Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another "WTF?" moment...

...from the People's Republic of California.

This state, like others, has seen a sharp rise in the number of foreclosure actions against homeowners in the past year. Home prices are too high, and people with low(er) incomes have been snookered into taking out mortgages that offer low introductory interest rates. When the rates escalate (as they always do), these people, already stretched to pay the "teaser" rates, are, in a word, screwed.

And now the state government wants to get involved to "protect" those who are trying to live well beyond their means. The ideas range from "educational" programs to state-mandated slowdowns in foreclosure to an actual multi-billion-dollar bailout of the chumps who got in over their heads.

It's not that I have no sympathy for people who live paycheck to paycheck. I do the same. But I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford and then get mugged by sudden payment increases.

It's called reading the fine print and asking questions, boys and girls. If you don't think you can afford something, you can't.

Sure, some of the lenders were sneaky bastards. Some are paying for it now by going out of business.

But the bottom line is that a family earning $40,000 a year cannot afford a million-dollar house. It just ain't possible.

And I, who can't afford to own a house, am not happy with the prospect of the government forcing me to help pay someone else's mortgage, thank you very much.

By the same token, the federal government is thinking of ways to help the mortgage companies and the people who lend them money get through the "crisis." I say, let them fall, too. And Hillary Clinton, who thinks she should be the entire federal government, wants us to pony up even more billions for the downtrodden who were too damn dumb to exercise common sense while signing up for those crap loans.

No one got into this involuntarily. Stupidly, in the case of the home buyers who are now looking at having to revert to "renter" status -- welcome to the club -- because they wanted the American Dream, with full understanding and intention in the case of the mortgage companies.

Now, they want Uncle Sugar to bail them out.

But there is no constitutional right to home ownership.

Sadly, the current "progressive" attitude seems to be that people -- certain people, anyway -- deserve things because they want them. No matter what it costs the rest of us.


lowandslow said...

So, if California is essentially giving away free stuff, could you sign me up for a new Aston Martin? I can't begin to pay for it, but what the hell, surely some politician in need of a vote will bail me out. Right?

"Caveat Emptor"!

John said...

We are in the largest growing class---those taxed to provide the downtrodden and disadvantaged with advantages we can't afford for ourselves. That hit home hard when I had a kid in primary school.

Some may disagree but I think CA was far better when Reagan was governor.

Kim said...

Could you believe that that issue has hit the Australian stock markets badly and, with increasing interests rates, has put Aussie lenders and borrowers under pressure? Geeze, takes me back to Economics 101. The standard advice here is: don't borrow unless you can afford an interest rate increase.

MrScribbler said...

kim -- better still to have good enough credit (or a large enough down payment) to qualify for a fixed-rate loan.