Dear President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid:
I applaud your hard work and effort over the past few weeks in pushing through legislation to help jump-start the economy in record time. Despite some flaws in the Stimulus Plan, it is a good beginning to what I hope will guide us out of this quagmire we are now faced with. I am pleased with the tax breaks, but I feel more funds should have been approved and appropriated for infrastructure improvements, but perhaps that is for a later time. Your plan to assist troubled home buyers that you presented today is certainly admirable, but I have two major concerns.
First, although you stated that none of the funding you want to allocate toward assisting second mortgage holders or investment properties and is only for those truly in need (the folks who REALLY are in need on their FIRST mortgages); I am concerned that this might turn into a free-for-all. While I am certain there are still unscrupulous characters out there who will stop at nothing to receive a piece of the pie, I am just as certain that there are those who would be willing to lend to these individuals, defeating the purpose of the proposed legislation and wasting taxpayer dollars. I have no desire to see on “60 Minutes” a piece detailing how a 38 bathroom 52 bedroom mansion in Florida received funding/refinancing. I believe that strong and transparent oversight is absolutely necessary in order for this to work; to do otherwise is to betray the Americans who pay their taxes every year and keep up with their mortgage payments. Like me and my wife, who have never missed or been late on a payment in 10 years that we have had a mortgage. And this brings me to my next and most important question:
What’s in it for me?
I’m sorry I’m being a bit greedy here, but as much as I support a National Healthcare System, and National Education and other worthy programs; I am still a guy who has done all of the right things over the years and is seeing his hard work and good effort rewarded with a pat on the back and an “Attaboy”. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. I was downsized and became disabled and my wife went back to work…and still we managed to pay our obligations like we were supposed to. Trust me, there were some rough times around here; and some months these days we are just keeping our head above water…but every month that damned mortgage gets paid. My home has not lost much of its value, and it is still above my mortgage amount. That is because my wife and I selected a home we knew that we could afford if the worst should happen (like one of us losing a job or getting disabled…both of which happened). We moved into an area where we knew the schools and the property values would be stable, as it’s a more established town and has a long track record of stability. We were smart. So once again…
What’s in it for me?
I have a solution for homeowners like my wife and myself who have neither an oppressive mortgage rate, nor a severely devalued home. Take my 5.25% 30 year fixed rate mortgage, and amortize it over the remaining 20 years at 3.00%. Do the same for other Americans (perhaps on a tiered basis, but let’s start with 3% for preferred Home Owners). My monthly payments would be reduced, and I would have more money to SPEND on stuff. You know, stuff that contributes to the economy because buying stuff keeps and creates jobs? You can reward my wife and I for our dutiful and responsible way we have lived our lives, and do the same for so many other Americans. With this plan in addition to the one you proposed today, the economy would rebound faster than anyone thought possible.
And just for once, people wouldn’t be rewarded for their own stupidity.
A Concerned Homeowner (and Progressive) Who Has Done The Right Thing