“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” - RuPaul - - - - - - - - - - - “if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.” - John F. Kennedy - - - - - - - - - - - - “Imagine finding someone you love more than anything in the world, who you would risk your life for but couldn’t marry. And you couldn’t have that special day the way your friends do – you know, wear the ring on your finger and have it mean the same thing as everybody else. Just put yourself in that person’s shoes. It makes me feel sick to my stomach …. When I shared a picture of my tattoo on my Twitter page and said, ‘ALL LOVE is equal,’ a lot of people mocked me – they said, ‘What happened to you? You used to be a Christian girl!’ And I said, ‘Well, if you were a true Christian, you would have your facts straight. Christianity is about love.’ The debate resulted in a lot of threats and hate mail to people who agreed and disagreed with me. At one point I had to say, ‘Dude, everyone lay off.’ Can’t people have friendly debates about sensitive topics without it turning into unnecessary threats?” - Pop star Miley Cyrus on her marriage equality tattoo - - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, February 16, 2012

WTF Has Obama Done? - Issue No. 016 - Housing

You don't need me to tell you how the housing crisis took this country by storm.  It's been on the news since Bush scrambled out of The White House and left the Presidency and our country in the biggest disaster it has ever faced.
After U.S. house sales prices peaked in mid-2006 and began their steep decline forthwith, refinancing became more difficult. As adjustable-rate mortgages began to reset at higher interest rates (causing higher monthly payments), mortgage delinquencies soared. Securities backed with mortgages, including subprime mortgages, widely held by financial firms, lost most of their value. Global investors also drastically reduced purchases of mortgage-backed debt and other securities as part of a decline in the capacity and willingness of the private financial system to support lending.  Concerns about the soundness of U.S. credit and financial markets led to tightening credit around the world and slowing economic growth in the U.S. and Europe. [Reference]

To think that all this happened between 2004-2007, two years before Obama took office tells you who is to blame for all of this mess.  And then Republicans expected Obama to come in and clean it all up in three or four years, are you f-ing kidding me.  Today, the Repubs are trying to cast blame on the one man who has turned this country around by simply erasing what the previous President did.  How quickly they forget the lies, the betrayal, and the burden George W. Bush put on his fellow Americans.

Today, we will be covering one broad policy, one funding initiative, and a targeted action in the President's housing achievements.  I will add more in a later issue, as the President has accomplished so much in such a short period.

Unveiled $275 billion dollar housing plan.
All of us will pay an even steeper price if we allow this crisis to deepen -– a crisis which is unraveling homeownership, the middle class, and the American Dream itself,” Obama said at Dobson High School in Mesa, Ariz. “If we act boldly and swiftly to arrest this downward spiral, every American will benefit.

President Obama announced a plan in 2009 to help as many as nine million American homeowners refinance their mortgages or avert foreclosure, saying that it would shore up housing prices, stabilize neighborhoods and slow a downward spiral that was “unraveling homeownership, the middle class and the American Dream itself.”

The plan has three components. The first would help homeowners who are still current on their payments, but who are paying high interest rates and cannot refinance because they do not have enough equity in their homes, a problem afflicting growing numbers of people as housing values tumble.

A second component would assist about four million people who are at risk of losing their homes. It would provide incentives to lenders who alter the terms of loans to make them affordable for the troubled borrowers. A third component would try to increase the credit available for mortgages in general by giving $200 billion of additional financial backing to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [Reference-1, Reference-2]

Provided $2 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).  The program has provided almost $7 billion of funding in three phases for neighborhood stabilization. NSP grant funds acquire, redevelop, and finance foreclosed and vacant properties.1 NSP compliance requirements are very similar to the Community Development Block Grant program.2 Several additional restrictions apply, however, to focus the program more narrowly on stabilizing areas that are seriously affected by foreclosures and property vacancy. [Reference-1, Reference-2]

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, helping millions avoid foreclosure.

"Let me talk a little bit about the housing bill.  The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act advances the goals of our existing housing plan by providing assistance to responsible homeowners and preventing avoidable foreclosures.  Last summer, Congress passed the HOPE for Homeowners Act to help families who found themselves "underwater" as a result of declining home values -- families who owed more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.  But too many administrative and technical hurdles made it very difficult to navigate, and most borrowers didn't even bother to try.

This bill removes those hurdles, getting folks into sustainable and affordable mortgages, and more importantly, keeping them in their homes.  And it expands the reach of our existing housing plan for homeowners with FHA or USDA rural housing loans, providing them with new opportunities to modify or refinance their mortgages to more affordable levels." - President Barack Obama right before signing the act into law.

I promise to come back to this topic in another issue, until then, please feel free to read my previous issues by clicking here.

Make sure to read the next issue
Issue No. 017 - National Disasters & Emergencies

WTF Has Obama Done is an ongoing series posted daily or weekly on BLADE 7184 until Election Day, 2012!

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- Blade 7184 aka Peter