The 'Homeownership Gap'

On Oct. 15, 2002, That Moron George Busch gave a speech. It is a speech worth revisiting in these times.

As prologue, may I point out to The White House-dot-gov that “homeownership” is not a word. It’s no wonder these assholes have no respect for the law. Respect for language precedes such a thing. Assholes.

Anyway. Here is what That Moron George Busch said on Oct. 15, 2002.

More and more people own their homes in America today. Two-thirds of all Americans own their homes, yet we have a problem here in America because few than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the home. That’s a homeownership gap. It’s a—it’s a gap that we’ve got to work together to close for the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future. We’ve got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a homeownership gap.

I set an ambitious goal. It’s one that I believe we can achieve. It’s a clear goal, that by the end of this decade we’ll increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million families. (Applause.)

I won’t argue that home ownership isn’t a good thing; though for the sake of diligence, I will mention that I am a renter. I also won’t argue with the idea on its face of offering minorities more opportunities to own. However. I will argue that, perhaps, a better way to allow more people to own would be to, oh, say, work to reverse the domestic exodous of this country’s manufacturing base, for example. As my man T. Hartmann says often, the best anti-poverty program is a JOB, beeyotch.

I would also consider it a general rule that any time a “conservative” politician talks about a “gap,” you should immediately drop to the ground and assume a fetal position, hugging your head. It means that, most certainly, there is horrifically bad policy on the way.

Now. One thing that makes this speech interesting is the blatant statement of ideology it contains. Bush says:

All of us here in America should believe, and I think we do, that we should be, as I mentioned, a nation of owners. Owning something is freedom, as far as I’m concerned.

You see, ownership = freedom. Has a sitting President ever before so boldly admitted that he is a fascist? Interesting.

And now, for a little implicit racism!

And ownership of a home helps bring stability to neighborhoods. You own your home in a neighborhood, you have more interest in how your neighborhood feels, looks, whether it’s safe or not. It brings pride to people, it’s a part of an asset-based to society. It helps people build up their own individual portfolio, provides an opportunity, if need be, for a mom or a dad to leave something to their child. It’s a part of—it’s of being a—it’s a part of—an important part of America.

See, minorities live in squalor! If only they all owned their own houses! If only!

Now, George, hit me with some good old-fashioned IRONY.

Homeownership is also an important part of our economic vitality. If—when we meet this project, this goal, according to our Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we will have added an additional $256 billion to the economy by encouraging 5.5 million new home owners in America; the activity—the economic activity stimulated with the additional purchasers, the additional buyers, the additional demand will be upwards of $256 billion. And that’s important because it will help people find work.

How much was this bailout thingie again?

To open up the doors of homeownership there are some barriers, and I want to talk about four that need to be overcome. First, down payments. A lot of folks can’t make a down payment. They may be qualified. They may desire to buy a home, but they don’t have the money to make a down payment. I think if you were to talk to a lot of families that are desirous to have a home, they would tell you that the down payment is the hurdle that they can’t cross. And one way to address that is to have the federal government participate.

And so we’ve called upon Congress to set up what’s called the American Dream Down Payment Fund, which will provide financial grants to local governments to help first-time home buyers who qualify to make the down payment on their home. If a down payment is a problem, there’s a way we can address that. And when Congress funds the program, this should help 200,000 new families over the next five years become first-time home buyers.

Wasn’t part of the housing mess problem a vigorous loosening of down-payment requirements? What the hell is he talking about?

Now, here’s a very interesting passage.

And then there’s my friend Kirbyjon Caldwell. He not only provides counseling and job training, he actually decided to encourage a development of homes in the Houston area. People — low-income people are going to be able to more afford a home in Texas because of Kirbyjon’s vision and work. He’s answered the call of faith to help people help themselves and to help them realize dreams.

The other thing Kirbyjon told me, which I really appreciate, is you don’t have to have a lousy home for first-time home buyers. If you put your mind to it, the first-time home buyer, the low-income home buyer can have just as nice a house as anybody else.

Sure! Why buy a starter home and invest sweat equity when you can instead buy a mcmansion you can’t actually afford! GEORGE W. BUSH IS A FUCKING GENIUS!

But, wait. Here comes the money shot:

Freddie Mae—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—I see the heads who are here; I want to thank you all for coming—(laughter)—have committed to provide more money for lenders. They’ve committed to help meet the shortage of capital available for minority home buyers.

Fannie Mae recently announced a $50 million program to develop 600 homes for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Franklin, I appreciate that commitment. They also announced $12.7 million investment in a condominium project in Harlem. It’s the beginnings of a series of initiatives to help meet the goal of 5.5 million families. Franklin told me at the meeting where we kicked this office [sic], he said, I promise you we will help, and he has, like many others in this room have done.

Freddie Mac recently began 25 initiatives around the country to dismantle barriers and create greater opportunities for homeownership. One of the programs is designed to help deserving families who have bad credit histories to qualify for homeownership loans. Freddie Mac is also working with the Department of Defense to promote construction and financing for housing for men and women in the military.

Talk about lipstick on a pig.

This 2002 speech serves as a loud reminder that the present economic mess is not some act of nature or some terrorist attack. It was done to us on purpose by the very assholes who are telling us today that they know how to fix it. It also shows, in my opinion, that, in America, the word “conservative” has lost all of its meaning. See Papa Bonk’s Garrison Keillor quote because Keillor wrote it much better than I ever could. These people are not “conservatives.” They are Bizarro-Utopian Anarchists.

Just for fun, lookie how That Moron George Busch ended his speech.

Again, I want to tell you, this is an initiative—as [HUD Secretary] Mel [Martinez] will tell you, it’s an initiative that we take very seriously. We’re going to stay on it until we’re—until we achieve the goal. And as we all achieve the goal, we can look back and say, America is a better place for our hard work, our efforts and our desires for our fellow Americans to realize the greatness of our country.

Or, you’ll look back as you’re running in terror as the financial horizon crumbles upon itself behind you. Whatever.

2 thoughts on “The 'Homeownership Gap'”

  1. I remember when this speech was made, and in fact have been recently thinking about it. At the time, I had a legnthy discussion about it with that eminent housing authority R.H. Cowden. Mr. Cowden pointed to what was not obvious about the Moron’s speech, which is that it offered nothing new in the way of available resources for new housing. The President’s fabulous housing initiative was funded by existing HUD funds, and the resources of Freddie and Fannie. In a way, it was this speech that opened the floodgates for unqualified borrowers to get home loans… for real nice homes, too.

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