cool if you all could come together in a kumbaya sort of way and find common ground?
Then you could show the politicians how its done.
That just may be my 3rd Pollyanish moment in as many weeks.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
Carl, to have a united front you first need to be united. The problem is opposing views that are irreconcilable. No one who believes in being fiscally prudent will say sure, go ahead and waste a trillion just to see if it works out well. (it did NOT)

A united front comes from those in power listening to other viewpoints and incorporating those viewpoints into a strategy. Since opposing viewpoints are not allowed in obama-world no united front can arrive.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 9, 2010
Being Republican or Democrat has nothing to do with it. Each side needs buckle up and find real answers to real problems instead of using past programs that dont work. They need to come up with something NEW. What ever jimmy Carter did or didnt do as well as what ever Bush did or didnt do does not matter.

These are the problems today, this is what is affecting everyone accross the USA today. They were elected to serve the public, so stop serving the banks, the oil companies, the car companies, the special interests and start serving the people and not just some people, ALL people.

i dont want to hear any partisan BS, i just want results to get our economy going and get our people back to work.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Thom,

Obama has raised taxes on business and especially small business who account for a large segment of the economy. With him putting the squeeze on small business and mom and pop businesses they are not hiring, not expanding, not growing and therefore the economy continues to suffer.

The lower part of that lower 95 dont pay taxes anyway, service spending is way up stripping money from the upper part of that 95% to give to the lower 95%. there fore the majority if that mid to upper 95% are not benefitting.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Carl - to develop your "which of these would you be willing to give up" post further, I would add freedom to the list:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in our bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was like in the US when men were free" (The great Ronald Reagan)

I'm not a fan of this administration - I believe that our freedom and liberty is on the line. I believe that we are smart enough to make our own decisions and do not want the government to muck things up by arrogantly making a power play to take over our lives. The arrogance of it frustrates, angers, and frightens me.

....hold freedom and liberty dear, once its gone, it will not easily be regained.
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
and, the trouble with doing nothing is, if it is wrong and doesn't work, it is too late. A Harding plan of cutting taxes and spending, and hoping business takes up the challenge and contributes mightily with employment, even public works somehow, does anyone really think that would happen? Shifting from a war time economy to peace time, guns to butter in 1920-21 is not exactly the same as credit default swaps created by DIck Armey and friends, continuing war spending, banking deregulation, to name a few differences from today.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 10, 2010
@ Dan,

Nice link and facts you provided.

Mack's answers show something with the lame defense that since home prices have not gone all the way down to Zero that President O has done a good job.

When home prices were going up 20%+ every year... I'm sure he was one of the ones using 20%+ as an appreciation rate to sell $500K homes to buyers as a "Great Investment" --- even though you could rent the same home for $1500 a month in the same neighborhood. (It's the exact same reasoning...)

Yes Mack... maybe such and such month in 2010 did not have the negative numbers that the same month in 2009 had.... but that's because home prices will only go down so far until buyers can make their own decision that it truly is smarter to buy then rent. (Have you ever met anybody who really did not want to buy real estate?)

Real Estate 101 back in the day when you really had to know real estate finance ---- the classic Rent vs. Buy Calculation. For some reason.... agents licensed after 2002 really did not have to learn that one. Consulting turned into selling get rich quick schemes.

Mack.... despite what you think from reading some numbers of something that has already happened... the truth of the matter is that the number of homes seriously delinquent in their payments is double then this time last year.

So.... dragging out the inevitable for another couple of years is a good plan while Bk'ing the country?

I don't think so....

Long conversation today with somebody in the know for a big bank that is servicing the majority of the loans in Las Vegas... they are going to get really aggressive in foreclosing from here on out. This is the same bank that was allowing homeowners to not make payments for a year without doing anything. (Probably the same lender for all the homeowners you read about in articles such that Dan provided where the owners are bragging about not paying a mortgage payment for a year plus.)

Coincided with what somebody else was telling me who primarily does BPO's for the banks and has been quite busy lately...

The intelligent theory of why banks were not foreclosing last year is because they were controlling the inventory being put on the market to control the prices to a soft landing. Now that we appear to have hit bottom in the Las Vegas Valley with more buyers then quality homes available... I hear that the days of not paying the mortgage and getting a free ride for 6 months plus are over....

The two above conversations along with another experience today with this same particular bank led me to the decision that I will no longer list any short sales with this lender unless the owner is unemployed with no assets. I will also not bring in any buyers to waste the paper of writing up an offer for any short sale that has to be approved by this particular bank.

(Don't worry... they'll be plenty of other agents that will take these particular lender's short sales and waste everybody's time.)

In my previous answer... the chart provided by Trulia in some certain markets tells the story and is a trend predictor.

Pretty much anybody can track stats of what happened --- and anybody can read a chart on something that already happened and quote it like they know something.

If that's all it takes to be a real estate expert.... then how did we get here in the first place?

Oh yeah... lack of regulation and putting guns to people's heads to make them sign documents they did not understand.... (Emphasis on Sarcasm please...)

Don't get me wrong... for our area and areas decimated in value before all of the subsidies such as the taxpayer's dollars giveaway.... I think it's an excellent time to buy. But I'm certainly not going to give credit where credit is not due.

It's all about the price... in fact... I'm trying to buy an investment property right now that if all goes well... should generate me a nice little 17% yearly cash on cash return. Even with two months of being vacant and highly selective in finding a tenant... it should still be around a 14% cash on cash return.

Certainly much better then what I would get in the bank.... and I'm certainly not investing in the current Ponzi scheme taking place on Wall Street anytime soon...

:)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 2, 2010
In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent. (That is worse.)

Bad policies causing extended and more unemployment have led to the statement below
In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent.
These steady increases parallel the nation’s unemployment rate, which until the November 2009 employment report, had marched upward since October 2008.

)making it worse for the economy and housing market. Pass bills that actually encourage jobs to be created instead of cutting back on employment.

Not allowing foreclosures to foreclose from government interference makes it worse.
The average borrower in foreclosure has been delinquent for 438 days before actually being evicted

“I need another year,” he said, “and I’m going to be pretty comfortable.” <--- the wrong attitude to create. Caused by government not allowing foreclosures to foreclose quickly. In the end it is destroying the future business environment of the country. Deadbeats apply here. <sighs>

How is it worse you ask? In every way. Just look at the trends going forward. Things will get worse.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 1, 2010
2700!

Seems to me that it is respectful to engage, and disrespectful to ignore, so if I've ignored anybody's salient points, well, I guess I'm a disrespectful sob!

Memorial Day is an interesting holiday, because the World Wars are a distant memory for our oldest citizens, and the wars since then confused with policy and political sidebars that dilute the message.

We owe our soldiers and service(wo)men much more than a "debt of gratitude," we owe them an apology for asking them to risk their lives for uncertain and nebulous goals.

It wouldn't kill us if we made access to college for returning vets a priority. Right now, they're treated, generally, like second-class citizens at the enrollment office. And if we increased the educational benefits, it wouldn't be a slap in the face, either. Personally, I'd be in favor of guaranteeing returning vets as much college or other training as they want for the rest of their lives.

We could also revamp the VA program so that the government - we, the people - take on the burden of closing costs, rather then the home seller.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 28, 2010
The Treasury Department said Wednesday it raised $6.2 billion from the sale of 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup stock it received as part of the government's rescue of the bank. It bought the shares at $3.25 each and sold them at $4.33.

Of the $45 billion, which was borrowed by CitiBank, $25 billion was converted to a government ownership stake in Citi last summer. The bank repaid the other $20 billion in December.

The remaining stocks are being held. So maybe our governments way out of the deficit would have been to
"bail" out more banks by taking stocks in exchange. We haven't seen the end of the story yet.

What I'm finding hard to believe is that the states who argued loudest against federal government interference in states rights to do what they wanted without government interference (ie Alabama and Louisiana) are now the ones screaming the loudest about the Federal Government not doing enough quickly enough. I think the voters who voted in their right wing oil backing representatives should be down there scooping off the oil and cleaning up the wildlife.themselves since they didn't want the government to interfere by imposing regulations that would protect us. It is making me cry every time I see a picture of the dead wildlife coming to shore.

Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, (which is not a spill it's an explosion from the deep water oil rig) U.S senators attempted to pass a bill to raise the $75 million cap limit to $10 billion retroactive to before the spill occurred, a fraction of the total damage. Senators of the Republican Party blocked this effort enmasse but haven't suggested how this going to be paid for.

All Democrats voted for the "pay as you go" bill and all Republicans voted against it in January.. Why? Because the Republican Senators said it would mean you would have to raise taxes which is unpopular. So they don't want to balance the budget....they want to be re elected. I'm sorry....like it or not....be a Tea Party member or not...we've already spent the money, now we have to pay it back. I'm personally very upset about it because I was against the war in Iraq from the moment I Heard about it, and now I'm probably going to have to pay for it! I still think the 70% of Americans who wanted it should pay for it instead of me

As Obama said....that bill would move us towards restoring the reason we had SURPLUSES in the 90's.

Exactly what is the Republican Party doing to balance the budget, clean up our environment and help the middle class. I thought the JFK quote was very apropo for the Obama Presidency as well.

He's cleaning up the financial mess (caused by the Bush Administration). He's trying to clean up the Mid East war (started by the Bush Administration with LIES about weapons of Mass destruction and most Americans still are confused about Afghanistan versus Iraq as who bombed the Towers which means to me they need more money in the schools because apparently history and geography are not being taught) and now he's being forced to deal with the LACK of REGULATIONS and cursory acceptance of applications with rules for reinstatng that can't be countered now, introduced during the Bush Adminstration for oil companies (keep in mind that Bush was and is an oil man himself)

And yet there are still people on this post who simply insist that the Republican agenda is still right. Don't understand that calling him a Nazi (ala Glenn Beck) is so stupid of analogy that a 5 minute Google Search would explain that Nazism is a fascist government which is extreme right wing with discrimatory practices at it's core. How can anyone with a digit to operate a keyboard even go there in a comparison.

What Act of God does it take for conservative right wing Christians (who have apparently taken over the agenda for the Republican Party) to change their minds if going broke and dumping oil on their shores reconsider their stances. Maybe a plague of bugs and disease as a result of the oil spill will convince them.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 28, 2010
I'm so confused..

It was good when Reagan and Bush rolled up the biggest deficits in history in their 8 years which but bad when Obama continues in his first year.

It was bad when the environmentalists wanted to put in safety regulations on oil drilling but good now that Sarah Palin mentions it.

Pretty soon Dick Chaney will be out there with a Peace sign tie clip and it will be an alternative universe.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 20, 2010
Main stream Media? That's all we've ever had. It's just that it used to be a bit more straight journalism at 6:00 pm and we knew what was "editorial" (at the end) and what was "news" because it headlined as one or the other.

Now it's impossible to draw the visual lines between editorial and the journalism side of the news. By 5:30 pm we've all been inudated with news editorials all day long masquerading as journalism.

News about "uncomfortable" scenes such as people dying in overseas wars are no longer is shown. What stopped the war in Viet Nam was it's in your face photo journalism showing the ugly side of war. Now we get "Lost" updates.

What fueled the Civil rights agenda was the in your face ugliness of racial hatred shown on the news. Now we get interviews with movie stars way too early in the morning (on the news)

Where's the follow up on major stories....What happened with the mining company that had the recent safety issues that meant they were unsafe in multiple other mines (I'm sure it's out there but it's certainly not "news"

Every channel runs the same stories all day long for 2 days and there's never ever in depth reporting, or followup. So all we get is headlines without substance.
"Shove me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep "
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 13, 2010
Seems to me the myth is, economic measures-stats are numbers reported but without context and relevance. UE? Foreclosures? National debt? Job approval? Real or not, how does it impact you, me, everyone? These are time fillers for broadcast news, space fillers for newspapers. Do the numbers change? Which direction? How fast? These can be relevant. I recall those digital clock signs running the national debt like a runaway odometer, one was in NYC atop a building. Catchy, creative, but relevance? That was over 25 years ago. I'm still here. So is the nation. Since we know that racism is part of our human condition, how much of the President's approval rating is based on that sin? We can ever know. In this criris, we can use some creativity in solving problems, progressive thinking. Conservative, roll-back, status quo, the way it was thinking is not going to get it. Longing for the past, and a nice cup of tea, is heart warming but will not help in the 21st century. We can still have the tea occassionally, but let's not become addicted.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 10, 2010
Mack, "to support measures that lead to prosperity in our neighborhoods..."

Taxes do exactly the opposite. taxes take money from people. They do not give money to those who have a real job and make a real income.

Prosperity is not as simple as numbers. Prosperity also has to do with being able to make enough money to enjoy life. If you tax to much people lose that prosperity even as their incomes rise.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 25, 2010
As a reminder, from those greater than us, who have preceded us in experience and opined thereof:

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 25, 2010
Mack, anyone who can not think and see reality outside of their own ideology is not smart. Being smart means being able to see when things are not working well. Being smart means you change strategies when one does not work. Being smart means you do not claim racism every time someone speaks against you. And being smart means when someone speaks against you the need to retaliate does not exist. Being smart means asking people with opposing positions for their input so you can make a better decision.

As of now obama has not done that. I see bully behavior not leadership. I see nothing to say he is as capable as sara would be. After all, only one of them actually ever ran a state as governor. Only one of them ever had to make a budget beyond their personal finances. Do you care to guess which one it was?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 19, 2010
Well, two prominent UCLA economists did an extensive study on why the Great Depression lasted so long and TEE HE HA! They found that the Government's interference prolonged the Great Depression by over SEVEN years! Can - ha HA Ha! - you (hee he he) believe that?!!

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonge…

Give a person a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a person to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 15, 2010
In case You missed the point correct terms could be tea-partier. Tea party member, tea party goer. But the term you used is legally indefensible in court. It shows sex/ual bias and discrimination. You do realize that is illegal right?

If you wish respect please show it. So far it appears the tea party people have a simple message and deliver it without personal attacks. I can not understand why the liberals can no do the same unless they lack any ability to deliver a genuine reply so name calling is the only thing they have left.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 10, 2010
Mack, I tried in a polite way to explain the term was being used wrong.

I remember when some senator or congress person accidentally called barney frank barney faggg. It was a slip of the tongue. I never thought anything was intended there. Once it came out the person who said it apologized. Why after seeing just what a horrible term that is do you use it? WHy are you casting aspersions on other peoples sexuaility and preferences? Is it because you like using negative terms to try to shut down those you disagree with? If so it shows you lack class. If not you have some explaining to do here. I really do not like to see people using terms like that which can be considered as part of a hate crime.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 10, 2010
Mack,

The "wealthy" in America already pay most of the taxes. Most people don't realize that the top 5% of income earners in America pay more than half the income tax collected by the Federal Government. Collectively, the top 10% of income earners pay close to 70% of the income tax. The bottom 50% of income earners pay less than 3% of the total income tax (and most get tax rebates, even though they pay no income tax).

As for BO's budget, it will:

-- permanently expand the federal government by 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over 2007 pre-recession levels;

-- raise taxes on all Americans by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade;

-- raise taxes for 3.2 million small businesses and upper-income taxpayers by an average of $300,000 over the next decade;

-- borrow 42 cents for each dollar spent in 2010;

-- run a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2010--$143 billion higher than the recession-driven 2009 deficit;

-- leave permanent deficits that top $1 trillion as late as 2020;

-- dump an additional $74,000 per household of debt into the laps of our children and grandchildren; and

-- double the publicly held national debt to over $18 trillion.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870397680457511…

If you run the numbers, it is not possible to pay for all of BO's spending by just taxing the wealthy. He's going to have tax the middle tax and increase taxes on things that have historically fueled job creation and growth.

Check out the Laffer Curve, which shows the rate of taxation that provides maximal revenue generation for the government. As taxes go beyond the optimal percentage range, revenue to the government goes down.

Why? Because the rich are truly paying the majority of the taxes, as shown above (top 10% pay nearly 70%). Those people (and their money) are very portable, because wealth buys access to strategies that afford them tax avoidance. It's easy to demonize the rich, but doing so is killing the goose that is literally laying the golden egg for nearly half our nation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

More taxes are not the solution, they are part of the problem.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
Gabepal wrote:

But the Federal Reserve has signaled that it intends to wind down its purchase program by the end of the first quarter of 2010. Absent another big buyer, rates will most probably rise.

-----------------

As I posted below, the MBS buyback program expired last week and rates have already risen. We were looking at homes in the $950K range (w/ 20% down), but the increase in interest rates has resulted in that price range's payment increasing from ~ $4400 to ~ $5100. In less than 48 hours, the payment increased a whopping $700!, dropping our affordable monthly mortgage payment by almost 16%. This same dynamic impacted everyone in the mid high price range in the SF Bay Area (pretty much all upper middle income families). That $950K home will now have to be priced around $100K less to be just as affordable today as it was last Monday.

We are still seeing lots of folks looking at open homes though, as they are scrambling to get into contract before the Federal Tax credit expires on April 30th. After April 30th, I imagine there will be significant downward pricing pressure in the mid high range market; without the low interest rates and tax credits, you'll have far fewer buyers at a time when inventory is hitting its peak for the year (spring/summer buying season).
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
Happy Easter Everybody!

Today is the perfect example of leadership and principles that should be cherished by any civilized society.

True Leadership begins with principles and followed by truth. It's not about what you say to get people to follow along but what you actually do.

Leadership by example where lies are unacceptable..
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 4, 2010
Historically, the increase in home prices has been tied to wage growth, not government spending. The only reason the housing market appears to have stabilized is because the government has propped up the industry with unsustainable policies.

Like the products of dot com companies, the equity from the bubble was (and still is) vaporware; there was never anything fundamentally justifying the bubblized increase in home values. To say consumers lost X in equity during the bubble is like saying that you lost X in stock price from Vaporware.com.

Same for the so called housing stabilization: between the Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) program, foreclosure moratoriums, loan modifications, tax credits, and suspension of the GAAP requirement to mark MBS' to market rate, the apparent housing stabilization is nothing more than a gym rat on steroids. Once you stop taking the steroids, all the fake muscle just turns to flab.

In short, as these unsustainable government policies expire, the housing market will return to correcting towards an inflation adjusted baseline (as it has during the prior housing bubbles). We are already seeing the downward pressure. On Thursday, the MBS program expired and interest rates skyrocketed overnight, eliminating nearly 15% of buying power in the mid high price range.

Next will be the federal housing credit, which expires on April 30th. Add in the Option ARM recast wave, which begins in earnest in May (80% of loans have negative equity) and there is no way this market can be sustained without more welfare from the taxpayers. The only other option is further price correction.
Web Reference: http://www.redfin.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Carl, John McCain is a republican. He even ran for president under the republican party. No one would say he is a real conservative.

Some democrats that were elected to congress last time were conservative.

Parties do not define a persons conservative or liberal leanings. The person themself does that.

Forget parties, vote on issues no matter what party the right person belongs to.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
In every business in the world there is a balance sheet. More in one column always equals less in the other column on the budget side.

More advertising = less research....until the advertising pays off maybe or more in fuel expenses may mean less in advertising. More payroll taxes may mean fewer employees, more overhead means less profit.

There is no way around it except in the government. Every year at the end of our fiscal years there was always a rush to spend everything left in the budget so that it wouldn't get cut the following year. One year we bought tires in June, then again in October........because our tire budget was full. The following year we bought a bunch of computer systems and stacked them until the following year so we could buy monitors to accompany. Had we waited, we could have bought the same system with the monitor for less than the cost of the computer due to prices dropping.

My point is that in Government, there is no (ZERO) concept of running a budget like the rest of us. When the government wants more in one column, then it means less to us, because they can just put it in the other column too..

There is no such thing as 11 for 1 or any other ratio that the gov puts out. (Each dollar spent provides 11 back to the local whatever) If it were true, then the government would actually be a profitable business and there would be no need for taxes. There are no real jobs being created, the oil scam this week is a farce, (unless you think closing 1 million acres TODAY and opening 100 acres in 20 YEARS is somehow a net gain of acreage) and there is no doubt about what created the housing crisis......so how is it that any FREE THINKER can blindly go along with the crap being pushed on our children and grandchildren.

Oh....and the environment.....name one socialist nation that does even 5% of what we do for the environment.....When we are fully socialist, what about the earth then.??????

Gary De Pury
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Carl, thankfully obama is doing SOMETHING...

There are times doing nothing is a much better choice than doing the wrong thing would be. After all, if you go into such severe debt you can never recover trying to get out of a bad time you made the future worse.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
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