Thursday, July 7, 2011

Obama slow to warm up to Twitter, GOP calls president’s tax bluff, FHA plan to save homes


Niall Kennedy photo
President Obama’s Twitter town hall on Wednesday was, by nearly all reviews, a resounding success, but, as it turns out, the president was slow to accept the suggestion that he do it.
Ken Bazinet, correspondent for the Talk Radio News Service in Washington, telling News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network that Obama at first scoffed at the suggestion that people could ask intelligent, insightful questions in 140 characters or less. But after seeing the success Sarah Palin’s had with her tweets, he reluctantly agreed to do it. And, of course, while the questions were limited to 140 characters, his answers were not.
Bazinet also brought us up-to-date on attempts at the White House to get Republican congressional leaders to agree with the Democrats to raise taxes as a component of the debt reduction talks. Obama offered a carrot, reducing the Medicare and Medicaid as well as Social Security budgets. But the Republicans, he says, thus far, aren’t biting.
And, finally, Baziner reported on a new FHA program that allows qualified unemployed loan holders to forgo foreclosure for as long as one year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If anyone needs reminding of just how bad the President’s record is, July 21, 2011 provides an occasion.

The President signed some of his most damaging policies into law one year ago tomorrow in one 850 page behemoth, the Dodd-Frank Act. Every House Republican voted against it, as did all but three Senate Republicans.

Two factors were clearly inhibiting economic recovery last summer in the wake of Obamacare and an offshore drilling moratorium which threatened to raise the price of gasoline: consumers were not spending, and businesses, amid historic uncertainty, were not hiring.

Its ostensible goal was to "reform" another gigantically complex sector of the U.S. economy, the financial services industry.

The Act codified "too-big-to-fail" by allowing the government to guarantee "systemically important" banks, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (headed by a single regulator and given sweeping, unchecked authority), and imposed hundreds of new regulations which make compliance very costly for small community banks.

Dodd-Frank plunged these banks and the small businesses that depend on them into even greater uncertainty, authorizing bureaucrats to write the details of over 300 new rules and inviting them to study over 100 more. The House Financial Services Committee reported this month that even a year later just 21 of these rules have been written; 62 percent have yet even to be proposed.
That kind of uncertainty about costs makes companies hesitant to hire and to loan money. Meanwhile, Dodd-Frank attacked them from the demand side as well.

One big reason consumers are not spending is that they have seen much of their savings wiped out in the form of their home values.

In large part because of the housing crisis, household debt has hit alarming levels. Reich writes that household debt is today about 115 percent of personal disposable income, down from a pre-crash high of 130 percent. The average between 1975 and 2000 was 75 percent, so to get back to comfortable levels consumers will need to shed another 30 percent.

We should not expect consumer spending to come back anytime soon. Too many Americans are struggling just to pay off mortgages worth more than their houses.

Dodd-Frank is crippling any recovery in the housing market with overly strict requirements on lenders combined with uncertainty for community banks.

By cementing the two main roadblocks to recovery, uncertainty and low consumer spending, Dodd-Frank has done exactly what Republicans predicted it would.

The solution to the catastrophic Dodd-Frank Act is the same as that for Obamacare: repeal it and replace it.

Before the economic crisis, there was a general consensus about financial regulatory reform. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and others recommended consolidating regulators and moving towards a principles-based rather than a rules-based system.

In the wake of the housing collapse and the credit crisis, legislation that actually sought solutions would have aimed at the source of the problem. Where informational issues made it impossible to properly evaluate risks, a real solution would have sought to increase transparency. Where patchwork regulations and government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac distorted the home loan market, these issues would have been straightforwardly resolved.

Dodd-Frank does not even attempt these common-sense solutions, so our economy buckles under the weight of its new regulations while the causes of the collapse go unaddressed.

The answer is to repeal it now to enable people to start creating jobs again while housing prices rise.- Newt Gingrich in Human Events mag.