Skip to comments.Awkward: Obamas to Welcome George W. Bush to White House Next Week
Posted on 05/26/2012 11:02:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
This ought to be fun. Barack and Michelle Obama will welcome The Most Evil Man in the World (or as he's known outside the Democratic Party, George W. Bush) and his wife Laura to the White House next week, for the unveiling of their official portraits. Of course, this comes as the current president is in full campaign mode, and W. occupies the role of Obama's eternal scapegoat. It'll be no minor miracle if Obama can make it through the unveiling without blaming Bush for something.
Such ceremonies often bring together current and former presidents with rivalries, grudges or awkward relationships. But the timing of this unveiling is particularly delicate as Mr. Obama uses Mr. Bush as a foil on the campaign trail against former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, his presumptive Republican challenger. Although Mr. Obama generally does not mention Mr. Bush by name, he often says Mr. Romney wants to replicate the former presidents agenda but on steroids.
At a campaign fund-raiser in Redwood City, Calif., on Wednesday, for instance, Mr. Obama said Republicans wanted bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, deeper cuts in Medicare and education, even more power for banks to do as they please, and fewer regulations that protect consumers. But thats not new, he added. That was tried, remember? The last guy did all this.
He presented Mr. Bushs record in caustic terms. We watched a record surplus that was squandered on tax cuts for folks who didnt need them and werent asking for them, he said. We saw two wars being waged on a credit card. We saw speculation in the financial sector, reaping huge profits for a few folks who were making bets with other peoples money, but it was a flimsy kind of success. Manufacturing left our shores. A shrinking number of Americans did really, really well, but a growing number saw falling incomes and stagnant job growth.
Mr. Bush, by contrast, has offered virtually no commentary on his successor in the three years since he left office, saying he deserves my silence. He has stayed out of the campaign to oust Mr. Obama, offering a four-word endorsement for Mr. Romney only when asked by a reporter as he headed into an elevator after an unrelated event in Washington last week.
Supposed to read " does enough of our unserious voting population UNDERSTAND HOW destructive Obama's policies are"
Also, would like to add that during the Bush years, where I lived unemployment averaged 3%.
Don’t go W!!!!! It’s nothing but a cheap campaign soundbite, that will make the punk POTUS look bi-partisan.
The proposed Fannie and Freddie reforms addressed minimum capital standards and the sheer size of the two firms. But if you think that Dubya was trying to reign in the irresponsible lending that was driving the bubble you’re mistaken. He was adding fuel to the fire:
“Bush seeks to increase minority homeownership”
By Thomas A. Fogarty, USA TODAY
In a bid to boost minority homeownership, President Bush will ask Congress for authority to eliminate the down-payment requirement for Federal Housing Administration loans.
In announcing the plan Monday at a home builders show in Las Vegas, Federal Housing Commissioner John Weicher called the proposal the “most significant FHA initiative in more than a decade.” It would lead to 150,000 first-time owners annually, he said.
Nothing-down options are available on the private mortgage market, but, in general, they require the borrower to have pristine credit. Bush’s proposed change would extend the nothing-down option to borrowers with blemished credit.
The FHA isn’t a direct lender, but guarantees loan payments for mortgages on moderately priced owner-occupied property. The FHA guarantee now permits private lenders to finance as much as 97% of the purchase price of a home for millions of low- and middle-income borrowers.
In the proposal soon to be delivered to Congress, Bush would allow the FHA to guarantee loans for the full purchase price of the home, plus down-payment costs. As a practical matter, the FHA would guarantee mortgages as high as 103%...”
“Very few had the foresight to know it was all going to crash down —they rarely do-”
Actually there were warnings as early as 2004, including a prescient one from the CBO:
“Zero-down mortgage initiative by Bush is hit
Budget office says plan likely to spur more loan defaults
By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff | October 5, 2004
President Bush’s weekend campaign promise that he will push legislation allowing for no money down on some federally insured mortgages could cost taxpayers as much as $500 million over four years because of a higher rate of defaults, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The election-year idea may appeal to those who can’t save as fast as home prices are rising. But some financial planners warn that increasingly common no- and low-down-payment programs can be ruinous for some consumers — especially if home values decline.
If housing prices fall, consumers with little or no money of their own invested in the home are more vulnerable to ending up with mortgages larger than the value of the house.
And those who can’t afford large down payments usually don’t have enough savings to serve as a cushion if someone in the household gets sick or is laid off.
“If you’re really stretching, maybe you should back off and look at a less expensive house,” said Joan Gray Anderson, a professor of family financial counseling at the University of Rhode Island.
Bush proposed zero-down-payment legislation earlier this year. The Congressional Budget Office has contended for months that the proposal would generate huge losses, an assessment that could be a stumbling block for the bill’s passage. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development thinks the program could be run on a break-even basis.
Bush contends that reducing the required 3 percent down in the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program to zero down would help 150,000 first-time buyers in the first year. Homeownership rates are now about 69 percent nationwide, compared to about 64 percent 10 years ago. The FHA insures many private-lender home loans.
“To build an ownership society, we’ll help even more Americans to buy homes,” Bush said in an Ohio speech to home builders. “Some families are more than able to pay a mortgage but just don’t have the savings to put money down.”
A spokesman for the campaign of Senator John F. Kerry said the plan will help “relatively few families.” Kerry’s emphasis is on preserving affordable-housing programs that he says Bush has slashed.
Meanwhile, low- and no-down-payment mortgages are available to more people than in the past. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment is one of many options available today. Home buyers are making smaller down payments on a percentage basis, and sometimes choosing adjustable-rate mortgages or obtaining two mortgages on a purchase.
According to a 2003 survey by the National Association of Realtors, the median down payment for a first-time home buyer equaled 6 percent of the purchase price.
Several factors account for the reduced popularity of the traditional 20 percent down payment. In recent years, homes have been appreciating in value by about 10 percent annually, said Denise Leonard, incoming president of the Massachusetts Mortgage Association and a senior vice president at Constitution Financial Group, a mortgage lender in Wakefield. Such rapid appreciation helps to protect lenders in the event of delinquencies, she said.
Meanwhile, rising home prices, and rising rents, make it harder for first-time buyers to scrape together a down payment. The mortgage industry has responded by offering more flexible products, Leonard said. The industry takes steps to ensure that these products go only to consumers who can show they have a good history of managing credit.
“You can’t get these products if you’re not creditworthy,” she said.
But in Boston and Providence, said URI’s Anderson, even with no-down-payment mortgages, high prices can keep homes out of reach.
“There are not a lot of entry-level homes in these markets,” she said.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a Boston-based nonprofit advocacy group that provides housing services, has been a pioneer in no-down-payment mortgages, offering them for a decade to working-class consumers, said chief executive Bruce Marks. The group came in for early criticism, he said, because of a belief that consumers needed to have a financial stake in a new home.
The group’s no-down-payment mortgages are similar to those the federal government offered to veterans after World War II, Marks said, and its track record shows that such loans are unlikely to be defaulted on.
MassHousing, the state’s affordable-housing bank, has had a similar experience in the two years it has been offering loans with no down payment, said executive director Tom Gleason. They’ve performed well in a strong housing market and are likely to be “common in the future,” he said.
An unanswered question remains, he acknowledged: “We have no experience of how these loans will perform when the market is weak.”
There are lots of things to both agree and disagree with Bush about but your total hate is not warranted....almost all of us were way better off with Bush than Obama.
One thing for sure, Bush doesn't hate America!
Peddle your Bush hatred somewhere else.
When I see a thread that implies Bush was something to be proud of, I see it my duty to intrude with a little reality.
The less media Bush gets, the better for the GOP. Dems know that - which is why Obama is trying to get more media for Bush; it means more votes for Obama. Unlike you, most Americans don’t want to be reminded of Bush, his housing bubble, deficits, and Great Recession.
Bush doesn’t hate America!
That doesn’t mean he was fit to be president. His incompetence and liberalism created a voter backlash that elected Obama.
Six words say it all: You can thank Bush for Obama.
THANK YOU for documenting Bush’s role in our housing disaster!
“In the proposal soon to be delivered to Congress, Bush would allow the FHA to guarantee loans for the full purchase price of the home, plus down-payment costs. As a practical matter, the FHA would guarantee mortgages as high as 103%...
2004 USA Today article on Bush plan for easy lending to low income folks:
BUSH WAS A DISASTER! He was a CAUSE of the recession we’re still struggling thru today!
Bush was unpopular regardless of his policies
You have a very low opinion of your fellow Americans. I don’t think the American people or the American nation is stupid. Bush was unpopular because his policies left us the biggest recession since the Depression. It’s “drones” who would still like an idiot even though they’re suffering under his policies. i’m talking about 1) his easy lending policies that put people into houses they couldn’t afford; and 2) his open border policies that brought more home buyers to America, helping to run up prices, esp for the no-down-payment segment.
“..almost all of us were way better off with Bush”
Everybody feels rich during an economic bubble. But bubbles always blow up.