With the presidential election less than six weeks away, President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes are haunted by the foreclosure crisis. His finessed recovery plan to clean up housing hinged on changing bankruptcy laws, cracking down on predatory and fraudulent lenders and a $10 billion fund to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
But there’s little doubt, even within the administration, that the Obama administration’s foreclosure assistance programs overpromised and underperformed. His cautious response to the housing crisis was the administration’s biggest mistake.
And now Republicans are distributing a “briefing book” on Obama’s housing policies that the RNC said has failed the nation in general, and Nevada in particular.
“Four years ago today, Obama was in Nevada promising to help struggling home owners,” says the 25-page GOP report titled “Busted: How Obama’s Failed Housing Policies Turned a Crisis into a Disaster.” “Four years later, they are not better off.”
Obama’s in Nevada this week preparing for the first debate on Wednesday night in Denver, Colo.
Nearly 8 million Americans have faced foreclosure since the housing bubble burst in late 2006. With unemployment still painfully high at 8.1 percent, foreclosures will continue to plague the U.S. economy. In January 2009, the month Obama took office, there were 274,399 foreclosure filings nationwide. They peaked at 341,180 in March 2010 and didn’t dip below 200,000 in a single month until March 2012. And last month, another 193,508 new foreclosures were filed.
Moreover, according to “Busted,” the high rate of underwater mortgages is evidence that Obama’s housing programs have failed. In early 2008, the number of underwater homes was estimated at 9 million. The current total is 12 million, or 28 percent of all mortgages, according to RealtyTrac.
Obama loyalists — including Moody’s economist Mark Zandi — argue that this is still Bush’s economy, and Obama saved housing from a free fall.
But the RNC claims this is Obama’s economy. The reason unemployment is still high, growth is anemic and the economy is on the brink of another recession, has to do with the policies that were implemented by the current administration. That’s where the buck stops, the GOP claims.
For better or worse, Wall Street and the banking industry are now in relatively good health. The housing markets and the foreclosure crisis still rages on as Obama remains clueless as nearly 200,000 homeowners lose their homes each month.
What do you think readers? Is this Obama’s economy and he dropped the ball of the foreclosure crisis? Or is this still Bush’s economy that the president inherited and is trying to clean up?