I would like ask you a serious question. Do you understand why “the government”, which is supposed to reflect the needs of “we the people” couldn’t save the “too big to fail” banks, by saving the homeowners? I’ve asked and I’ve asked, but no one has ever been able to explain to me why “we the people” could not have taken those same tax dollars we handed over to the banks, and bought all those bundles of bad mortgages? The banks would then be re-capitalized, would they not? Saved. Instead we rewarded them with an influx of our tax dollars; a “loan” yes, but a loan repaid with money the banks raised by hiking interest rates and charging “we the people” every kind of fee they could concoct. In reality, “we the people” paid the bail-out money and “we the people” repaid the loan. The bankers? They got bonuses.
If we had purchased that bad paper from the banks, (presumably at a discount), for the next 30 years, “we the people” could have acted like a credit union, holding the mortgages of our fellow citizens. Our goal could have been to keep as many families in their homes as possible. We could have rewritten the terms. Given fresh starts. We couldn’t have saved everyone, certainly not the speculators, but I bet we could have saved enough primary homesteads to cushion the real estate market. Maybe all that equity would not have evaporated. Poof, gone. They’d still be buying and selling and building houses. But hey, Wall Streets booming.
So my question is, do you understand why the option to bail out the banks by bailing out the homeowners was never proffered? Why was the national discussion never about saving the real estate market? Yes, there was a post-catastrophe program to rewrite mortgages, but too late. Much too late. The housing market was already in a death spiral. It had the feel of an afterthought. A referee with his pocket full of bank “contributions” saying, “Gee sorry, I didn’t realize they were going to hit you in the head so hard. But don’t worry; while you are trying to recover from your injuries, we’re passing new financial regulations to take away the bloody baseball bat that they used to beat you.
If the government is truly of “we the people” and for “we the people”, why do we allow it to put “we the people” last on the list of “Matters of Government Importance”? From tax cuts for the wealthy, to unemployment insurance, to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, “we the people” have been effectively sidelined. Benched. Forgotten. It’s time we take the field.