June 3, 2011

Daily Housing News Round-Up

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The Secretary wound up his trip through the Western U.S. today after four days of tours and events in and around San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.

Secretary Donovan was in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, where he visited the future site of a transit village that will efficiently (and inexpensively) connect residents to jobs through public transportation.

A few miles down the I-10 from that event, Secretary Donovan told the Los Angeles Times that HUD and other federal agencies will reach a settlement with banks over reckless foreclosure practices within a few weeks.

Before flying to Southern California, Secretary Donovan attended a kickoff event for another transit-oriented community Wednesday in Salt Lake City.

Back in Washington, HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Mercedes Marquez testified before Congress about the importance of the HOME program (subscription required) as HUD continues its response to The Washington Post’s misleading attack.

Finally, be sure to watch Secretary Donovan tonight on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

One Response to Daily Housing News Round-Up

  1. Watching Bill Maher last night made it crystal clear to me why Democrats lose elections even when they have everything going for them.

    Hearing the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) blame mortgage consumers for the financial crisis, as if they had any knowledge of what a mortgage-backed security is, cristalizes the trouble Democrats face in presenting a coherent message to the electorate. Consumers have not stopped paying their mortgages mostly because they were speculators. And even if that were the case, it is not the Administration’s job to disparage average citizens. If the financial markets induced consumers to bask in the housing bubble while government looked the other way, why should consumers have been the only ones to engage in frugality?

    The Secretary didn’t say a word about the fact that when corporations pay employees less, home affordability suffers. Economic productivity has increased exponentially in the US, and workers have been squeezed out of every possible cent. Housing inflation, food inflation and energy inflation are galloping, while wages are stagnant and unemployment at historical levels. Doesn’t the Administration know this is the true center of the current economic crisis? The financial crisis is over, so no need to talk about it -like he did- (the polls say people don’t care to hear another word about it).

    When asked about why Democrats decided to tackle health reform, this member of the Cabinet was unable to point to the role of rising healthcare costs as a dent to consumers wallets. And he did’t point to the fact that Republicans have focused even more on healthcare with their proposal to abolish Medicare. Does he know nothing about Administration policy other than in his area? I mean he is a spokesperson for the whole Administration when he goes on a show, not just HUD Secretary.

    And then, to cap it all, he talked about the “progress” in the economic recovery. The audience response (on a really really liberal talk show) was muted. Polls show most of the electorate doesn’t really believe a true economic recovery is going on, so talk of progress can really backfire.

    The Republican former Representative pointed to the fact that when Obama took office unemployment was lower than it is today (which is true 7.5% +/- to 9.0%) and that obviously this meant the stimulus didn’t work. The rebuttal by the liberals? Unemployment could be even higher if it wasn’t for the stimulus. So Democrats answer Republican facts with unproven theoretical disquisitions.

    The Republican then talked about how government debt and regulation is thwarting private sector investment. The leftist panelists response was that government needed to spend (using the word “spend” instead of invest) more to create jobs. They also basically said that the deficit doesn’t matter. They were unable or unwilling to point to record corporate profits and banks hoarding money, which is proof that the rise of Wall Street doesn’t necesarilly lead to the rise of Main Street.

    When addressing energy, the leftist panelists said that global warming requires that consumers renounce conforts in their lives. So instead of pointing to how technology has reached the point when we can have all those conforts and better health with less air pollution, they just disparaged average Americans for being consumerists.

    I’ve seen this same message problem on all kinds of shows and in the news and networks.

    Democrats need to get their talking points straight!

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that the Democratic view is usually presented by a person of a racial, ethnic, sexual or religious minority and the Republican view is almost always presented by a white man o woman. I’m all for diversity (specially being a minority myself), but I also feel that just as you can alienate minorities by not giving them a space at the table, Democrats could alienate working class non-college educated white (specially male) voters when there is always this dicotomy/contraposition regarding who talks on behalf of the parties in national tv.

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