Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Enemy of the State

I softened my emphasis on politics last week at the expense of not making an all-out examination of an “enemy of the state.” The “crisis” of the meltdown of the mortgage industry has occupied the minds of the chattering classes as the pundits struggle to make an appropriate comparison. The worst disaster in terms of finance since WWII easily describes the mess of the failure of segments of the financial community.

New York City and the country as a whole took a huge financial hit from the attack seven years ago. The insurance industry was on the hook for about $40 billion. The federal government ponied up tens of billions more for emergency relief, survivor compensation, Homeland Security, and small business (13,000 were damaged or destroyed) assistance. Although the final costs have not been tabulated it is fair to say they are in the neighborhood of $250 billion plus immeasurable human suffering.

The first thought in the minds of most Americans was: “who did this to us? Conspiracy theories not withstanding, the enemy has been clearly identified and action has been taken to take down the perpetrators of these heinous acts. There has been little resistance to the actual acceptance of naming those responsible in spite of the incumbent disturbance of our attitudes toward political correctness. Even though we have substituted euphemistic ID’s for those responsible it was without question elements of radical Islam which flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania cornfield. We know who did it, how they did it and the awful result.

We also know the costs. From an isolated dollar perspective, the damage caused by acquiescing to failed policies urged on the American system by ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and their sympathizers have proven to be a far larger drain on the public treasury than even the tragic events of 9/11. The popular figure for the bailout of the distressed mortgage companies is $700,000,000,000.00. That amounts to $2300 for every man, woman and child in the United States. For Jan and me it is $4600. For my beloved friends in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it would amount to $16100. For my son, his wife, three kids and three grand kids if would be $18,400.00. By retaining that amount of money could they accelerate the payments on their existing personal mortgage? Could the folks in Michigan afford a new car? Could Jan and I replace the carpet and install new hardwood floors throughout? The answers are clear; yes, yes, and “yes dear!”

Is anyone interested in tracking down the “progressive” actions of the persons actually responsible for this debacle? I covered much of this in the last Monday Morning Rant. In the paragraph about the donations from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae I made an error and attributed one of the outlandish contributions to their campaign funds to Chuck Schummer. I was in error; it was Hillary Clinton who was one of the prime (in excess of $100,000) recipients. What I failed to cover is the fact that ACORN receives approximately 35% of its operating budget from the Federal Treasury through a subsidiary organization. By so doing, we find ourselves subsidizing an organization which seeks to give every Tom, Dick and Harry a mortgage whether they are qualified or not. The result is that the taxpayer is actually paying for the failed policies which brought about the debacle in the first place.

When we last sought a mortgage, we walked into the closing and were faced with two stacks of paper, about 1 ¾” high, piled on the conference table. We had already furnished every possible detail about the property and our personal lives. This is with a bank through which we had already paid off a prior mortgage. As a result we have a note with a fixed rate of interest which is automatically deducted from our account on the 1st of every month. We fully realize, as does the bank, that if we default we could possibly (certainly?) lose our home. We not only had to provide proof of our earned income but also documentation of social security deposits. Money we received “under the table” would not have figured into our eligibility. The note was conditional on an appraisal which showed the property to be worth twice the amount of the principal. From the point of view of the bank and us, this was business as usual and satisfactory to both parties.

There has been for the last thirty plus years, a segment of society who have endured no such onerous requirements for borrowing. Upon the insistence of “progressive” members of the congress, others have been encouraged to borrow, with nothing down, by law. These same socialist elements are the ones screaming the loudest about the failure of quasi-governmental agencies which are in the process of “biting the dust.” We have previously outlined just how this happened.

Any attempt to pin this debacle on the current administration is ingenuous at best and patently false. When the administration detected the fault (finally!) and attempted a correction several years ago by stiffening the requirements for mortgage availability it was stoutly defeated along party lines by those socialists who saw in it only a diminished vote count for re-election.

There are people in our government who actually hate this country and yearn for its demise. They comprise, as a group, what I consider to be an enemy of the state. They will through often unnoticed and insidious socialist programs engineer the destruction of the republic. Economics can be as damaging to a nation as falling buildings and a few thousand dead citizens. They are the cancer on the body politic and need to be excised as surely as one would the rotten tissue in one’s own body. We are besieged by rabbit trails of cleverly titled cures and programs which only further the damage. Whenever a solon or legislator stands up to the forces of socialist endeavor they spare no effort in painting the individual with the worst tarring brush available. The average citizen seems to “get it” because of the polls which indicate they are highly displeased with the group as a whole. Whether this will carry over into the voting booth remains to be seen.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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