I hope everyone got out to vote today. We all know how important this election year is. I was in line to vote early this morning before I went into the office. The lady behind me in line kept complaining about how long it was taking the elderly poll worker to get people signed in to vote, but I just kept thinking to myself how thankful I am to live in America where I can vote and not get shot at while I’m standing in line waiting. It made me think of those first elections held in Iraq while our troops were establishing the new Iraqi government.
I hope you all took advantage of the Starbucks free coffee. I didn’t because I don’t like coffee myself, but I hope all of you enjoyed it just the same.
As I am home tonight mapping the changing colors of red and blue while the polls are closing around the country I am on the edge of my seat. I am not going to get my political intentions involved on my blog, but I do want to use this opportunity to remind you of some of the differences between Obama and McCain on some housing issues.
Looking back on some of the articles written about Obama over the last year he points to the special interests in Washington and corporate greed as the causes of the sub prime credit crisis. He criticized the deal reached in the Senate to freeze some foreclosures, saying a 30-day period wasn’t long enough. His plan against predatory lending included penalizing the lenders, but gave no explanation for how he would actually do that. He said he would provide a tax credit to homeowners to cover 10 percent of the interest on their mortgage every year and make an additional $10 billion in bonds available to help the middle class buy their first home or avoid foreclosure. He also wants to mandate accurate loan disclosure to ensure consumers understand their loan agreements. Now that last one is interesting because I can explain a mortgage or loan document to you over and over again and so can your lender, but no one can understand it for you.
Now on the other hand, there’s McCain who believes it is not the duty of government to bail anyone out, not the big banks nor the individual borrowers who acted irresponsibly, whether knowingly doing so or not. He said any government assistance to alleviate the housing crisis must be temporary and should be accompanied by reforms that aim to make the system more transparent and accountable to prevent a repeat of the crisis. He said no assistance should be given to people who bought houses to rent or as second homes. He does not support federal bailouts unless it has catastrophic effects on the entire financial marketplace nor does he support people buying homes with no money down like lenders have done over the past few years. This simply means people should have skin in the game when they are buying homes which will make them less likely to walk away from them when troubling times come knocking at the door.
Thinking about each of their views, I still come back to the saying that we got into this mess one house at a time and we will get out of it one house at a time. That is why I support the “Save the Dream” campaign. If you’re not familiar with that campaign please check out my earlier blog posts.
I hope we are able to get some rest, even though this close political run for the White House is stirring our minds tonight. As we look towards the new year, it is my belief that no matter which candidate wins, our housing market will improve. Our economy will rebound. Our country’s most sacred investment, our homes, will again accrue in value. It is my sincere hope and belief. It is my prayer. God Bless America!