This morning on the Sunday shows everyone was talking about the stimulus, the politics, spending versus stimulus, tax cuts versus infrastructure spending. Blah blah blah snooze.
A few people, including Senator Kay Hutchinson of Texas, mentioned the housing crisis, or what we like to call, the root of the current economic crisis.
But no one mentioned a bill that would actually stem the tide of foreclosures by giving bankruptcy judges the authority to restructure mortgages so people can – and this is important, folks – pay their mortgage and keep their homes at no cost to taxpayers. It's supported by a lot of folks, nobodies like economists and banking folks.
It seems to me if everyone under the sun seems to think that the main problem with the economy is the housing market, the stimulus should be targeted there — at least in part. But the provision has been removed from every stimulus bill since last year.
And no one seems to want to talk in public (besides Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who was on point on This Week, this morning, if reliably unintellible in places) about this provision. Is the banking lobby gangsta like that?
I can understand Republican skepticism about all the spending in the stimulus bill. I get the argument that the bill should be targeted (knowing full well if they were in power it'd be all tax cuts and be just as bad as it seems the Democrat drafted spend happy bill is).
And I can understand why the Dems think it's a critical time to start investing in our nation. I think now is the time for some short term fixes like roads and education that actually create a few jobs.
I get both sides.
What I don't get is why both sides talk about wanting to stimulate the economy but neither has the balls to stand up to the banking lobby and pass a small bill that would actually stimulate the economy, or at the very least, slow the tide of foreclosures.
And our fearless leader? Well – Obama requested specifically that the provision be taken out to ensure Republican support.
Clearly – that didn't work for him as the House bill got not one Republican vote. And remember folks, Senate Republicans are the tough ones.
I love that Barack is trying to work with everybody and they mommas. And I think for a wide swath of the electorate, he looks every inch the guy they voted for. But I suspect, in this, it only works because ain't nobody been talking about this bankruptcy bill enough for Joe Voter to notice that right now we got too much posturing from both sides and not much else.
Apparently, what we have here is a situation where even Barack, with a nearly 70 percent approval rating and two branches of government on his side, can't get it done.
Is the head of the banking lobby Suge Knight? Seriously.
Barack's a smarter guy than me and maybe he will end up smelling like roses in a year or two or 10. But damn if ever there was a time to take a risk and actually help the people at the nexus of America's economic woes, this is it. There ain't no bipartisanship if the other side ain't gonna play. And the Republicans don't look like they are willing to play ball. And frankly – the House Democrats are, to be nice, idiots.
Time to start spending some of that political capital, Barry.