(H/T Instapundit) Come, I will conceal nothing from you: I respect Barney Frank’s political skills. I absolutely can’t stand what he uses those skills for, but I recognize that Rep. Frank has them, and that he knows how to use them effectively. To give just one example, Rep. Frank was about the only Democrat to make it through last year’s August health care meltdown without looking like either an abject coward, or a purblind fool*. You don’t have to like him – and I don’t – to recognize that.
Which is why Rep. Frank calling the Obama administration “dumb” for putting out an expectation of 8% unemployment if the stimulus passed is so interesting. First off, it’s a refreshing change from the previous narrative, which was that you were a dirty racist right-wing homophobe for taking the Romer-Bernstein graph seriously in the first place**. True, it turns out that people were idiots for taking the stimulus as a job saver seriously, but that’s a different issue. Continue reading Barney Frank calls Barack Obama dumb.
You know, sometimes Paul doesn’t want to be paid, if it means robbing Peter.
Today’s hot rumor comes from James Pethokoukis: essentially, the White House (which is becoming increasingly frantic about the way that their Super Magical Unicorn Genius economic plans aren’t working) is scheming to partially bail out people with underwater mortgages. I know, I know: the government was not supposed to acquire Fannie/Freddie just to completely rewrite their balance sheets, but the existing scheme to let the mortgage industry gradually repair itself was apparently… a Super Magical Unicorn Genius economic plan. This new plan won’t do a thing for F/F’s value as companies, but then this wouldn’t be an economic strategy. It’s pretty blatantly a political one.
The mortgage Hail Mary would be a last-gasp effort to prevent this from happening and to save the Obama agenda. The political calculation is that the number of grateful Americans would be greater than those offended that they — and their children and their grandchildren — would be paying for someone else’s mortgage woes.
You know, I happen to have an underwater mortgage: we bought our house at exactly the wrong moment in time. Do you know what we’re doing about it? WE’RE MAKING OUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS, that’s what we’re doing about it. Because we sat down and worked out how much we could afford to spend beforehand, then we stuck to that number like glue. In other words, I don’t need a handout to pay my bills, and I really don’t need to spend another insanely large sum of money (Hot Air thinks that it could reach 100 billion, which is a large sum of money, even today) that my kids are just going to have to repay later, after the President retires to the global cocktail circuit. And I know that people are going to argue that the majority of Americans can be short-termed bribed in this fashion, but you know something? I don’t think it’ll work. Particularly when it comes to people who have kids. Continue reading White House to bailout underwater mortgages?