Money and Momma

So how do you like the bail outs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Welcome to the Age of Excess, medieval times, the Dark Ages.

Even though I am a liberal in my politics, I am a fiscal conservative.  NEVER spend more than you have.  Period.  No matter how good it looks;  if it seems too good to be true, it is.

The bailout of our mortgage giants is election year grandstanding.  I still do not understand why these bureaucratic behemoths were created.  Isn’t it the job of banking institutions to underwrite mortgages, to do their due diligence of the applicants, and then make a reasonable decision?  After all, the banking industry is allowed to MAKE MONEY from such transactions, so why did the government remove all the risk associated with mortgage underwriting, especially sloppy and irresponsible underwriting, from privately held banks?

I do understand that these agencies were created to help more people afford homes.  However, Republican administrations removed  regulations regarding home financing, while at the same time declaring that ALL Americans can afford a home and attain the American dream of real estate ownership.  WRONG.  This unregulated, brokers-gone-wild scenario opened the door to fraud, bankruptcies and a possible collapse of our economy as we know it.

Not everyone is a viable candidate for home ownership.  For the government to assume this and then put a free-for-all process in effect to allow everyone and their mother to buy a house in addition to everyone and their mother “creatively” and greedily financing the house is totally irresponsible and reckless.  Thus, we are seeing the after effects of this “capitalism” on out economy right now.

Some Yo Mama common sense guidelines:  All house purchases should require no less than a ten to twenty percent down payment.  The buyers should have some real money, some sweat equity, tied up in that house.  Another rule:  the less funds put down on a house, the more conventional the mortgage should be.  Mortgage brokers should not be selling adjustable rate loans to people who can just cover their current mortgage payments but who do not stand a chance of holding on to their homes when that mortgage rate escalates in three or five years to double or even triple what their initial payments were.   The double whammy of no down payment plus an artificially low monthly payment is the perfect formula for disaster.  What idiot can say that they never saw this coming?  This “bribing” of the American public, this “if you want it, you can have it” mentality,  speaks volumes to the Republican administrations, like those of Reagan and the Bushes, that undercut any semblance of economic permanence, viability and sustainability.

And so on to Sarah Palin who is playing the same game but in the Walmart parking lot instead of a bank lobby.  The Washington Post conducted a study yesterday showing a 20 point swing of white women from the Obama camp to the McCain side.  These working class women are being taken for a ride once again.  They are their own worst enemies.  They believe Palin to be just like them with the same trials and tribulations of working mothers.  HAH!

Do they think that an education at Wasilla high is comparable or better than continuing on to Harvard or Princeton, or any institution of higher learning for that matter?  I daresay that these working women would jump at the chance of sending their kids to an accredited college.  Additionally, many of these women wouldn’t be caught dead at Walmart, but they still support Palin because the other side of the coin is that she and the Republicans will put more money in their pockets.  Then they could drop by Gucci or Fendi and buy that new purse.  But Walmart —– give me a break.

There is a disconnect between who Palin really is and how her public views her.  The first disconnent is the motherhood thing.  It is wonderful that she has five children and a career on fire.  But honestly, if a regular working Jane was in this situation, who would pay for the childcare?  It is admirable to be an advocate for special needs children, but who is actually going to spend time with and caretake that special needs child?  So in terms of family values, there is this huge disconnect between what people think Palin represents and what she actually represents.

Likewise on the economic front.  The state of Alaska distributes $1200 to every person living in the state as a means of “equalizing” the oil revenues.   As governor, Palin elected to continue this practice rather than use the funds for Alaska’s infrastructure.  For THAT purpose, she applied and received billions of federal dollars as earmarks.  Back on 2006, she supported the Bridge to Nowhere because, bottom line (and this is on video), it brought money to her state.  It didn’t matter to her the wastefulness of this decision;  all she cared about was the money flowing into Alaska.  Is this exemplary  of moral, responsible values, or what?   True, a lot of Alaskan land is owned by the federal government, but how about starting at home and taking care of your own state instead of using  all of American’s tax dollars to support the great state of Alaska?   No wonder she had an 80% favorable rating as governor;  every mother, father, child, etc. received a windfall of $1200!

Thus, Palin represents a crucial cutoff between reality and fantasy, between do-as-I-say and not-as-I-do.  Trust me, she is aware of this dichotomy.  Look at Cindy McCain standing on the stage with her husband and Palin.  Now Cindy is no Dolley Madison or Eleanor Roosevelt, but she looks completely dumbfounded at Palin.  Cindy, having had experience at running a multimillion dollar business, knows the treachery of Palin.  Cindy sees the mask, the facade, and she looks appalled and damn scared.  Any woman with half a brain can see the same thing.  But first, you have to open your eyes.

So open your eyes America.  Say “enough” to insipid, unregulated-in-the-name-of-capitalism voodoo economics.  Say “no more” to motherhood as defined by a “have” rather than a “have not.”   Start by being your own best friend, and not following shallow, greedy demagogues.

Continue your journey with renewal and refreshment.  View the earlier Obama videos, i.e. his Keynote Address at the Democratic Convention four years ago and especially his speech in Springfield, Illinois declaring his bid for the Presidency.  What you will see is a searching mind, an honesty of values and a quiet, but assured, confidence.  This is the real deal.

Nobody has said it better than my daughter Maribel, whose video is below.  She wrote this song the night Obama won the Minnesota primary (thus the song’s title) and basically wrapped up his nomination.

Refresh.  Renew.  Never give in and always hope.


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