Your reply makes it very clear that my previous message was not actually read. It would seem the response to my email was not only delegated to your staff, but also, the staffer who received my message either replied with a form letter or suffers limited reading comprehension. I attempted to communicate that I find your position to bail out banks and speculative homebuyers with our tax dollars entirely irresponsible and amoral. This combined with your recent cursory response guarantees you will not again earn my vote.
That said, I hope that I might convince you to consider a modest proposal. In concert with the logic of the bills you currently support, I would ask that you introduce a new bill to safeguard the American dream of automobile ownership. You see, I recently purchased a large SUV and I am finding it difficult to meet the debt burden wrought upon my family by a predatory car dealership. I am certain that I can illustrate this difficulty by missing a few loan payments. It would greatly ease my financial strain if you and your colleagues would establish a new GSE specific to this essential American family investment. A new agency, the FAA (Federal Automobile Administration, not to be confused with the other bloated bureaucratic entity responsible for inefficient air transport) could provide oversight. The FAA could then rescue America’s failing financial institutions from large losses stemming from delinquent auto loans. The FAA would simply allow the new GSE’s to purchase these failing private loans, and similar to your very own words, once the Congress has a “better understanding of the [auto lending] industry’s current financial position”, you could “move to provide millions in subsidies”. We could abandon that silly notion of a free market and make a significant evolutionary step from capitalist republic to socialist democracy where every American, regardless of effort or contribution, is entitled to the basic necessities (a new home, a new car) in exchange for their vote.
Of course such an effort would likely be very expensive and introduce considerable inflation to our economy; a small price to ensure an ever increasing disparity between median incomes and median auto prices. Such a disparity is key to my ability to sell my new automobile at a profit, thereby protecting me from a tragic loss in my standard of living (like renting a home, I might be forced to take public transportation or buy a smaller car). The collective population could share in this expense through taxation. Many of us would be able to maintain our God given right to overextend ourselves. Of course, by tinkering with the free market, many young families would be priced out for years to come, but they don’t vote in the same numbers as your suburban middle aged constituents.
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER
10TH DISTRICT ~ CALIFORNIA
2459 Rayburn HOB – Washington, D.C. 20515 – (202) 225-1880
2121 North California Blvd. Suite 555, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 – (925) 932-8899
Dear [Disgruntled Patriot]:
Thank you for contacting me about bailouts for sub-prime mortgage lenders. I have reviewed your comments and welcome this opportunity to share my views.
I believe that the government’s primary concern in this matter is to help protect citizens. For many American families, their home is also their principal investment. Unfortunately, from predatory and deceptive lending practices, an alarming percentage of home buyers are vulnerable to predatory lending practices. A fraudulent appraisal alone can cheat a family out of the American dream of maintaining home ownership. It is important that federal law effectively protects home buyers from predatory and deceptive lending practices, and an effective policy must also educate consumers and prosecute criminal lenders.
In the 110th Congress, I have worked to pass a number of bills that address the growing mortgage crisis.
H.R. 1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act. This bill would allow the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to better respond to recent changes in the mortgage market by raising loan limits in high-cost areas and enabling the FHA to use risk-based pricing to more effectively reach underserved borrowers. Additionally, I supported an amendment to the bill, which will raise FHA loan limits nationwide and allow increased flexibility for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in applying this limit.
H.R. 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. This comprehensive anti-predatory lending legislation curbs the overly risky lending practices responsible for the current instability in the subprime mortgage market. H.R. 3915 institutes strong consumer protection standards, requires mortgage lenders to ensure that borrowers are able to repay loans, and prohibits predatory lending practices that steer homebuyers into unaffordable loan products.
H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007. H.R. 1427 would establish a new independent agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – both of which are government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) responsible for lending to banks, usually to fund home loans. This bill would require the GSEs to contribute to an affordable housing fund to support home ownership among low-income families, to increase investment in housing in economically distressed areas, and to increase and preserve the supply of rental and owner-occupied housing.
H.R. 3648, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. With many homeowners finding it difficult to meet their debt burdens, some lenders are discharging mortgage indebtedness. H.R. 3648 would exclude discharged debt from taxable income in order to ease financial strain on overstretched owners.
It is critically important for Congress to rise to the moment and help Americans in times of financial uncertainty, and I was proud to vote for these bills, all of which passed in the House of Representatives. Like you, I maintain concern over proposals for wholesale bailouts in the subprime mortgage industry. While I support programs that protect and educate homebuyers, I believe that Congress must have a better understanding of the mortgage industry’s current financial position before we move to provide millions in subsidies.
Correspondence from constituents like you is essential to my work in Congress, and I hope that you will continue to inform me of your concerns. I value your input as I work to shape national policies to reflect the views of California’s 10th District. To keep abreast of my work, please visit my website http://www.house.gov/tauscher to sign up for my newsletter, e-tauscher. If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact my office at 925-932-8899 or 202-225-1880.
Please do not support the efforts to bail out subprime borrowers with my tax dollars. As a responsible citizen, I do not feel it is right for you to ask me to pay for other peoples’ financial mistakes, especially since a bailout encourages sleazy lenders to keep on making predatory loans, with the assumption that taxpayers are on the hook.
I appreciate the goal of helping people to have access to housing, but the proposed subprime bailout will only reward people who acted irresponsibly, and it will punish people who work hard and diligently manage their finances by not buying houses which they cannot afford.
The housing market has begun a process of correction. This is necessary in order to keep housing affordable in the long-term. Let the market correct so we can achieve stability again, and people are able to save and afford the house of their dreams over time. That really is the true American Dream.