Senate Passes Housing Bill

Rick Moran
The Senate passed a bill that is supposed to deal with the crisis in foreclosures today by an 84-12 margin.

The only problem is that it doesn't deal with foreclosures which means House Democrats are going to have a field day loading it up with goodies for deadbeats.

Maybe they'll give a tax break to people who trash their foreclosed on homes before skedaddling.

The Senate bill would reward home builders who overbuilt during the housing boom while giving speculators who purchase these homes a huge tax break.

If I sound a little skeptical it's because this is an election year and Congress must be seen as "doing something about the problem" when the best course is probably letting the economy wring out the failures and deadbeats while rewarding those who didn't go off half cocked during the boom.

This, of course, is wishful thinking. Today in America, there is no such thing as failure if you're in a big enough industry or if your lobbyists are better than everyone elses:

The measure, titled the Foreclosure Prevention Act, will be significantly redrawn by House critics who say it favors businesses such as home builders instead of borrowers.

"Quite candidly, what we've done does not quite live up to the title," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and the measure's top sponsor. "We have more work to do. We do not do enough in preventing more foreclosures in the country."

Democrats failed to win approval of ideas such as giving people threatened with losing their homes the right to seek more favorable loan terms from their lenders in bankruptcy courts. At the same time, a proposal to have the government back up refinanced loans for people facing foreclosure has yet to win GOP support.

The White House opposes the plan but has not issued an explicit veto threat. It says parts of the legislation would make the problem worse by depressing some home values, and that the measure inappropriately uses taxpayer money to bail out lenders saddled with foreclosed houses.
Many analysts believe a government bailout of homeowners and lenders is not a good idea and agree with the White House; such a move would turn a slump into a catastrophe and would prolong the crisis indefinitely.

But then, you and I are just lowly taxpayers and not running for re-election.
The Senate passed a bill that is supposed to deal with the crisis in foreclosures today by an 84-12 margin.

The only problem is that it doesn't deal with foreclosures which means House Democrats are going to have a field day loading it up with goodies for deadbeats.

Maybe they'll give a tax break to people who trash their foreclosed on homes before skedaddling.

The Senate bill would reward home builders who overbuilt during the housing boom while giving speculators who purchase these homes a huge tax break.

If I sound a little skeptical it's because this is an election year and Congress must be seen as "doing something about the problem" when the best course is probably letting the economy wring out the failures and deadbeats while rewarding those who didn't go off half cocked during the boom.

This, of course, is wishful thinking. Today in America, there is no such thing as failure if you're in a big enough industry or if your lobbyists are better than everyone elses:

The measure, titled the Foreclosure Prevention Act, will be significantly redrawn by House critics who say it favors businesses such as home builders instead of borrowers.

"Quite candidly, what we've done does not quite live up to the title," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and the measure's top sponsor. "We have more work to do. We do not do enough in preventing more foreclosures in the country."

Democrats failed to win approval of ideas such as giving people threatened with losing their homes the right to seek more favorable loan terms from their lenders in bankruptcy courts. At the same time, a proposal to have the government back up refinanced loans for people facing foreclosure has yet to win GOP support.

The White House opposes the plan but has not issued an explicit veto threat. It says parts of the legislation would make the problem worse by depressing some home values, and that the measure inappropriately uses taxpayer money to bail out lenders saddled with foreclosed houses.
Many analysts believe a government bailout of homeowners and lenders is not a good idea and agree with the White House; such a move would turn a slump into a catastrophe and would prolong the crisis indefinitely.

But then, you and I are just lowly taxpayers and not running for re-election.