Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poster Boy

My local newspaper (Newsday) had a story today that praised President Obama's Foreclosure plan. The poster boy for the story was a guy who owned a house worth $240,000 6 years ago. He recently refinanced the house for $428,000. That would mean he received in the neighborhood of $188,000 in cash. His aim was to “do some work on the house” and “build up his business”. The story goes on to say that the work on the house never happened. There is no mention of what went into his business. He is a self employed magician who makes balloon animals. Perhaps he bought a few more rabbits and another hat to pull them out of but it seems unlikely that it went into any business plan. Regardless, his problem is that after the refinance he is no longer able to make the payments. The reporter is in full sympathetic mode and never asked what happened to the $188,000. (Quite an example of investigative reporting.) There seems to be no good reason why he should get any help other than food stamps yet he is held as the exemplar of the programs "needy".
Why should people who took out the cash at the high point get support and get to keep the money, while those who did not get nothing?

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