CHARLES FRIED, FMR. U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL, quoted on ABC's "This Week" (concerning the lawsuits against the health care bill): "Anybody who proposes something like this is either ignorant — I mean, deeply ignorant — or just grandstanding in a preposterous way. It is simply a political ploy and a pathetic one at that."
THE OWNERSHIP SOCIETY
I lit out of work early to do some skiing at Tahoe, and I was stuck behind a beemer at a red light. It had a vanity plate “WHY RNT.” I thought runt, rant, WTF? Then I saw it had a license plate frame from a local Realtor ® and I realized it was WHY RENT? (duh). By the way, if your job title or professional designation has a registered trademark, that should be a red flag right there. But I digress.
“The Ownership Society” was a political catchphrase for deregulation – if banks are “free” to lend more “freely,” then everyone can own a home. The problem is, as we have seen over the past few years, buying is not for everyone (unless you’re “buying” at a foreclosure sale). The tax code and “keeping up with the Joneses” notwithstanding, there is no shame in renting. People were duped into thinking that getting a big house they couldn’t afford was a status symbol. They didn’t own anything except for bare legal title. They were house poor, chained to their jobs for 30 years, and all of their money went to their mortgage, some of which could have gone for retirement, educating their kids, or improving their quality of life. Some of those same people are living under bridges now.
Real estate agents and brokers, and yes, realtors® (my least favorite breed of parasites) fed off the constant churning of loans and refinancings to make a commission. When you see such a real estate “professional” in a BMW with a license plate that says “why rent,” think about where his or her true loyalty lies and how they paid for that vehicle.
My letter to my local paper, the Vallejo Times-Herald:
Thank you Cong. Miller
I would like to go on record as saying that my congressman, Rep. George Miller, stood up and did the right thing in voting for the health care reform bill. The opposition did not act in good faith, and admitted that if they could defeat the bill, they could cripple the president. In spite of vicious partisan attacks that were nothing but scare tactics, smears, complete falsehoods and "the big lie," the bill passed with Cong. Miller's vote and leadership. In the aftermath, when the intellectually challenged teabaggers and their Republican enablers have become unhinged in their defeat, and are threatening intimidation and violence, Rep. Miller deserves our thanks and praise.