Please do not give my share of the $7 billion to those banks that already have proved that they are shysters and crooks and con men. I know that right now it’s popular to be all self-righteous if you weren’t one of those people who fell for the line your cronies and pals were selling about the housing market and mortgages and all, but I just can’t. See, I have a big problem with guys in big city suits conning my friends and neighbors into believing a fairy-tale pie in the sky story about how the housing market was booming and they weren’t buying a house, they were inVESting in their future.

I’m honestly kinda tired of hearing about how this whole house of cards is the fault of people who bought what your good ol’ buddies were selling. Hell, they weren’t SELLING this shit – they were shoving it down our throats. I could wallpaper my bedroom – and it’s a BIG room – with the multiple loan offers I’ve received in the last eight years. I could paper it three layers deep. And that’s not counting the thousands of telephone calls, the thousands of hours of television ads, the millions of online ads and the hundreds of thousands of newspaper column inches devoted to convincing lil ol’ me that borrowing money to buy a house was the SMART thing to do.

I’m going to barf the next time I hear that ‘they’ should have known better. THEY didn’t have a prayer of knowing better, not when your good buddies were telling them that this was the time to grab hold of that gold ring and go for the American dream. They trusted the guys in the suits who were supposed to know what they were doing, who were supposed to be advising them. Who would have believed that a bank would give a loan to someone they knew couldn’t pay it back?

What they didn’t realize is that the banks didn’t care if they could pay the money back. The banks knew that they’d get the money back one way or another.

Mr. Bush, I may be stupid but your contention that the only way to dig us out of the hole we got into by borrowing money is to make more money available to borrow just doesn’t make sense. As best as I could tell, you’re talking about letting all those people that got tricked by the Wall Street con men sink, let their houses sit there empty and falling apart, and give $700 billion to the banks to make new loans. Oh, and you gotta borrow the $700 billion to do it.

Now, I’m not John McCain, but I do have a couple of ideas about how we could solve this problem. See, I was listening to you real close and remember you saying how we have to make sure that the banks have money that they can lend to other people. I remember from high school econ classes that banks get money to lend to other people by collecting the money they’re owed by people that borrowed money from them. Right now, the problem is that they played all sorts of crappy little games so that people ended up with mortgages they can’t afford for houses that aren’t worth the money they paid for them.

Mind you, they could afford the payment on the mortgage originally, because the banks approved them for a mortgage that started out at a low, fixed affordable rate. And most of them could afford to keep paying their mortgages at that low, fixed, affordable rate. So how about doing something like this with that $700 billion:

– immediately call a temporary halt to all foreclosures in progress
– reset the interest rates on all hybrid mortgages to the introductory rate
– require the re-negotiation of all hybrid mortgages
– require that all banks receiving federal money forgive missed or late mortgage payments up to six months with no penalty to the homeowner (only applies to historical missed payments, not to any future missed payments)
– apply the $700 billion to the interest that was expected on those mortgages that are in foreclosure if it’s used at all

This won’t reverse foreclosures that have already taken place, and it won’t completely repair the damage done by irresponsible lending. It will, however, put things back on the right track – people will keep their homes if they can afford to keep them. They will make mortgage payments, which will put money back into the bank coffers, which will make money available to lend to others. Those who would have lost their homes anyway because they took out loans they couldn’t afford will still lose their homes eventually. The banks and mortgage companies that made irresponsible loans will be penalized.

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