I was greeted by yet another headline in Friday’s Washington Post that points to another bailout for homeowners: “Obama administration announces effort to slash mortgages for unemployed borrowers.”
It seems that the president is deeply concerned about another wave of foreclosures that could damage an already weak economy. He is going to require banks to temporarily lower or outright eliminate monthly mortgage payments for many borrowers who are unemployed. How nice of him. What a good guy. Golly, does he have a heart or what!
So, since POTUS is in such a charitable mood, I’d like to request that he call my bank and ask them to do a little slashing or eliminating work on my mortgage. I know I have a job and POTUS is really only interested in the unemployed, but I have feelings too. Can’t we overlook the fact that I’ve actually been paying my mortgage AND my taxes (please dear reader, don’t hold that against me), and let me into the program?
C’mon Barack (Joe Biden calls him Barack in public so I’m just assuming POTUS is okay with the first name basis thing), how about spreading the wealth my way? After all, I’ve got a wife and four kids. With all of the food, clothing, Catholic school tuition, and sports equipment, don’t I fit into some niche that would qualify for a little mortgage reduction? No joke—it’s a big friggin’ mortgage.
Doesn’t paying all of my taxes get me anywhere? Heck, if you total up federal, state and local taxes, I paid over 50 percent of my income to taxes in 2009. And I don’t mind saying that the actual dollar figure could choke a horse. But even though I have a job and made money last year, don’t I deserve a little love? After all, I’m a veteran! Isn’t there some clause in some regulation somewhere in the millions of pages of regulations that would get me a little help? Some fine print in the subsection of a subsection? Throw me a bone Barry.
How about this angle? A bunch of houses in my ZIP code have been foreclosed on, dramatically driving down the value of my home (tell me that doesn’t suck). So the new home I bought in October (to fit my rather large family) has already lost about $100K in value. I mean, holy crap! That’s a lot of coin. If it drops any lower won’t I be, technically speaking, upside down (ignore the inconvenient fact that I only bought as much house as I could afford and the fact that I have a job and can afford the mortgage)? Shouldn’t that get me into the bailout?
I’m not unsympathetic to the people who, by no fault of their own, got laid off. But how many times are we going to bail them out on their mortgages while the rest of us pay full fare? Admit it Barry, a slew of these people have already had their mortgages modified in the first round of bailouts.
I didn’t cause the economic meltdown that has forced businesses across America to cut payroll. In fact, there’s plenty of people who deserve some blame for this economic mess we’re in, but I’m just not one of them. But I do blame you Barry. I blame you, Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Timmy Geithner, AIG, Countrywide, Fannie, Freddie, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank (and all the other sub-prime deniers in Congress). And I really resent that you continue to point the finger at me and tell America that I’m just not paying my fair share and plan on raising my taxes. Dude, really. I’m no fat cat. I actually work for a living. In fact, I’ve been working my entire life. The fact that I’ve had success has absolutely nothing with your leftist class warfare propaganda. I didn’t, as Dick Gephardt used to say, “win life’s lottery.” I’ve earned every last nickel.
For ten years, we lived in a small townhouse despite all of the “encouragement” we received from bank after bank telling us that we could afford a lot more house. It was only when we were about to have our fourth child that we made the decision to look for a bigger place. But as with our first home, we bought within our comfort level, not what the banks told us we could afford. You see Barry, I need to sleep at night. I need to know that if I go through some lean financial times, that I can afford the mortgage. I only buy what I can afford. I have no credit card debt—that’s right, zero. Our only debt is our mortgage and one car payment—but of course, I own more of the car than I financed, so that’s an asset too. Get the picture Barry? I’m not one of the people who overextended during the boom times. I act responsibly despite the apparent stupidity of it.
So, if I lost the ability to afford the mortgage, we’d sell and move into an apartment like the small two-bedroom apartment in which I grew up. Yes, I know, we responsible taxpayers sound silly. We just can’t seem to get this “rights” thing straight. Apparently, there is a right to a house nestled somewhere in the amendments to the Constitution (between the right to taxpayer funded healthcare and the right taxpayer funded retirement).
Barry, buddy, aren’t you just a little chagrined telling me, a responsible taxpayer who already pays half of my income to support all of your government spending, that I don’t pay enough, while you’re bailing out banks and insurance giants and all sorts of really rich guys? Wagging your finger at me while you’re expanding the welfare state and adding even more debt on to the backs of my children with this insane government entitlement program you call “healthcare reform?” I could go on, but you’d probably call me stupid and then we’d have to do that whole beer summit thing at your place—not your house in Chicago—I’m taking about the big white place on Pennsylvania Ave that, correct me if I’m wrong, is a heck of a nice loaner. Bro, as much as I’d like to, I just don’t have the time to hang out and pop a cold one with you—what with work and family.
Barry, let’s make a deal. In light of all of this, how about calling my bank and telling them to lower my interest rate to the 1 percent rate they’re giving me on my savings account? I’ll be your BFF.
Mark Corallo is the owner of Corallo Comstock, Inc. Public Affairs in Alexandria, Va.