Friday, February 20, 2009

Reason Is Calling

In the on-going discussions about the Obama mortgage rescue package (rescue package, comin' to the rescue!), I keep hearing that opposing it would pose political risk for Republicans because, "Everybody personally knows somebody who's struggling to avoid foreclosure and save their home." Really? I don't.

Maybe I just run with a more responsible crowd, but as far as I know I can't think of a friend, relative, co-worker, or neighbor who faces the imminent loss of their home. Is this unusual?

From what I've been hearing on a purely anecdotal basis, I don't think so. Granted, you could probably find polling data that shows that most Americans favor lending a helping hand to those homeowners who are in over there heads, but what I'm hearing and seeing more and more is a rising backlash against the whole bailout business, whether it be for banks, auto makers, or underwater homeowners. The overriding impression seems to be that those who acted responsibly are now being asked to bail out those who did not and a lot of ordinary Americans are ready to say, "No mas."

Again, this is purely based on anecdotal observations and it could very well be true that if Republicans oppose the latest and greatest mortgage fixin' plan, they will pay a political price. However, sometimes it's better to be right than popular. And this is one of those times.

If previous patterns hold true, a year from now many of those homeowners who supposedly were given a lifeline by the government will again be about to go under for the third time and lose their homes. At that point, Republicans can justly ask what exactly was accomplished by the $75 billion dollar mortgage bailout. It's worth taking some heat now to be able to take advantage of that opportunity in the future.

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