President Obama… Is That a Spine?

Increasingly frustrated with Republican obstructionism, President Obama is finally doing something he should have been doing all along…

Getting out that rhetorical 2 x 4.

President Obama lashes out at Republicans: Raise taxes for the rich, don’t cut services for middle class

President Obama ratcheted up rhetoric in the heated deficit talks Saturday, challenging Republicans to support students and seniors rather than the rich.

Obama acknowledged that tough choices would be required as the budget deadline approached – and drew a stark contrast between the alleged priorities of the two parties.

“Now, it would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them,” said Obama in his weekly radio address. “Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help – then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else.”

Obama echoed his frustrated remarks from his press conference last week, saying that sacrifices would be forced onto the backs of the less-fortunate if the Republicans would not consider taxes on the wealthy.

“We’ve got to say to a student, ‘You don’t get a college scholarship,'” he said. “We have to say to a medical researcher, ‘You can’t do that cancer research.’ We might have to tell seniors, ‘You have to pay more for Medicare.'”

“That isn’t right and it isn’t smart,” Obama said.

The President praised the first round of bipartisan deficit talks – led by Vice President Biden – that identified $1 trillion in possible cuts.

But negotiations stalled last week after Republicans refused to consider any tax increases. The Senate cancelled a planned recess next week to keep budget talks alive.

Federal officials said that he nation will reach its debt ceiling in early August and would no longer be able to borrow money to keep the government working. White House officials have said a preliminary deal must be reached by July 22 to guarantee there would not be a shutdown.

I don’t believe you wanna get up and dance…

14th Amendment to The Rescue? Debt Ceiling…

Sweet Justice that the Amendment to the Constitution granting full citizenship rights to former slaves, which yesteryear’s Republicans passed, and is stoutly opposed by todays perverted version of Republicans who wish they could repeal it.

May again save the Union…

Digging Out of the Mess Republican Conservatism Created

This time from modern day Republicans bent on destroying the country.

14th Amendment: Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional

Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned,” reads the 14th Amendment.

“This is an issue that’s been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. “I don’t think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I’ll tell you that it’s going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, ‘Is there some way to save us from ourselves?'”

By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that the constitutional solution puts the question in its proper context — that the debate is over paying past debts, not over future spending.

“The way everybody talks about this is that we need to raise the debt ceiling. What we’re really saying is, ‘We have to pay our bills,'” Murray said. The 14th Amendment approach is “fascinating,” she added.

The White House referred questions on the constitutionality of the debt ceiling to the Treasury Department. Treasury declined to comment…

The 14th Amendment became law in the wake of the Civil War, pushed by a Republican Congress eager to extend citizenship rights to freed slaves. But it also included a section dealing with federal debt: The government wanted to make clear to the market that even though loans to the Confederacy would not be paid back, any loans made to the U.S. government were still good.

In 1935, the Supreme Court held that despite the Civil War context, the amendment clearly referred to all federal debt.

“While [the 14th Amendment] was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation,” the majority wrote in Perry v. U.S. “We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression ‘the validity of the public debt’ as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations.”

The law at issue, which tried to override the validity of a bond offering, “went beyond the congressional power,” the Court ruled, setting a precedent that has not been overturned.

Because the government borrows based on its full faith, Congress doesn’t have the authority to undermine that confidence by reneging on its obligation to its lenders, the ruling declared.

“To say that the Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise; a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor,” reads the opinion, delivered by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. “This Court has given no sanction to such a conception of the obligations of our government.”

President Barack Obama, who taught constitutional law, hasn’t been afraid to assert executive authority. Most recently, he issued what amounted to a legal analysis defending the White House position that the military’s operations in Libya were not in violation of the War Powers Act…

Don’t Walk Away Rene! Homes Over $1 Million…

Back when the real estate bubble began to bust, conservatives, and their coonservative lackeys were all over the media announcing that it was the borrowers fault for taking on loans they couldn’t possibly afford. Stories of black people, in particular lacking financial savvy and making bad decisions abounded. Ergo – the meltdown was the responsibility of the feckless dishonest home buyer…

Well folks, as I have been predicting here for over a year – the REAL mortgage crisis is in high end homes.  Not only were home prices jacked up during the mortgage Ponzi, but the number of high end homes skyrocketed far beyond what the income levels of the population in a given area could support.

What this means is that there are a whole bunch of multimillion dollar homes out there…

Without a bunch of folks who can afford them.

Front1 - 9416 Pamlico Ln, Great Falls, VA 22066

$1.4 Million...$1.2 Million...$1.0 Million... $900k...

Biggest Defaulters on Mortgages Are the Rich

No need for tears, but the well-off are losing their master suites and saying goodbye to their wine cellars.

The housing bust that began among the working class in remote subdivisions and quickly progressed to the suburban middle class is striking the upper class in privileged enclaves like this one in Silicon Valley.

Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.

More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.

By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lender. About one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.

Though it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment.

“The rich are different: they are more ruthless,” said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s senior economist. Continue reading

When Criminal Enterprise and Corruption Include the Government in America

America is no longer one of the least corrupt nations in the world. The country has steadily been devolving over the past 30 or so years. Haiti is a country where corruption has destroyed economic opportunity for over 50 years. They got nothing on good old American corruption.

This, theft by bank – constitutes rape. And it is conducted fully under the guise of legality.

One raw day in early February, Vicki Valentine stood by helplessly as real estate investors snatched her West Baltimore home over what began with an unpaid city water bill of $362.

That’s right – a water bill…

The bank made a mean $50,000+ profit stealing this woman’s home…

All for $362.00.

Walking Away From the Pain

The New Mortgage Revolution: Walk Away

Underwater on your McMansion? Dump the Mortgage!

Big real estate developers do it all the time – like yesterday, when the owner of New York City’s Stuyvesant Town complex decided to stop paying its $3 billion mortgage. So why are you still writing a check every month on that mortgage that’s much bigger than your home is actually worth?

Good question, University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler says. Thaler tells New York Times readers that it’s not just alright to walk away from one’s over-sized mortgage — it may actually be a moral imperative. (An earlier Times article, by Roger Lowenstein, said much the same thing.) After all, lenders had no second thoughts about lending more than many borrowers could afford or than the homes might actually be worth. It’s just not fair to expect borrowers to follow rules that the lenders don’t.

But why stop there? Some commentators are now calling on borrowers to start a mass mortgage strike.
“Remember burning draft cards? Burn your mortgage,” the blog DailyKos told readers recently:

“The real risk to the banks and investors is that the people in those homes might just decide to walk away. And that’s what we must do. Doesn’t have to be everybody, of course; but anyone who finds themselves seriously underwater with no hope of ever recouping their investment….just walk away Renee. Morality has nothing to do with it. You are a cog in the wheel of a machine that is killing this country and if you remain a cog you enable it. Remove your cog and the machine will not keep running. Remove millions of cogs and the machine gets replaced.”

Now the call for a borrowers’ revolt is being joined by folks who know an opportunity when they see it: real estate agents. Over the past month, agents have been rushing to declare 2010 “the year of the strategic default.” Here’s Connecticut Realtor Minna Reid

Loan modifications do not address the real problem of heavy negative equity and are sure to fail most of the time. Even if the homeowner lowers their current payment they are left more trapped than ever. There will be no quick recovery this time. Years later when there is a need to HAVE TO move, the original problem of being upside down remains and the modified homeowner is left to short sell or foreclose once again.

Isn’t it better to just cut the losses upfront ?

I know many will consider strategic default wrong or immoral, but as for me, I stopped passing judgment long ago.

Reid is far from the only real estate agent using mass revolt against the banks as a sales strategy. San Diego broker Bob Schwartz asks, “How many homeowners will suddenly wake up to the fact that their home is now worth tens of thousands of dollars less than their mortgage balance? Only the naive will believe that their San Diego home’s value will bounce back anytime soon…. Defaulting “strategically” can entice more walk-aways by buying all the major items they may need in the near future, such as a car or even a house, right before they take a hike. As long as you stay current with other mortgage lenders, one could potentially have a good credit standing in 2 years after the walk-away.”

Ouch for the banks! But strategically not a bad move.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 144 other followers