I'm sure you've heard by now that today, the Bush administration announced an agreement with the mortgage industry to freeze interest rates on subprime mortgages that otherwise would have risen soon.
While there are probably going to be some families helped by this move, even Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson admits this action is no "silver bullet."
As Associated Press Economics writer Martin Krutsinger notes, this offer would apply only to people living in their homes and who have not missed any payments at the lower rate. It also only would apply to loans taken out between 2005 and this past July 30 and scheduled to rise to higher rates in 2008 and 2009."
Yet if Bush really wanted to make a difference in terms of this subprime crisis and its destructive path of ruined lives for so many American families, here's a few of the things he could have implemented or at least proposed:
A one-year moratorium on ALL residential sub-prime mortage foreclosures. For a President who claims to be a "compassionate conservative," this would mark an exercise of true compassion.
A cost-of-living cap on health-care and pharmaceutical costs. These runaway costs surely have strained the budgets of many families who are also struggling to pay their sub-prime mortgages;
Get going with a substantial downdraw of troops in Iraq. Men come back to their families as wage-earners, and untold billions of dollars are freed up for our domestic needs.
Endorse legislation that would place a moratorium on corporate offshore outsourcing for any government contractor.
Implement a temporary freeze on fuel prices. Families who pay $60 per fillup to get to work, the store, school, house of worship, etc. may not have enough left to afford the mortgage.
Pull out of NAFTA. Remember what Ross Perot used to say about the "giant sucking sound" that would ensue if we signed the damn thing? He was specificlally talking about Mexico, but we're losing jobs to more nations than that. And many whose jobs have been lost are finding it even harder to pay for their mortgages (sub prime or not).
Cap credit card interest rates. Whether for purchases, cash advances or both, many distressed mortgage holders are living on their credit cards. If they still have them, that is.
And in a related business matter, how about helping those at the end of their rope by asking Congress to roll back the strict bankruptcy eligibility "reforms" the Republican-controlled Congress passed in 2006, and you signed?
Yes, but as if.
As if Bush will take on the greedy financial infrastructure that over the years, has kick started this crisis.