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Check out the latest White House White Board on President Obama's plan for refinancing.
Chad Jackson's profile photoDrew Heyen's profile photoYuri Razhiev's profile photoMichael Gooch's profile photo
Apparently, the dude in the video is more secure in his masculinity than the previous two commentators.
for a second, there, i thought Charlie Day was working for the WH...
There's no issue with masculinity...aside from the pink shirt and tie I have no trust in anyone involved with this administration.
The Rep. Congress is only concerned with killing the Warren Buffet Taxation Plan.
This is something which the White House has no business being involved. The housing market will correct itself (and has already begun doing so). They have attempted to grab power wherever possible. There has to be a point when they have to stop
+emilio g If it wasn't him someone could make the case they were related.LOL
+Chad Jackson the same way the previous administration should have stayed out of the housing market? Or was that an OK intrusion into the free market?
+Chad Jackson The housing market isn't correcting itself fast enough to keep the recovery going. Where I live there's no growth to speak of and prices are still falling. People can't wait years for the market to "work itself out" and the WH and Congress need to at least put forth the impression that they're doing something.
If you all could provide intelligent reasons as to why this is not a good idea then I would be less inclined to think you're morons. I havn't been able to find fault with this plan, it won't cost you any money and it will help families take advantage of the low interest rates available right now.
That was not an ok intrusion. The Federal government has gotten way to massive and obtrusive into our daily lives. The Republicans are as guilty of it as the Democrats. Both parties have sold their souls to power. Now they are attempting to entrench themselves as a new ruling class and dictate how we should live
+Chad Jackson Fair enough. That's a response I respect...I may not totally agree with you, but I respect your position.
This is not about power, they are trying to provide the same benefits and incentives that have historically been provided to big business. There is not a hidden agenda here you should try and focus on the point here which is the refinancing plan -- not generalized fears of government takeover. That is a rhetoric which does not apply to deciding whether or not this is a good plan.
If you're underwater on your mortgage and you are allowed to refi, who incurs that cost? Tax payers or Banks?
+Brian Brehart Perhaps the number of hearings and committee meetings that are required to develop a "plan" which might have even a minor impact are part of the slow down process. The market does not want to respond until government provides some means of covering the mortgage company's collective asses. If government said fix it and got out of the way you could see the true ability of a free market to remedy this issue.
tax payers when the gov't has to bail the banks out...
Free market still needs oversight
Actually +Brad Thompson, if you want to get technical, there has been no communist government ever established on this planet, nor has there ever been a communist economy ever put into place.

Communism defines a government that does not exist because the people don't need it, they get along and survive in a utopia. There is no economy in communism because each is provided for by need as long as everyone contributes to society in a beneficial way.

What the wars have been fought against is a state-controlled socialism (which we are still far from), where the government owns everything and determines what will be produced and who gets to consume the fruits of production.
I am in favor of this legislation. From what I saw, it seems like common sense governing. Sign me up !
The government should NOT be bailing out the banks. There should be no such thing as "too big to fail" which was the line fed to us by the last administration. If a bank or other company has to go bankrupt those assets (human and physical capital) will be absorbed by others in the industry or even be disbursed to help invigorate and energize other businesses which might need an influx of new people
These white board dealios are pretty cool. One should be produced about how the Ryan plan is a joke, how every other Republican plan over the past 30 years was a complete failure, how Republicans have cock-blocked any attempt by Obama to improve our great nation, and how a car elevator efficiently stacks your Cadillacs and prevents them from being scratched while in storage.
When it could cause global financial collapse then it is too big. Steps to need to be put in place to ensure that doesn't happen.
I'm trying to find the down side and can see how it may hurt the lenders, but the upside appears to far outweigh it. As for housing and finance 'correcting itself', that is a separate occurrence that doesn't necessarily help the same people. To me, this is kind of like cracking down on the 'Payday Loan - Check Cashing" business. I know, the government should stay out of it and let the market 'correct itself'.
+Joe Dean I would have absolutely no problem if this Administration came out tomorrow and announced a new push for trust busting. I think we are absolutely in a situation similar to the start of the 20th Century. We have a number of overly large companies who control vast aspects of industry. In the process of gaining this dominant position they have put up high barriers to keep potential competitors (and innovators) out of the markets. I cannot see how our economy is helped by the illusion of choices which are scaled down to a duopoly in most cases
If the market could correct itself then there would have been no need for the bailout after the housing market collapse, or continued stimulus packages, or subsidies for oil and domestic products. There does need to be a measure of government regulations that prevent the market from consuming itself. From the outline provided here that is exactly what this plan -- and many others presented by this administration (are) trying to do.
Why should the market take the necessary steps to correct (or change) their practices if after a colossal screw up they know the federal government will be there to make sure they face no consequences? It's the old cliche: what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? In this case - large corporations are doing whatever they like because in the end all they have to do is say, "look what would happen if we went out of business" and the government will just hike taxes on the citizens to help pay for the perks of being a government employee or a corporate CEO
It's not that the market can't correct itself, or even that the government is too entrenched in the recovery effort, it's that we as Americans have the attention span of a gnat. If it's not fixed tomorrow, we're not happy.

The market could correct itself in time (even a free market won't rebound the next day), but it'd take too much time for the average American. And government regulation of the markets serve to ensure that the errors and abuses of the system that were devastating don't repeat themselves. Unfortunately greed usually triumphs and government regulations only work after the fact, and are not predictive of what the next collapse may be caused by.

The average American is more concerned with "what's the best for me, and can I have that right now?" instead of "what's the best for all of us, and what can we do to get there?"
+Chad Jackson Your free-market libertarianism is just as much a fantasy as the communist one that +John Roepke described. It sounds great when you think that people are rational agents, and that everyone will work in the most efficient way to maximize their output, but when has this ever been the case?

Humans are irrational agents, and constantly acting against their own interests.
+John Roepke I have to kind of agree with you by disagreeing. As a country we have always been about "what's best for me and how do I get it" we have never been "what's best for all of us". The key difference from my view is that my right to get "what's best for me" ends when I start to impinge on someone else and their right to achieve for them.

Trust in this - I do not believe in a free market 'utopia' either. I fully recognize the inherent problems built into a capitalist system. But we have not been close to a free market in 80 years. Maybe it's time we try a few steps back in order to truly move forward
+Kevin Bonham In the scope of libertarianism I'm definitely not an advocate of an unlimited unfettered free-market. As I mentioned in my last comment I recognize the potential for inequities in capitalism. We cannot fix all of the problems. No matter how hard we try there will always be people who just 'slip through the cracks' and cannot be helped. I would rather have the option of helping those people more directly in my local community than seeing my money pulled away and wasted by the Federal government.

It turns into a reverse multiplier effect - I send $1 to Washington DC and we get back $.20. There are opportunity costs attached to the lost money.
+Chad Jackson Hmm... what was it that happened 80 years ago that prompted a move away from free markets?
+Kevin Bonham After 80 years maybe we're OK in cutting back on the medicine for our "illness". Do you continue to treat a illness long after the symptoms have disappeared? I'm not advocating a full unregulated free market. There are problems but the answer does not always need to be more government.
+Marie Burnett there's no social darwinism in my philosophy. Human nature is inherently good and compassionate to our fellow man. You might be assuming that if government does not care for these people they won't receive any charity. These are things which were handled by churches (synagogues, mosques) and local charitable organizations in the past. If the federal government got out of the way these local groups would be able to better meet the needs of their communities
+Chad Jackson Granted that this nation was started by a bunch of men worried about protecting what they thought was their due, they did unite together for a common good. That common good is what is missing in the discussion these days.

The uber-rich are focused on protecting and growing their wealth, the poor are worried about how to make ends meet, the middle class is worried about whether the American Dream still exists, minorities are worried about racism, women are worried about unlawful intrusions on their bodies, college kids are worried about drinking, college grads are worried about paying off loans, etc, etc, etc.

We don't have a common goal for everyone to aspire to. My generation is a generation without a cause. Slavery has been ended, the Civil War long ended, WW I, WW II, and the Cold War just bits in the history books, the Great Depression something that our grandparents tell stories about, we've landed on the moon. Without a unifying cause for all of America we've been relegated to a bickering group of minority issues, bantered about by the political class each as the pressing issue of the day.
+Chad Jackson with respect to the religious communities, they are as ill-equipped these days to handle charity as the government. Many church organizations resemble the "big government" so despised by so many that in some ways it's fool-hearty to think they can do any better job. They're not built for, or equipped to handle much more charity than they currently do
+John Roepke But my question to you would be how much more money might local churches receive if it wasn't heading to the federal government in taxes? There would be some uptick in their revenues which would allow for them to absorb some of the charity work. With the number of churches out there it would not fall specifically to a single church to carry the burden alone.

As for the common goal to unite us; I firmly believe shrinking the federal government could be that goal. We have all seen the problems caused by big money in politics. Our leaders no longer pay attention to the interests of the citizens. They are beholden to lobbyists and corporate donors who seek only to ensure their place in the economy. Corporations seek legislation which puts barriers against competitors entering the industry. Without competition there becomes no need to innovate. We stagnate throughout all elements of the economy and the rising tide which used to raise all boats begins to recede.

We have to work to break the duopoly which controls our political system. If we can get people involved and active in politics we can return to the ideal of a citizen politician. Work in Washington DC should not be a career choice; we need a set of real term limits for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Things in that vein are what can unite us again as a society. We must stop looking at those who have more and saying "why them; that's not fair" and realize that we are all impacted by the decisions and efforts of the federal government to overreach and legislate our day to day lives.
I just want to give my house back to the back and call it even... is that in this plan?
+Chad Jackson Adam Smith and the Right LIED to you. Laissez-faire has never worked and it never will. This is a science now, your faith is poorly placed. History shows us in crystal clear terms that all the things you have said, everything you have proposed is not just wrong, but willfully ignorant, at this point.
As an Atheist, the notion of relying on churches to provide universal charity in a fair and unconditional manner is frightening. As +Marie Burnett said, they'll be selective about who to help (oh, you're gay or use birth control? sorry). Large corporations love the idea of dismantling the govt and privatization. It'll make it that much easier for them to control more aspects of the economy for their financial benefit and consequently, more difficult for us, the people, to take back those reins.
I'm glad I stepped away for a while. +Al Elliott is the first person to mention the point of this feed in the past hour.
+Drew Heyen How did we possibly survive for 150 years before FDR came along and decided government should be the answer to all our ailments? We did just fine living under a laissez-faire system. You might be ready to sit back and let government tell you how to live; I want the freedom to make those choices for myself.
We did get a little side tracked...I can accept my responsibility in the detour. If anyone want to continue the side discussion - just send me a message.
+Al Elliott I'm stuck way underwater on a condo here in CA. Researching options for getting relief...most likely looking at short sale or deed in lieu.
+Chad Jackson and you are the worst kind of fool if you believe that what you are suggesting will in any way allow that. How did we survive then? MUCH more slowly. Without cars, and electronics everything moved so much more slowly that the abuses took longer, AND YET people still managed to take care of them. Clearly you don't agree with what I am saying, because your knowledge of history was obtained around camp fires. The history of our nation is CHOKED FULL of the ugliness of Laissez-faire. Why, some of the finest examples of Laissez-faire's failures can be found in our very own history. Labor abused by unregulated corporate interests in every possible way a rich man could dream of. All manner of badness sold under false pretense. The terrors of the company store. That's what you are talking about. An unregulated aristocracy, where you are TECHNICALLY free, but you don't EVER get to exercise that freedom, because of all the economic "TECHNICALITIES". Revisionist historians like you, just itching to sell our national soul, for a fairytale America that never was.
+Claire P You wouldn't have ever voted for Reagan. He was more liberal than Obama.
I cannot get anyone to touch me on a refi. Condo is worth about 1/3 of what I owe on it.
Doesn't this plan specifically state that you can't be denied a re-fi for being underwater?
Forgive me -- I'm trying to understand why you're so adamantly against a plan like this even if your situation could benefit. Or am I misunderstanding your position?
+Drew Heyen Read some of my earlier comments; in no way am I advocating an unencumbered free market. I recognize there are inequities in the capitalist system. What you seem to not realize is that even with all it's failings it is still better than any other economic philosophy/system you can find. No other system provides for the freedom to make your own path in society. No one is there to hand you anything; you get out of the economy what you put into it. The role of government is not to play nanny to the economy. They should be there only the address issues of unfairness such as the company store, minimum wages, and workplace safety. Government should not be involved in the day to day of the business cycle
What is the incentive for your mortgage company to refinance your "underwater" home? You overpaid for the house and now you want to get a cheaper mortgage..good luck with that. I'm underwater on my car can I refinance? Homes don't necessarily gain or hold value, especially when the market demand is for new houses in gated communities.
+Chad Jackson Oh I understand your position JUST fine. You are incorrect. In no way is a spirit of "Less Government" better than "any other economic philosophy/system. I will agree that it is simpler than most of them, but there is a complete science and history behind why it is NOT better. The things that are currently wrong with our economy were definitively and demonstrably caused by DEREGULATION, and now we have people like you insisting that clearly the only way to fill the bath tub is to drill a bigger hole in the bottom of it.
+Marie Burnett Again read some of my earlier comments. I'm in no way advocating a return to no labor laws or the overuse of child labor. I think there are far more important things government should be concerning themselves with instead of trying to decide what project or program they want to implement to influence the next voting block.

Before anyone claims this is an attack only on the current administration the Republicans are just as guilty of this approach as anyone. I'm disgusted to see what a fat bloated mess our government has become.

On the topic of abortion - no I don't favor back alley abortions. If the decision in Roe v. Wade was overturned all it would do is return the decision back to each state individually. Even in this day and age can you really imagine more than a handful of states that MIGHT make it harder for a woman to obtain an abortion? Each state would be able to vote on allowing the right and the advocacy groups such as NOW or Planned Parenthood would have to take their fight to each state.
Actually +Drew Heyen my philosophy would not be drilling a bigger hole in the bathtub. I want to slice away all the fat from government that is choking the life out of our economy. I don't want to eliminate government I just want the smallest possible government at the federal level (the way the Founding Fathers intended). Most decisions should be left to the state and local levels where the PEOPLE have more power not some nameless government bureaucrat.
+Jason Kalka The incentive for mortgage companies is lower risk, and less delinquent payements. Mortgage companies can afford time for the market value of a property to increase. While home-owners can ill afford such luxuries.
Your car is constantly deteriorating in resale value so you'll wont be able to refinance.
The house it's self my not recover its original resale value but the land under it will always increase in value thanks to urbanization.
Theres also a growing appetite for rental properties sold to capital firms in bulk they are very lucrative for either the mortgage company or the rental buyer.
Unfortunately with rental properties comes lower housing prices for the surrounding market. Thanks to poor management statistics.
I guess theirs no real easy way out of the mortgage jungle jumble.
I'll do the search +Marie Burnett but I've never read Rand and even disagree among my libertarian counterparts. I believe in government but want to see a government that is focused on limited responsibilities. I want to see a political system where we are not forced to choose between only two parties that everyone agrees are not looking out for our interests. I believe in people first and foremost.
+Marie Burnett quoting..."The only salvation for humanity is to let the government do what it does best: prevent the greedy few from destroying the rest of us. The role of government is to check powerful individuals and corporations who try to wrest from us our freedom and dignity."

The problem is that now those individuals from the Republicans and the Democrats who are in power have begun trying to wrest our freedom and dignity.
Honestly Marie I had not heard of Rocky Anderson until you just mentioned him. I'll read more about him but feel very comfortable with choosing Gary Johnson to support in the upcoming election.

In no way do I wish to march back...but I want to say this: we started the heavy involvement of government in the economy as a result of the Great Depression. This involvement has continued and only increased in the 80 years since the New Deal was first enacted. What have we gotten for all this effort and struggle? It has brought us right back to the edge of where we were in 1932.

Maybe it is time to try a different approach that will truly help ALL and actually change our political and societal climate.
I don't disagree with an efficient government. But wholesale stripping of govt agencies and budgets without analyzing intrinsic needs only plays into the hands of large corporations and their ilk. Wealthy backers have lobbyists, politicians and all manner of 'for the people" organizations singing their tunes to dismantle government and deregulate as much as possible so that they can own and leverage more of it for themselves.

If having a largely unencumbered business class is so wonderful then how is it that the gap between the wealthy and the poor/middle class has grown in the past decade? Wouldn't these wealthy investors and businesses have put their money into new industries and new investments and we'd all be prosperous now? Why is it that only the rich are getting richer? I don't see how giving investors and industry more leeway with regulations will improve the economy, healthcare or education.
+Chad Jackson Violations of my inalienable rights by state and local government are more likely and no less invasive, than the federal government doing so. AGAIN history is clear on this subject. Meanwhile, the "Not Obama's" have chiseled government regulation away over the past 50 years, and SURPRISE SURPRISE, rather than getting better, things have gotten MUCH MUCH worse. (That bathtub analogy you disagreed with, you're soaking....or rather it) All of the "less government" dogma has been THOROUGHLY tried, tested, and it has FAILED. It has failed epically. It has failed gloriously. We are up to our necks in its failure right this very moment (Yeah, I know you think it's all Obama's fault, but you are painfully, demonstrably, incorrect).
I absolutely agree with your assessment of what a great government it is to protect the people from forces that aim to harm them both inside and outside the country. Yes ma'am.
It is a very hard thing to do with all the co operations using the lobbying that the bush era allowed. p.a.c.t.s.
Who is this presenter anyway? He looks like some young kid that just came out of a "mortgage sales call center." Dress for success....?
Is this a coincidence that this "proposal," is occurring before an election? Another "talk," where is it in paper? That seems to be your challenge Mr. President...get it on paper, but sure you have somebody else to blame for that shortcoming.
Well I would appreciate some gratitude for what he has done. Brought the country back from the brink of destruction. killed osama bin laden. Health care. Renewable energy. Gay men and women can fight for their country you get the picture all things I believe is a free America.
OMG! Something I actually agree with from this administration. I just looked and, no, the sky isn't falling.

This should absolutely go through, and being a staunch conservative, I'll be pissed if Republicans don't get behind this. I personally am about $140k underwater through no fault of mine. Never missed a payment. But can't refinance, even though it would save me about $600 per mo. and I'm not walking away now, so no more risk than there is now to the bank.

First thing in three years I've agreed with. I feel dirty.
You can forget about Republicans passing anything this administration puts forward unless it cuts taxes for the rich and cuts all entitlements. Republicans don't work for you they are co operate employees.
What about for those of us who have private student loans with high interest rates who want to refinance? Having to pay 9% and higher is difficult for those who are just coming out of college. It has been discouraging others from pursuing higher learning. It is incredibly difficult to find banks that will refinance private student loans. I'm sure there are plenty of students out there that would rather spend their money toward products and services rather than lining the bank's pockets.
I sympathies with you its tough with student loans and no work but ponder on this. If the gov could ask companies to work with universities and colleges to have the skills they need here as opposed to shipping them off overseas to Ireland. china. Malaysia to save money only to turn around and award massive bonuses to a few individuals. But alas that would be hindering the free market that screws the common man.
+David Longest Saw something about a bill forgiving student loans. Strongly disagree with "forgiving" loans. We've got to stop picking winners and losers. But I like the fact you are just looking to lower your rate and take care of your responsibilities. So yes, I think they should allow refinancing of student loans. It costs nothing to refinance as long as the Treasury is providing 0% loans. Especially for housing and student loans, as there is no risk to the bank. You cannot walk away from student loans, so there is every incentive to allow refinancing to current rates.
Aren't federal student loans interest free?
More like the white out...
Excellent work here. Please keep on this!
Should of just handed out in that $900 Billion+ Bailout would of done all this really easily if it was given to where jobs get created from which is Demand from the market for goods and services. Economics 101 anyone?
He lost me when he said it doesn't matter who insures your mortgage, FNMA or FHLMC. Sorry, Fannie and Freddie don't insure mortgages.
+Susan McHugh I don't know if you heard, but a few years back, we had an economic crash. Big disaster, lots and lots of people out of work. Surprised you didn't hear about it, it was big news. ANYWAY, a lot of people, myself included, think that it IS the government's job to try and fix disasters like that one, particularly since, again, history paints us such a clear picture of what happens when the government DOES NOT intervene. Makes good sense to, what with it being in the government's contract and all.
Drew, the thing you seem to be overlooking is that the disaster you refer to was in fact caused by government intervention to begin with. The government has no business trying to manipulate the free market. It leads to disasters like the one you bring up. The belief that more government intervention is what we need at this point is unwise to say the least. It's like finding your home is on fire and deciding to hose gasoline onto it rather than water...
+Chad Hernandez No, and you should be embarrassed that you think that. THAT disaster was demonstrably caused by mountains of deregulation. Prior to 1980, we had good economic regulation, and a stable economy.
+Chad Jackson You keep treating a disease if it's a chronic disease. If someone has MS, you don't take them off the immunosuppressives just because they haven't had an attack for a while.

Sorry but the housing bubble which "popped" in 2008 can directly be tied to policies set in place near the end of the Clinton administration. They pushed to make it easier for low income earners to purchase homes with loan guarantees. Once those promises were made the market began to take off (because there were no longer consequences tied to making bad loans). Do you remember the time when you could borrow up to 125% of the value of your home? That came about directly because of government intervention and policy.

The housing "bubbles" prior were allowed to work themselves out naturally and did. When the market is over saturated with supply the prices drop. This allows those who previously could not afford to purchase to enter the market. It's not perfect but the basic laws of supply and demand generally work out.

What government did is attempt to manufacture a market when one was not needed (or necessary). They were attempting to please a specific voting block and created policy to open access to loans which under normal circumstances should not have been given.
+Kevin Bonham I cannot disagree with that diagnosis; you are absolutely correct about a chronic disease. Value shifts in the real estate market have been occurring since it existed. They come, they go; as much as we want to make sure no one gets hurt in the process it is not possible. I'd say this is a minor sprain which does not call for the full emergency room treatment government often brings.
With regards to the side convo by +Chad Jackson and +Marie Burnett: Marie, just because I have freedom of choice doesn't mean I have the freedom of action. I may choose to carry a firearm, and I may choose to shoot you, but I don't truly have the freedom to act on that thought. If I did have the freedom to act, murder would not be illegal. The government is there to protect us, but not provide for us. As citizens it is still our responsibility to manage our own lives, and the government is there to ensure that we don't get swindled en-masse by other nations or other citizens.

For anyone upset at the government intervention into the housing markets: If you're going to balk at this plan as over-arching government intrusion, you'd better be as upset at the housing policies of the Bush Administration (which helped lead to the eventual housing collapse), as you are with the Obama Administration's policies. Otherwise your "keep government out" argument falls flat.
+Chad Jackson Oh my God you are so full of incorrect, that I don't know where to start. How about the fact that the housing bubble was directly tied to banking frauds which would have been prevented by the regulatory acts of the 1930s, but which have been dismantled over the past 50 years? How about that the "bubbles" prior to that one (which were SO much smaller) DIDN'T work themselves out, they were, in fact, tended in a wide variety of ways, by our government, including various stimulus programs (Yup, Reagan, and G.W. both executed stimulus packages.)

You have formulated an opinion of how government and economy function based on things which are absolutely, demonstrably, not true.
Drew... Five words for you. Fannie May and Freddie Mac. These are perfect examples of the governments attempt to manipulate the market and the collapse of our economy you referenced is what happens when they do.
+Chad Hernandez Yeah, I know ALLLL about Fannie May and Freddie Mac, and unlike you, I know that they are NO WHERE NEAR the all inclusive explanation you believe them to be. Require them to be, in order to support your dogma, your religious belief in the invisible hand lie.

Nice OPINION piece, BTW.
Drew... I didn't see one fact in that last statement. So you deny their part in the economic tailspin we found ourselves in? And you deny that they were nothing more than government coercion towards a progressive ideologic end? Please explain
Explain banking fraud? If you don't understand it, then this is neither the time, nor the place.
Same 5 words Drew. Freddie Mac and Fannie May. Your explanation as to how they WEREN'T government intrusion and how that DIDN'T contribute to our economic collapse
I can keep going if you'd like...but after a while if the opinions seem to keep falling on the same side it's generally viewed as a fact.
While you're on reading Mr Jacksons info try searching the "Community Reinvestment Act". More government coercion that led to the mess in the housing market.
As well as the Federal Housing Administration or FHA for short Drew. Another progressive government agency set up to "help" lower income Americans but instead led to economic disaster for everyone...
And can you, in ANY WAY show that causation?
Really Drew? You run to Wikipedia and try to counter that I'm wrong because there are people who agree with my assessment? I expected more from you and am a touch disappointed. Show me ONE article (not a blog or wikipedia entry) which supports any of the assertions you have made in our discussion. If you cannot then I believe our debate is concluded.
Oh I only went to Wikipedia, because it's pretty clear you didn't understand that particular fallacy, and as someone has already taken the time to type up an explanation, I saw no reason to do it again.

You based your assessment on the fact that a lot of people agreed with it, which is a fallacy QED.
Actually Drew, unlike you I can back myself up with some factual information. The feds involvement with the mortgage market goes back decades, but in 1977 the Community Reinvestment Act required all insured banks to loan at 80% of the median income in the banks service area. These borrowing guidelines coerced them into weakening their lending standards. Now Freddie Mac and Fannie Mays role. Since they were government sponsored they got "special" interest rates that were lower than other banks. Then "Affordable Housing Goals" were set for lower income, risky loans. Fannie and Freddie then bought millions of those loans from other lenders allowing those lenders to get their bad loans off the books. The rates for borrowers defaulting on their home loans was seven times the parallel rates for conventional to prime borrowers so lenders already pressured towards lowering lending standards resisted even less since they could just hand bad loans off to someone else. Add the Federal Housing Administration which was set up specifically to provide loans to low income borrowers and before we knew it half of all mortgages in America were subprime. So the "housing boom" was in reality a government facade. Households weren't gaining assets. It was all debt. Now how many government agencies or regulations do you count in all that Drew. Of course this is a majorly over simplified explanation, but in your case that may be a good thing
+Drew Heyen All I wanted to see is ONE article or book or pamphlet which backs up the "explanation" you took the time to type up. You don't win an argument simply by disagreeing. Show me SOMETHING, point me to ANYTHING which provides back up for your positions. You have provided no evidence in your argument...only your limited anti-capitalist rhetoric. I have presented support for my positions. I cannot help that you dismiss these positions simply because they show the failure of government. If your position is valid you should be able to back it up with some evidence. I'll be waiting...
To the +Drew Heyen and +Chad Jackson debate that is currently going on you are both missing a key point to the Housing Bubble and it's latter burst.This of course would be the Federal Reserves role in creating the Bubble by loaning out tons of money to banks so that they could continue to give out loans that where specially made to subprime loans. These loans weren't backed in the normal way that they came from peoples savings accounts they where backed by the Federal Reserve which gave the Federal Reserve a lot of control over the market. The Federal Reserve was keeping the interest rate low on their end so that banks could keep it low on theirs. The Federal Reserve several years later would raise this rate which caused the subprime loans most of which where adjustable rate Mortgages to go up from the near 0% to the 6% that they went to. This caused many of the mortgages to go into foreclosure. As they say the rest is history. Just look on the bright side though this is only the second time the Federal Reserve has caused an financial collapse. The first time being the Great Depression.
+Chad Jackson +Drew Heyen - I think it is a complicated problem, and that a lot of institutions were at fault. It is apparent that we should regulate the banks, and it is apparent that we shouldn't have been putting people in homes that they couldn't afford. We probably should have been setting up an environment where more people could afford homes.
Saw this recently, I was ashamed to admit that I hadn't considered it. It's mine now. It's BRILLIANT.

Flat Percentage Tax = Taking 85%of a poor person's disposable income is EXACTLY THE SAME as taking .00001% of a rich person's disposable income.

Currently, the top 400 tax returns payed a smaller percentage of their income, with standard deductions, than anyone making 29K

+Chad Jackson I think debating with articles is stupid, but if that's what you want, here.
You make a good point Marie. There was a moral factor in all that mess. But the fact remains that it was the government that set the stage for the moral misconduct we saw from lenders. The free market dictates that lenders loan money to responsible well established borrowers for the best chance of getting their money back, making a profit, and staying in business. Government intrusion completely wiped away those incentives and replaced them with incentives to "lie to people", as you say, and engage in the shoddy lending practices that they were engaging in. If not for government regulation and policy lenders would have had zero incentive to make subprime, risky loans... It makes no business sense whatsoever for them to do so in the free market. So how am I wrong? 
"The free market dictates that lenders loan money to responsible well established borrowers for the best chance of getting their money back, making a profit, and staying in business. "

WRONG. Lenders will loan money to ANYONE. They will charge a lending rate, commensurate with many factors, which include, but are not limited to, credit history, collateral, asset value, etc. You have an over simplified economic view which is why we are in trouble in the first place. You should stay out of economics until you have a much better understanding of it.
+Chad Hernandez - You say zero incentive, though the contracts say high interest rates, which is why pawn shops and pay day loan companies have been pushing risky loans for a long time.

And to clarify what I mean: The business sense is that as risk increases, the amount of potential profit (higher interest) has to increase. Sub prime loans are not a recent thing.
You are wrong Drew. If what you say is true and banks never turned anyone down for a loan then the government would have had no reason to step in would they? And you never did explain why how Freddie and Fannie weren't government intrusion and how they had no part in our economic collapse. How was my explanation of how they were wrong? Avoiding the argument maybe?
+Chad Hernandez Yes, I did, it isn't my fault if you couldn't be bothered to read it.

I said banks "will loan to anyone", not that terms for a loan are always met. I'm sorry your knowledge of economics is insufficient to keep up with this conversation, but that is NOT my responsibility.
High interest rates work for the banks as a safety net for riskier loans, true. They also discourage high risk borrowers from taking out such a loan. The free market at work. Again. The main point is that government intrusion completely eliminated those checks and balances. Right or wrong?
Drew... Please. It's all there in print for anyone to read. You've answered to nothing and have supplied nothing to back up your point.
+Drew Heyen This isn't the first time I've been in the same thread as you, and while you do occasionally bring up valid opinions and points of view, simply claiming that the other side of the debate doesn't know what they're talking about isn't a debate. It's a denial.

I'm not against you here, but there needs to be some explanation of your views, with at least a shred of supporting evidence. Otherwise you're just spouting opinion (which you so eloquently disregarded with the article linked by +Chad Jackson). Opinions aren't wrong, but there has to be some fact to back it up.

Since you like Wikipedia articles so much, here's one explaining that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did have a hand in starting the housing market issues. They were not solely responsible, but the did have a fair hand in the mess.
Again you are correct Marie. The high risk loans were "securitized" by breaking them up into bundles. The problem was that the whole mortgage system was already corrupted from top to bottom... Again, THANKS TO GOVERNMENT INTRUSION. The whole point of my original post
You are right on the money as far as what happened Marie. You just seem to want to overlook the role government played in it.
+John Roepke first of all, I'm far from the only familiar face you are seeing here, which should, by itself, be explanation enough, for my particular behavior.

That said, the very idea of suggesting that, after 50 years of massive banking deregulation, our economy has collapsed, and far from for the first time IN that 50 year period, because of "ever increasing government regulation", for absolutely no better reason than a piece of legislation which partially applies to part of the cause of our most recent economic failure, is stupidity at best, and dogma at worst.

Meanwhile taxation in this nation is idiotically low, particularly for the top margin, and the exact same people who demand we cut taxes, are also demanding that we cut spending, because we have a large deficit. All the while completely ignoring that this is exactly what we did in the great depression, and it didn't work then, either.

What am I not supporting?
What you're not supporting Drew is your apparent defense of the governments meddling in the free market as well as your denial of the damage its caused. For all the typing you did above you supplied absolutely no support for your conclusion other than your opinion.
+Chad Hernandez I sort of assume I don't need to cover stuff like teaching you how to type, speak English, etc. I have covered the Banking regulatory bills of the 1930s several times in this thread, as I have also well covered the removal of them starting in the 70s, and working through the "Citizens United" ruling. Covering your eyes and saying "I can't see it, it's not there" doesn't make it true.
And your progressive view on taxation says a lot as well Drew. Taxation is particularly low for the top margin? What about the 50% of Americans that pay nothing? A big fat goose egg? That's their fair share? How is that?
Vague mention of these bills and your opinions on them doesn't constitute "covering them"Drew. You've avoided the facts that have led the rest of us to our opinions through the entire thread from what I can see... 
Example Drew... A few posts up you asked for causation. I gave it to you in as much detail as this type of forum allows. I don't see where you offered any factual information at all to dispute any part of it in any way... All I see from you is the typical progressive tactics of diversion by insult and attempting to branch off into off topic argument. Government meddling in the free market played a huge role in our economic collapse. I've given facts to support it. Show facts to the contrary. Or just continue to throw out insults. It's all good. I like when progressives show their true colors
+Chad Hernandez - 50% of American's may not pay the federal income tax, but they definitely pay taxes of other sorts. Plus, they are the cogs in the machines that allow the top of the income earners to have enough money to tax.
Everyone pays those "taxes of other sorts" Alan. And many of those you refer to draw from the system at least as much as they pay in. If the point is that everyone needs to pay their fair share doesn't that imply that EVERYONE pay in? Consumption tax. Or flat tax. 10 percent of 100 thousand dollars or 10 percent of 100 dollars. Everyone should pay something. To say that the ones that have been paying the majority of taxes should pay more while ignoring the large number of people who pay practically nothing or draw out more than they put in is a poor strategy.
+Drew Heyen You mention deregulation. While I realize that deregulation of the financial sector has caused this, citing some of the regulations by name that have been dismembered might be somewhere to start with and explanation. Saying the financial sector has been systematically deregulated is one thing, saying it's been systematically deregulated because the "ABC" Act of 19-diggity-2 was over-turned, or revoked, or ignored lends more credence to your case.

As far as taxation. While I agree that taxation on the top income earners is too low, what makes it too low? For example, up until 1964 the top tax bracket was taxed at a rate of over 77%, and in the 1980's it was lowered to 50%. Current tax rate for the top bracket is under 40%.

Stating opinion is one thing, stating facts to support your opinion is the basis of an argument to be debated or refuted with other facts.
Actually, I have linked all of that, in this thread. Your observation ignores most of what I have contributed to this thread.

As for taxation, currently the top 400 income tax returns pay a lower percentage tax, using standard deductions, than someone making 29K. The average tax rate of those in the top 1% works out to be around 14%.

Of course I expect for it to be demanded that I relink all of this, because some people seem to be able to see data which refutes their own.
Big surprise. Drew runs off without ever addressing the issues posed him. Progressivism 101. They must all attend the same seminars in attempts to defend the ridiculous ideology.
See, he did exactly what I said he would.
+Chad Hernandez I don't think fair means an equal percentage. This is what I think the fundamental question is.

Would it be meaningful to continue this conversation? I see ad hominem attacks, and I don't want any conversation about policy to turn into a conversation about our personal traits.
Flat Percentage Tax = Taking 85%of a poor person's disposable income is EXACTLY THE SAME as taking .00001% of a rich person's disposable income.
What does fair mean then Alan? Again, 50 percent of the country pays the majority of the taxes as is while the other half pays practically nothing if anything. The fair thing to do is make those already paying the majority pay more so the rest can keep paying what they're paying?
As for how meaningful the conversation is, that's for you to decide. It was you who replied to my post. I don't think my reply to you was out of line, but if you don't want to discuss it anymore. Good day
+Chad Hernandez - The 50 percent that pays the taxes has more then 50% of the money, which makes it seem more fair then the way it was laid out - as though we have income equality. If we want more people to pay more in taxes, we need to get those who are making the least more money. If they had more pay, they would rely less on government services, and have more to contribute to the income tax.
+Drew Heyen The first article you link to ( is the first bit of evidence you've presented to explain what banking regulations you claim to have been dismantled leading to the current situation. Thank You. And before you spout off about "bringing it up earlier in the thread," I offhandedly refer to "banking regulation" and "deregulation" but you never cited which regulations were deregulated. Congratulations, you're finally making an argument. Now you can continue the argument by showing how the events of history show that those regulations from the 1930's were dismembered and how that would lead to the economic crisis we're in.

You may well know exactly what you're talking about, but you have to remember that there are many that aren't going to know the exact facts you're referring to unless you let them know. Part of being a good debater is presenting the fact of your claim, and making sure that your audience understands where your "facts" are coming from.

Just as a personal observation as well, you chided another person for posting an "opinion" article and then you followed suit with a blog article that was an opinion piece itself.
Agreed Alan. So how does increasing the taxload on those already paying all the taxes address that?

Why is nobody talking about the 4.2 billion dollars in tax credits given out last year to people who aren't even American citizens? Or how about the billions in subsidies paid out to "green" corporations, many of which are going bankrupt or just skating by. Speaking of green corporations, how about companies like General Electric who rake in billions in profits while using loopholes supplied by progressive policy to avoid paying any taxes at all? The pipeline would have helped with jobs and energy independence, but it's seemingly off the table. Why?

My point is that the list of other things we could be looking at to raise revenue and start reducing the national debt has opposed to growing it beyond any hope of ever paying it down is a very long one. Topping that list should be tax reform for sure. I'm not really sure what your argument was against a flat tax or consumption tax. The wealthier would still pay more, the difference would be that everyone would pay something. But raising taxes on the 50 % who are already towing the line shouldn't even be in discussion in my opinion. It's just a play at class warfare. Diversionary tactics...
+John Roepke This thread, 11:59AM.

Yes, I posted an opinion blog piece because they INSISTED that I do so, and said, specifically, that I was doing it begrudgingly.
+Susan McHugh if you ACTUALLY want some concept of what fair means, I can answer your question, but the first thing you have to do is forget the "more than I need" statements. This debate is about directions. It is about what direction we, as a nation, are headed in. Here is the direction we are headed in.

Opinions vary, but for the most part, no one is against capitalism, no on hates the wealthy, even when they don't know how to express it, what people want, and demand, is balance. It's OK for the rich to be rich, what is not OK is for them to make money from nothing more than them being rich. IF capital (money) only represented the exchange of goods and services, then a flat, percentage tax would be fine. For that matter, a flat dollar amount would be fine. The problem is, the "leverage" that capital carries with it, has an exponential increase factor on capital. Money makes money. The problem with that is that ALL money makes money, even the money made BY money, thus 1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 4, 4 becomes 8, etc. Anything beyond a living wage doesn't just grow at a linear rate, it expands under its own weight. This has an unbelievable destabilizing effect on our economy. More and more our nations wealth becomes concentrated in a smaller and smaller percentage of its populous, all the while, devaluing the total of what everyone else has left. You have two choices. You either sandbag that effect, somehow, or you end up enslaved to the richest few people in the nation. Don't kid yourself, it will be slavery. Practically already is.

As for fair taxation, the problem is that a flat percentage isn't REALLY a flat percentage. Flat Percentage Tax = Taking 85%of a poor person's disposable income is EXACTLY THE SAME as taking .00001% of a rich person's disposable income. That is EXACTLY how it works. Imagine, for a moment, that you do not make enough to live on. Even living frugally, you just aren't making it. Now imagine you have to pay 10% of your total income in tax. You didn't have enough to live on, what will you have left after you lost 10% of not enough? Now imagine that you earn 10 million dollars a year. If you have to pay 30% in tax, all you will be left with is a measly 7 million dollars. Now you tell me, is living off of not enough, minus 10% the same as living off of 7 million dollars?

For the record, this is a very very very old economic concept. I have found record of it from almost 2000 years ago.

Mark 12:41-44King James Version (KJV)
41And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
+Chad Jackson I have zero respect for people who reject Obama out of hand. Insecure ideologists are the curse of our country.
From whom much is given, much is expected. If the wealthy get so much, they owe a larger percentage of what they earn because they would never have made their money without living in the United States and benefitting from its laws and the roads and infrastructure paid for by all of us. The wealthy run corporations, for instance, that use our highways much more than commuters. Their trucks do the great majority of the damage to our highways, so they should pay for most of the repair. They need an educated work force, so they should pay more for its education. Conservatism since Reagan has lowered taxes on the wealthy to the point that our national debt has exploded, our infrastructure has eroded, and our middle class is collapsing. This, they call "Freedom." They need their heads examined. By that measure, the best government must be Somalia. No taxes, just pirates, murder and warlords. That's what happens in the real world with "every man for himself." Why are our wealthy so unpatriotic? So selfish? In the '50s, the top tax rate was 91%, but nobody paid it. All they had to to was invest in their businesses, boom, no tax. You see yourselves as freedom fighters, but that's a crock. Ayn Rand invented totalitarian capitalism with her strange, egotistical ideology. 
no we were not! the pilgrim came here because they were kicked out of England and the netherlands and landed their sorry asses here! where there had been the Jamestown settlements her and had been established at least 50 years before and had a system of self governance that included proper codes of drug use and even gay marriage! if you want to talk precedence then lets begin where it really started!
+James Hassinger I have zero respect for people who reject Obama out of hand. Insecure ideologists are the curse of our country.

I'm not rejecting the President out of hand. I disagree with the approach he is taking in operating and growing government. Before you go there - I don't think Romney will be any better. Our Federal government has gotten too massive and can no longer respond to the needs of the citizens.
+James Hassinger From whom much is given, much is expected. If the wealthy get so much, they owe a larger percentage of what they earn because they would never have made their money without living in the United States and benefitting from its laws and the roads and infrastructure paid for by all of us.

Except the majority of those who are "wealthy" by the standards set with this administration are working people who earn $250K per year (or more). Even those who are millionaires and billionaires have typically worked hard to EARN their money. There is little that is given to them.
Making the "original intent" argument is pretty much folly. We all came here for very different reasons, and at very different times. I can PROMISE you that the first people here were NOT Christians. On the other hand, we tend to regard the Foundation of the US as our arbitrary starting point, so lets start there. IF our "founding fathers" had intended for us to be a "Christian Nation", then based on the Bill of Rights ALONE, they were not mentally fit to set the course that we should be following centuries later. For a "Christian Nation" the Bill of Rights is the most idiotically written work ever. That said, I think quite highly of the Founding Fathers. I rather tend to believe (mostly based on their various independent writings) that they knew EXACTLY what they were saying, in the Bill of Rights, and fully intended us to be religiously ambiguous, but you know, you could go either way with it. Of course either way, we aren't a Christian nation.

As John Adams, President of the United States AND Founding Father signed

"...the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"
+Chad Jackson 1)No one suggested that they didn't "work hard", though I would dispute that no one works nearly as "hard" as the working poor. What has been said, and it is correct, is that you do not make 250K a year, or any imaginable equivalent, in a vacuum. You can not make that kind of money without our kind of economy and society. To suggest that they made it SOLELY by the sweat of their own brow is the height of stupidity.

2)No one is even suggesting that all or even most of it be taken from them. What is being demanded is fair payment for a society which has served them exceptionally well.

Since you brought it up, How hard, exactly, is the work of putting money into high yield speculative investment mutual funds? You work up a good solid sweat doing that? How about buying a company, over leveraging its assets, then putting it into chapter 11, that pretty hard work, you spose?
What the coward in the White House could have done...

So President Obama has, available to him without the need for 80, or 60, or 51, or 41, or 31 votes in the Senate, a public option that doesn't require any legislative involvement at all. He simply signs an executive order that allows anyone to buy into Federal health benefits at 102% of the cost for a Federal employee (this is the amount that would be owing to an ex-employee under COBRA). Small businesses and individuals simply sign up and pay their premiums and they're insured. Voila. One executive order that would take a week to draft and the public option is up and running.
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