(sigh) Why did we bother working so hard to elect allegedly progressive Senators? I hate these b******s. They've srewed us yet again.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog praising the Senate Bankruptcy reform act of 2008, caling it one of the few pieces of housing related legislation that had some merit.
Most importantly, it would have restored to Bankruptcy judges the power they had before 2005 to force down the amount of a debtor's mortgage. Well, the Senate republicans did one of their faux filibusters and the bill failed.
So now, our erstwhile progressive democratic senators have caucused with the Republicans and what do we get? A complete cave-in as to debtors, and huge dollops of gifties for homebuilders. In other words, "our" Senators are reaching into our tax pockets and have actually succeeded in making matters worse.
"Housing Accord Puts Builders First," 4/3/2008
"Senate Democratic and Republican leaders rushing to address the nation's housing crisis reached agreement yesterday on a package that would provide billions of dollars in tax rebates to the slumping home-building industry while offering little to homeowners threatened with foreclosure.
"After working through Tuesday night to flesh out a bipartisan agreement, lawmakers unveiled a bill that rejects the most ambitious plans for aiding distressed homeowners, including a Democratic proposal to permit bankruptcy judges to modify the mortgage on a person's primary residence.
"Instead, lawmakers settled on a sharply scaled-back array of measures that would provide $4 billion in grants for cities to buy foreclosed properties, temporary tax breaks worth up to $7,000 for home buyers who purchase foreclosed properties, and new tax deductions for almost every American who owns a home. The package, which would cost about $15 billion over the next 10 years, also would jump-start stalled legislation to streamline the Federal Housing Administration, one of the top priorities of the Bush administration.
"Families who cannot afford to repay their home loans -- the group at the heart of the mortgage meltdown -- would benefit mainly from $100 million to expand foreclosure counseling services and greater latitude for local housing authorities to use tax-exempt bonds in refinancing subprime loans.
So, homebuilders get tax breaks, the Bush administration gets "one of its top priorities" and Joe consumer gets it in the chops.
Nice work, Senate dems.
Somebody please tell me again: Why do we bother?