Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bush's Role In Inflating The Housing Bubble

Radley Balko quotes a Bush speech from 2002:

“The goal is, everybody who wants to own a home has got a shot at doing so.”


Makes it a bit difficult for the right to put all of this at the feet of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

More from the same speech:
We are here in Washington, D.C. to address problems. So I’ve set this goal for the country. We want 5.5 million more homeowners by 2010 — million more minority homeowners by 2010. (Applause.) Five-and-a-half million families by 2010 will own a home. That is our goal. It is a realistic goal. But it’s going to mean we’re going to have to work hard to achieve the goal, all of us. And by all of us, I mean not only the federal government, but the private sector, as well.

And so what are the barriers that we can deal with here in Washington? Well, probably the single barrier to first-time homeownership is high down payments. People take a look at the down payment, they say that’s too high, I’m not buying. They may have the desire to buy, but they don’t have the wherewithal to handle the down payment. We can deal with that. And so I’ve asked Congress to fully fund an American Dream down payment fund which will help a low-income family to qualify to buy, to buy.

Unfortunately, I have great difficulty imagining a major figure from either party standing up and stating the obvious: that many people should rent rather than borrowing to purchase a home. But, of course, telling Americans to live within their means isn't exactly a winning political strategy--it's a lot like trying to convince a five-year-old that it's a better idea to eat steamed broccoli than chocolate cake.

No comments: