As this week's evidence, I point you to this NY Times article:
NY Times: FHA Problems Raising Concern of Policy Makers
Oh, it's worth a read, all right. Even if you only pay attention to the real-life FHA borrowers profiled. The first one's Bernadine Shimon, a teacher in Northglenn, Colorado.
She wanted a house but no lender would touch her. The Federal Housing Administration was more obliging. With the F.H.A. insuring her mortgage, Ms. Shimon was able to buy a $134,000 fixer-upper in August.
“The government gave me another chance,” she said.
No, the government gave you an anchor ... and then told you to swim. Check this:
The house was empty and trashed. Slowly, she is trying to bring it back to life. She spent the first few weeks picking up garbage in the backyard.
Is Ms. Shimon a good bet? Even she has no easy answer. Her mortgage payment, $1,100, is half of what she takes home every month. It is not easy to make ends meet. Teachers can get laid off like everyone else.
“The government,” she said, “is doing what it needed to do — taking a risk on people.”
I won't skid off into a ditch here with some rant about how it is NOT the government's job to "take risks on people." (Or did the publisher leave a page out of my pocket U.S. Constitution?)
Instead, I'll just keep the party going, and offer up a second FHA-borrower profile — that of Chaz Fullenkamp:
Really? How, pray tell, do you figure that?
“I knew in my heart I could not really afford the house, but they gave it to me anyway,” said Mr. Fullenkamp, 22. “I thought, ‘Wow, I’m surprised I pulled that off.’ ”
Yeah. And I'm surprised we even still have a financial system. Or a currency that's good for anything other than kindling.
And Recent FHA Results Say...
Also in the article, we're told that FHA's loan portfolio is facing, uh, a fair amount of default and delinquency issues.
So how do Congressfolk feel about this? It's no biggie, apparently.
And a certain Massachusetts representative's response is even better:
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the bad loans occurred,” he said. “It was an effort to keep prices from falling too fast. That’s a policy.”
I'd say these reactions are unbelievable, but they aren't. What else would you expect to hear from elected officials who well and truly believe there are no limits to what we can and should throw money at? (Vive la printing press!)
You know, really, I wish that this were all a bad dream. But it's not. It's real.
The financial profligacy — and often, sheer ignorance — of these people is absolutely astounding.