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Voice of the Voter - This Weeks Articles

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Meddling Where They Don't Belong

Before I get into what I believe the Federal Government shouldn't be doing concerning the subprime melt-down and why, I'd like to make a simple point. Most people in America do not have sub-prime mortgages. Heck, a lot of people don't even have mortgages, so why should all of those without sub-prime mortgages or no mortgages at all be responsible for paying for the problems of those that have difficult mortgages?

That being said, it appears that the subprime melt-down is causing a lot of problems for quite a few people. Of course that can mean only one thing. It must be time for the Federal Government to meddle where it doesn't belong - in other words, what can they do to make it look like they are helping so that they can buy your votes?

The current mortgage mess was brought on by one simple factor - GREED. Greed on the part of mortgage lenders, greed on the part of Wall Street and greed on the part of borrowers. There is an old saying that goes, "Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." Right now the hogs of the mortgage business are getting slaughtered and I'm of the opinion that it is NOT the business of the Federal Government to get involved in bailing out individual homeowners for three major reasons.

First, this is a market correction that is long overdue. Real estate prices had been spiraling out of control for a while now in quite a few parts of the country. Here in California, housing price increases were completely out of control and a lot of people knew a correction was in the offing and in fact, that a correction was needed. When the stock market got out of control during the Internet boom and then had it's massive correction, did the Federal Government bail out all of the people who got hurt by the massive devaluation of the stock market - NO. So why should they now?

Second, who gets bailed out? There are a lot of different types of people who may or may not get hurt by this market correction. Let's make a partial list.

Homeowners who have normal loans or no mortgages at all - No concern here except for the fact that their tax money will get spent on any bailout and is that really fair?

Property owners with subprime loans - This is where it gets complicated because not all of these people are created equal.

1. We have the investors who were out there using the easy credit to buy homes like there was no tomorrow. Should they get bailed out of their bad loans? Most people would say no, because they were taking a risk and deserve what they got because they were being greedy.

2. We have homeowners who have subprime loans who are not in danger of losing their homes because they budgeted properly. Should we make the lender change the terms on their loans because, well in retrospect, they just don't seem fair? Doesn't seem likely and definitely isn't the job of the Federal Government.

3. We have homeowners who have subprime loans who may be in danger of losing their homes, but even this is not a simple category.

There are those that just bought too big a house for their income - Do we reward their greed by having the Federal Government bail them out at our expense so they can live in a bigger house than they should reasonably have for their income levels? This doesn't seem right to me.

There are those who bought the right amount of house several years ago, but with rising housing prices and easy refinancing they have refinanced several times always taking money out to buy cars, boats, home improvements, etc and now find that they can't afford the payments. Do we reward their greed by having the Federal Government bail them out at our expense because they made bad decisions about using the equity in the house for things it shouldn't be used for? This doesn't seem right to me.

There are those that just bought at the top of the market. I guess the same could be said about all of those people who bought stocks in the last year before the Internet crash, but did we bail them out? No, so why is it the business of the Federal Government to bail out individual homeowners now? I contend it isn't.

Third, a bail out is not fair and sets a very bad precedent. What is fair about using our tax money to bail out people who made bad decisions or were greedy? What happens the next time there is a stock market downturn? Since we bailed homeowners out of bad loans, do we now use our tax money to bail people out of bad stock investments? Also, doesn't it set a precedent for encouraging risky behavior.

With the Federal Government so anxious to bail someone out, just who do they think they should give the bailout to at this time? Is it investors, homeowners with good loans, homeowners with "bad" loans that are okay, greedy subprime borrowers or just borrowers with bad timing. Unfortunately, it will probably come down to where they think they will get the biggest bang for "our" dollars when it comes to voting in the next election. It will have little to do with what is really the right thing for the market or whether or not it is even the job of the Federal Government to get involved in this way, but a lot more to do with how they can buy our votes in the next election. Market corrections are a natural part of a market economy. They are important and necessary for any market and usually good for the market overall. If a market gets out of control, like the housing market had become, the correction can be rather strong, but it is only that, a correction. A market correction, while painful for some, will usually produce an overall net benefit - in this case greater housing affordability.

The Federal Government's responsibility in this matter runs towards how the Federal Reserve controls the interest rates in the country. They should have been Statesmen and raised rates when it was recognized by almost everyone that the market was overheating due to extremely easy credit. Instead they chose to let the party continue out of control until people started getting hurt and the cops had to be called in.

The proper time to have done something was when the market was overheating in the first place by tightening credit so that it wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. However, no one in government ever wants to be accused of spoiling everyone's "fun" as that just causes them to lose votes. Once again, that is why we need Statesmen running the country and not politicians. Statesmen make the hard decisions and do what is right for the country regardless of whether or not it makes them unpopular in the instant. Politicians do everything for votes.

Going forward the proper role of the Federal Government should be to set fair interest rates for the overall economy, to let the market take its course and to work with the states to ensure that lending practices are fair and reasonable for all potential home buyers.

Mike McEnulty - Independent Candidate for President - | E-mail Comments on this article. | Visit the campaign website at

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders

What Ever Happened to Bootstraps?

What ever happened to bootstraps, or the people who pulled themselves up by them? Where are our larger than life heroes, our Roosevelt and Lincoln, our Ford and Hemmingway? Looking at the last presidential election, is it any wonder that more people vote for American Idol on a weekly basis than do for the leader of the free world? And hey, these people don’t just vote, they’re willing to pay to do it, normal texting fees do apply, and all because they don’t want the judges to have the last word.

In modern day America image is everything, perception has become reality. Just last week a federal judge upheld the convictions of two individuals in Florida accused of possessing and distributing child pornography. These “menaces to society” will now have to serve the maximum time allowable by law. Upon their release back into society they must both register as sex offenders, and since the registration process tends to lump the guilty together into the one category, they will forever be branded as child molesters as well as pornographers.

So, what’s the problem? Sleazy bastards got what they deserved right. Should lock them up and throw away the key. Extend the sentences, even if you have to transfer them to adult prison facilities when they turn eighteen in a couple of years. Wait, what? You see the problem here is that these so called child pornographers were in fact children themselves. Fourteen and fifteen years old, roughly the same age as two of the worlds most celebrated lovers, Romeo and Juliet, and the pictures they took, were of themselves, yet in the eyes of the law they are no different from any other sexual predator.

Due to the fact that both parties involved are minors, not all of the details of the case have been released and their names have been omitted, once again, because they are minors. Apparently the couple took cell phone pictures of themselves “fooling around” and then sent the digital images to each other. They didn’t post it on the Internet or share it with anyone else, just two lovers sharing images of themselves in an intimate moment. As statutory rape charges were not mentioned in the appeal or conviction for either party it can be assumed that the images in question did not contain evidence of intercourse.

Once you have all the facts of the case it becomes an entirely different scenario. Should they both be punished, of course, but should they serve jail time and have to register as sexual deviates that prey on children for the rest of their lives? Seems a little extreme doesn’t it. Yet that is probably what is going to happen.

The judge will not reverse or lessen the conviction not just because he is afraid it will set a precedent and create loopholes, but because of the way the law is written with sentencing guidelines. The decision to prosecute to the full extent allowable was political, no high profile official ever wants to be seen as someone who doesn’t throw the book at a child pornographer, remember these are the guys who hate to have their capitol convictions overturned because it looks bad on their record.

It is a mess, just like Iraq, Social Security, health care, welfare (corporate and the other). A mess, that was created because more attention was paid to the issue in general and to how it reflected on those officiating over it, than to the case at hand. Our leaders have ceased being our heroes and have become more of a thing we tolerate and try to not get too worked up about. No wonder we prefer to vote for the next American Idol, it’s a much cleaner process.

Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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