Thingish Things

Obama the Munificent

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Aug• 25•11

I’m at a stage in life where I am consumed by bills. I am 48.  I have three children, two approaching college age.

My wife and I get nothing in the mail but bills — water bills, electric bills, heating bills, property tax bills, clothing bills, car insurance bills, life insurance bills, home insurance bills, cell phone bills, internet bills, cable bills, medical bills, dental bills, commuting bills, credit card bills, babysitting bills, etc, etc. etc. And our first daughter will start college in two years, God willing. 

But the biggest bill of them all  — the monthly mortar shell — is the mortgage bill. It lands with a thud, and then explodes into every area of our lives. And the son-of-a-bitch is going to keep landing for 26 more years.

So I was naturally interested this morning to read in The New York Times that President Obama is considering  a mandate on banks to lower mortgage rates uniformly to four percent. That is considerably lower than our current rate, and it would provide relief akin to removing a knee from the solar plexus.

The ostensible reason for this mandate is the freeing of  money to increase consumer spending (an effective tax cut at the expense of the banks). But the real reason, of course, is votes. And what a vote-getter this would be.

For the first time this morning I felt the lure of being bought by a government program. With the stroke of a pen, a beneficent politician could make my life and my wife’s life considerably easier. He could ease our sharpest financial pain and give us breathing room overnight. One man.

In an instant I felt the tug that must be felt by people living in rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments, or of those absolved of income taxes and the like. For those less fortunate, the relief — and gratitude felt toward the government benefactor — must be even greater.

Immediately following my twinge of hope came the rationalizations, zipping through my head like enlightened pinballs:  Those greedy-bastard banks ruined this country;  the taxpayers bailed them out and they gave themselves bonuses; they’d take this deal in a heartbeat; how dare they charge me that interest rate on my credit cards, it’s about time they paid!

The mind is wonderfully accommodating. It can find argument to suit every human desire, especially, I find, a desire for relief – the desire for an artificially mandated four-percent mortgage rate.

But there’s one problem with that. I signed a contract to pay a higher rate.  In ink.

Time to get serious about re-financing…


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  1. Daniel Suib says:

    Great thoughts Bill. See sometimes people are issues oriented…not party dominent. If a person can make that big of a difference in your life…do you care if he’s a democrat or republican. Sometimes…it’s that simple. No more…no less. I think that’s a good idea. Lower allt he interest rates to 4%…across the board. You’re right. The banks put us in a horrible situation by their greed. Time to even the playing field. How dare them…

  2. Daniel Suib says:

    MAybe lower the interest rates to 2%. Why not…

  3. Dan–

    The point is just the opposite. He has no business trying to buy my vote.


    • Daniel Suib says:

      Well then…you have a choice. When the government decides to reduce all the interest rates to 4% or below…call your bank and tell them that you refuse to go against what you promised you would pay them. As all those who take advantage of this program reduce their monthly nut…you will stick by your word…”How dare they try to buy my vote by saving me money!…Damn Democratic Bastards! Who do they think they are trying to help me? I’ll show them”…LOL. And…don’t vote for him. This way you can prove to the world you stand by what you believe in…

  4. Bill says:

    Good post. Gets me thinking: So the federal governement wants to effectively re-write millions of private contracts. Due process anyone? 10th Amendment? Are there any limits on the federal government anymore?

    • Daniel Suib says:

      Private contracts passed through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with mortgages backed and insured by the federal government? The two major funding proponents of almost all the mortgages in the USA, that have been bailed out by your tax money? YUP. Time to save people some money…is that Democratic….or Republican…or does it matter? If you don’t want to vote for him, you wouldn’t have voted for him prior to this…so we can all accept the idea that it is a good idea. He’s not buying your vote…just trying to save you money to re-invest into the floundering economy.

  5. Nick says:

    This may have a temporary benefit but there is no free lunch. My guess is that it will penalize people saving to buy a house in the future because rates will go up beyond where they normally would without this program. In a sense it is part of the same old story. As for Pres Obama’s motives I think it is fair to say most Presidents want to be elected.

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