Another Housing Bailout on the Way?


The Federal Housing Administration, which backs more than $1 trillion worth of mortgages, looks ready to report that it's not in great fiscal shape, reports The New York Times:

The Federal Housing Administration's annual report is expected to show a sharp deterioration in the agency's financial condition, including a shortfall in reserves, the result of escalating losses on the $1.1 trillion in mortgages that it insures, according to people with knowledge of the entity's operations.

The F.H.A., the Department of Housing and Urban Development unit that insures home mortgages, reports on its capital reserves at the end of each fiscal year and makes projections for its financial position in the coming year. If the report, due later this week, showed that the F.H.A.'s capital reserves had fallen deep into negative territory, it would be a stark reversal from projections last year that it would show a positive economic value of $9.4 billion in 2012.

Capital reserves are kept to cover future losses. Outsiders have questioned whether the agency would some day need an infusion from Treasury if its reserves are insufficient.

Who could have possibly seen this coming? How about…everyone? The FHA kept insisting that its balance sheet was sound. But independent analysts like University of Pennsylvania's Joseph Gyourko have been warning for a while that the F.H.A.'s projections were based on faulty, overly optimistic assumptions about the economy. Economists at New York University warned that "recent actuarial reviews have systematically underestimated the ensuing degradation in the FHA insurance fund." The Wall Street Journal has noted concerns about FHA's finances. So has The New York Times

The FHA's optimistic projections have been used to attempt to conceal the fact that the agency is heading for potentially huge losses that could cost taxpayers as much as $50-100 billion. The number may not be that high. But it seems inevitable. Indeed, for several decades now it's been more a question of when, rather than if, the FHA's finances would finally fall apart: Reason's Rick Henderson warned about the potential for FHA bailouts all the way back in 1990

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  1. “No, fuck you, cut spending.”

    1. But-

      1. “No, fuck you, cut spending.”

        1. What if-

          1. “No, fuck you, cut spending.”

            1. How about we-

                1. Ah, you’re using the version approved for FCC-regulated airwaves, I see.

                  The committee considered “No, screw you, cut spending,” but that motion has been tabled for now.

                  1. No, bleep you, cut spending. Bleeping out the very bad word makes all the difference in the world, especially since no one will know what you meant to say.

                    1. We have a motion on the floor. I see. The fucks have it.

  2. Just wait until the housing market begins deteriorating again and all those 3% FHA loans end up underwater.

    I wonder which agency this administration will create to be the new housing subsidizer.

      1. Department of Guaranteed Home Values

        1. Department of Middle-Class Welfare

  3. The abject fraud, corruption, and lies continue apace. Frankly, I’d rather be ruled by the mafia than the US government; at least I could pay my protection money and then they’d leave me the fuck alone. How many times is the government going to get away with saying that one of its departments is doing OK only to have it turn out to be lying? Oh, I know: as many times as it wants.

    1. If there were one reform of our society I could get across, it would be holding government and politicians accountable. That alone would make a world of difference.

      1. They make the rules that concern their accountability. Why would they ever do that to themselves? By the way, see the folly of government yet, ProL?

        1. He did just basically make the classic case for anarchy. Politicians can be held accountable, but only by a people who would refuse to follow any rule of which they did not personally approve. And we have a name for such a system.

          1. I’m a minarchist and don’t think anarchy is feasible in today’s environment. Minarchy is feasible, but it’s not happening any time soon without pretty radical changes.

            However, within the mess we currently have, if voters would just vote against people they catch lying, fucking up, or a combination of the two, it would help.

            1. Minarchy is feasible? HA HA HA HA

              This country is the proof right in your face that it’s not.

              1. To you, Episiarch, the Enlightenment was just something that happened to other people, wasn’t it?

                The U.S. is actually proof that it is feasible, just not eternal. We were a minarchy for a good chunk of our history, certainly in comparison to any other government of any size in history.

                Is it inevitable that governments will grow ever more powerful? Perhaps. Then again, maybe we just didn’t do it right.

                Whatever system we have, it takes the old eternal vigilance to avoid tyranny. That’s true if we had an anarchist system, a minarchist one, or even the crap we have now (in the sense that even worse tyrannies are possible).

                1. To you, Episiarch, the Enlightenment was just something that happened to other people, wasn’t it?

                  Not just to him, to everyone alive today, including you.

                  Unless…that was a slip and you just revealed that you’re actually a 300 year old vampire! KILL IT!!!

                  1. I’m just making a Black Adder joke, Jim, with a couple of modifications for Episiarch’s benefit.

                    1. Ah. Haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard great things. I intend to rectify my error soon.

                    2. JJ, get thee to a Netflix Instant streaming source now!

                      No, seriously. And if you don’t cry at the end of Blackadder goes forth you’re a heartless monster.

                    3. I don’t have that service anymore. I stopped paying for it when I noticed the content selection was decreasing at a massive rate. Fuck them.

                      I still proudly buy DVDs. I have like 1/4th of an entire wall of my living room, floor to ceiling, covered in DVDs. I have 5 feet of Star Trek alone!

                    4. Oh, you need to do that. It’s very, very funny.

                      One option if you’re eschewing Netflix is to sign up for Amazon Prime. It has free videos (including, I believe, Black Adder), along with the free, two-day shipping and some other perks.

                    5. I just looked up that Amazon Prime thing, and man, what a deal for only $80/year!

                      I’m going to get myself a Kindle Fire for christmas and sign up.

                    6. They (Amazon prime) also have Yes,Minister, which you also must watch if you have not already done so.

                    7. Duly noted Zeb, thank you.

                    8. I have a Fire and like it very much. I’d considered an iPad, but I realized that I didn’t need all that for what I’d use the tablet for. And the Fire is a great Amazon content delivery system.

                      I access the Amazon Prime movies and TV shows through my PS3, too. In fact, that’s where I watch most of it.

                      Not everything is free, especially the brand new stuff, but they have a lot of things that are, and they rotate in new programming all of the time. Went on a Vietnam craze recently where I watched Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and We Were Soldiers. All free.

                      For me, the $80 is more than made up for by the free shipping.

                    9. For me, the $80 is more than made up for by the free shipping.

                      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

                    10. Free two-day shipping. It’s great for Amazon, too, because stuff I’d buy at brick-and-mortar stores now sometimes gets bought at Amazon, because of the free shipping, short wait, and no sales taxes.

                    11. Yep, I was just going to say Blackadder is on Prime now too. And Prime finally has an Xbox app, so there are no downsides at all.

                2. Is it inevitable that governments will grow ever more powerful? Perhaps. Then again, maybe we just didn’t do it right.

                  As long as legislation and regulation is cumulative, then yes governments will always grow.

                  Shitty laws create shitty side effects that are always dealt with by making more laws with more shitty side effects that are always dealt with by making more laws…

                  As long as there is no incentive to repeal shitty legislation, and as long as these people consider themselves to be “lawmakers”, the logical conclusion of any government is totalitarianism.

                3. Is it inevitable that governments will grow ever more powerful? Perhaps.

                  One thing is that Epi fails to establish why Anarchy would be more stable then Minarchy.

                  At least with a minarchy you have something filling the space that can actually raise an army to defend itself.

                  Anarchy on the other hand simply sounds like a bunch of hippies begging for a tyrant to conquer them.

            2. But you can’t change that it’s a system in which people compete for control over the ultimate monopoly resource. If I’m willing to lie 1% more than you are, I can beat you at that game. But if each person decides for himself, after the fact, whether he’ll go along with what I propose, it’s no longer so lucrative for me, and you could begin to actually get some good people.

              So my only argument against minarchy is that I don’t see how it doesn’t follow the same set of dynamics. It is preferable because it starts in a less-developed state, but the equation is still unbalanced, and it can therefore only proceed in one direction.

              In these authority-based systems, you simply can’t get the good people. Most of them will never surface in the first place, and those who try, you will never know their names.

            3. Yeah sorry Pro L, but minarchy isn’t feasible, either. The evidence is all around you. Even a place like Hong Kong, that was pretty minarchist for a long time, is increasingly statist (and it can’t be blamed on the ChiComs; they keep local autonomy and it’s local politicians regulating the shit out of things now for the benefit of the environment, mostly. Turns out minarchy makes the water and air so polluted that people start getting sick since those things are still “commons”.)

              1. ^^ btw the answer is to privatize everything (i.e. anarchy), not to increase statism to protect those commons

                1. Come on, the U.S. was certainly a minarchy by any reasonable measure at least up until the Civil War, and, in some ways, well beyond that.

                  There’s certainly overwhelming evidence that the Constitution didn’t check the growth of power adequately to prevent the rise of the total state. But it didn’t blow up over night. The question is, could a different system have fended off tyranny longer, or are a couple of centuries about all you can expect? After all, the common flaw in all of the systems bandied about is the human element.

                  1. Yeah…a minarchy with fucking slavery. Sorry, ProL, that dog won’t hunt.

                    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

                    1. Sure. It also had limited suffrage and other flaws. But it was better than anything else, and it did get better in recognizing individual rights. For a time.

                    2. “That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support.”

                      I can do this all day. Minarchism is still monopoly-on-force bullshit.

                    3. What stops the rise of tyrants in anarchy? Groups of people stopping them, that’s what. What’s the difference in agreeing to do that spontaneously and in agreeing to have a system for doing it?

                      Where minarchism should start and end is with the understanding that government force can be no more than the self-defense rights inherent in the individuals who make up the polity. It’s in exceeding that that the U.S. went wrong.

                      Now, of course, we can use government force to prevent you from ingesting something or running a redlight in the middle of the night 100 miles from the nearest car or person and to steal money from some and give it to others because they vote real good.

                    4. “What stops the rise of tyrants in anarchy”

                      Actually nothing.

                      I think a lot of the criticism’s of Anarchy are baseless but this one is spot on. Even if we could wave a magic wand and found Ancapistan human nature would tear it apart in less than 3 generations. The fact is that humans recognize leaders, always have, always will and some of those leaders are ambitious fucks who want more power for themselves, and a few of those are “blessed” with very strong ideas of “right and wrong”. This will inevitably lead to religous warfare between various groups within the anarcho capitalist society and it won’t take all that long to get started.

                    5. You begin with private security agencies, one of course would cater to religous fundamentaists who for example consider premarital sex to be a crime. Another would cater to people with more liberal enlightened views.

                      Next the child of clients of the first falls in love with the child of clients of the second and being kids they get freaky.

                      First kids parents demand that their security agency arrest second kid, his security agency of course says “nope you can’t do that”, friction ensues.

                      Repeat a thousands of times over and a new security agency steps in to cater to the seriously pissed off customers of whoever is losing the friction between both sides, they start using military raids to see to it that their edicts are enforced, their competition of course has no choice but to respond. Before you know it you have open warfare over what is and is not illegal, and from there it is just a matter of time before someone declares themselves dictator over some region (or is declared by their followers).

                    6. “flaws”, “better than anything else”

                      I think it’s awfully easy to sit here and say that. But if you were a woman, or a black person, I’m willing to bet you’ll take the statism of today along w/ the freedom (relative to that time period) any day of the week.

                      The problem is that it is presented as an either-or deal. Either we can have small gov’t for white christian men, or we can have rampant statism for everybody. And unfortunately for us, it kind of has been an either/or deal, since the fulcrum pivoted in the 1860s.

                    7. Without the concept of limited government, universal suffrage and other improvements in individual rights would never have happened. That’s true in the UK and other parts of the world, too, but we led the charge in many respects.

                      The world was a different place in the 1700s. Shitcanning the whole system because people did bad stuff back then is silly.

                  2. After all, the common flaw in all of the systems bandied about is the human element.

                    C’mon man, that’s just a neo-communist talking point.

                    Since there’s no way to take out the human element, the only solution is to completely neuter it at the source.

                    By which I mean we should all be made eunuchs.

                    1. Obviously, I advocate submission to robot overlords. But until Roombas achieve sentience, we have to deal with human failings in any system. The Constitution was an attempt to do that, to check the bullshit from whatever direction, that sorta worked for a while.

                      No system can work without acknowledging human failings. If superaliens came and imposed anarchy on us, then left, we’d fuck it up in a hurry if there weren’t something done to prevent the rise of tyranny.

                    2. All hail Lord Roomba and his Suctionness.

                  3. The question is, could a different system have fended off tyranny longer, or are a couple of centuries about all you can expect?

                    I still like the system outlined in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress where one house makes laws while the other repeals them. New laws require a two thirds majority, while only a third is required for repeal. This way there are people with an actual incentive to repeal laws, since that is their only power.

                    Though I’m sure that that would be eventually ruined, just as plain language like “Congress shall make no law” and “shall not be infringed” have been interpreted to mean just the opposite.

                    1. My gut feeling is that we needed more checks on power in the first place.

                    2. My gut feeling is that we needed more checks on power in the first place.

                      The founders expected the different branches of government to be at odds with each other, as opposed to the judicial deference rubber stamping that we have now.

                      I don’t think they ever expected a system where the only check on power is party politics.

                      They naively believed that legislation would be judged by merit and by the constitution, not by what letter is next to the author’s name.

                    3. I’ve been thinking more about what I said a few posts up-thread, and I think we really need to stop acting like the 17-early 1800s were some kind of golden age of liberty if we want to attract more minorities and women.

                      I mean, the more I read over it, the more I understand why a black person might automatically pass us by when we react to slavery as being just a “flaw”.

                      It sounds like we’re saying that enslaving people and Indian genocide are merely “not optimal”. Well, sounds that way to me, if I’m trying to look at it from an outside standpoint.

                      “Don’t you want to go back to the minarchist golden age of the 1830s! Hey, don’t leave Mr. Black Person, I have many more economic arguments to make! Hello!”

                    4. That’s nonsense. Who is advocating we go back? There is nothing inherently racist, sexist, or any other ist in minarchy.

                    5. Nobody is advocating we reinstitute slavery, but you yourself said that we had a good example of minarchy in pre-Civil War America.

                      That’s what I’m saying. Language like that turns off the vast number of people who most definately would not have been more free in that time period.

                    6. And BTW, you’re the one who said women not having the vote and slavery were just a “flaw”, and then said it was still better than anything since. Several posts back.

                    7. Nobody is advocating we reinstitute slavery,…

                      Well I shouldn’t say that. Has Chris Mallory or Slappy weighed in on that subject yet? After all, diversity kills.

                    8. I didn’t realize we had to reinstitute it. I mean y’all all have selective service cards, don’t you?

                    9. OK, race-based chattel slavery. It is hard to deny that governments effectively own us at this point.

                    10. Well, I daresay some left-statists would like to enslave us. Like full-blown slavery, I mean. I doubt they see or even can see any distinction among minarchists, anarchists, and conservatives.

                    11. Well, I daresay some left-statists would like to enslave us. Like full-blown slavery, I mean. I doubt they see or even can see any distinction among minarchists, anarchists, and conservatives.

                      Channeling Tony here, not allowing leftists to use force and coercion to get their way is itself an imposition of force.
                      It’s not like these people produce anything of value. All they can do is plunder. By imposing a ban on the initiation of violence, you are taking away their livelihood.
                      Thus liberty is force.

                    12. Of course you are not advocating that we go back. But that is what a lot of people will read in what you said. I like the argument that with the vast amounts of information and technology available now, we are uniquely situated to move to a more voluntary society. The past was just freer because it was too difficult to control people in a large, somewhat sparsely populated country. The future has the potential to be freer because individuals will have access to the whole world, more or less. Of course the same things also give the government and people who seek control more tools to do their thing. But I agree with Jim that looking to the past is not a good way to promote libertarian, minarchist ideas.

                    13. The founders expected the different branches of government to be at odds with each other

                      They also expected the states to keep the federal government limited in power. Which is why the Senators were selected by the states.

                      Try to pull that “federal highway funds” bullshit on the state houses when they are selecting the senators.

                  4. in some ways, well beyond that.

                    I would argue that after the civil war it was more of a minarchy after the civil war then it was before the civil war.

                    The 14th amendment if a pretty damn Minarchist amendment.

                2. Nice Manichean argument there. Since minarchism doesn’t work our only other option is anarchism.

                  1. Incorrect. Since government doesn’t work, how about we try not government? Continuing to try a system that is proven utterly flawed is the definition of insanity.

                    1. Since government doesn’t work, how about we try not government?

                      Because as soon as we do that there will be strong men and warlords fighting with each other over who has license to steal in a geographical area, and the winner becomes government.

                      Death and taxes are unavoidable.

                    2. It’s only insane if we expect different results.

                    3. Since government doesn’t work

                      The problem is you ignore that government does work.

                      Go back and read Hobbs Epi.

                      “Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

                      Someone needs to go disperse the bandits in the woods…otherwise we would all be bandits in the woods. The question is how do we prevent that someone from becoming the bandit in town. Your solution of the bloody dirt poverty of anarchy is not a good answer.

                  2. Well, assuming everybody in the debate is coming at it from the standpoint of wanting limited gov’t, those kind of are the only two options.

                    Once you pass from anarchy into minarchy, then from minarchy, there are only increasing shades of statism.

                    At least that I’m aware of. I’m fully willing to admit that you may have something else in mind that I’m just not seeing. Wouldn’t be the first time. If so, please share.

                    1. How do you get to anarchy without minarchy, anyway? I think the only hope you have is to get people to see that total government isn’t the best way.

                      That or nuclear war.

                    2. Actually I was hoping more for a biological war.

                      This is a question I’ve struggled with. I abhor violence, and will not initiate it. The question then becomes, at what point does the state bearing down on me count as having initiated violence?

                      We’ve seen the increasing death-tolls from the various Statist Wars of the 20th century. Worse than anything the ancients could have imagined. I don’t think statism will die as a philosophy without taking literally billions of lives down with it.

                    3. It’s weird, but I wonder if this country is the last chance of a peaceful reversal? As screwed up as we’ve gotten, we’re one of the few countries on the planet with any tradition of anti-government bias. That’s still around to some extent, but not the controlling force. If we could have that return as a more universal state of mind, good things could happen.

                    4. That’s still around to some extent

                      No it’s not. Anti-government bias is the minority opinion, and its losing ground.
                      Government is the new god.
                      It created roads, bridges and schools.
                      It is the first thing one looks to when there is a disaster. Not private charity or *ew* the free market. Nope. Government.
                      Government protects us from terrorists by making old ladies submit to strip searches.
                      Government gives single mothers a free place to live, free cable, and free food. It will even babysit the kids while she’s at home smoking dope and fucking random guys she meets on the internet.

                      Anti-government bias? Hardly. What are you? A terrorist or something?

                    5. It’s no longer dominant, but it’s definitely still an undercurrent. Certainly it’s true of all libertarians, and I think a decent percentage of “conservatives” have distrust of most elements of the government. Even some lefties have it, though they’ve turned so much into statists as a group that I think that’s a very small minority.

                      If things get worse or stay the same, we’ll get more Leviathan, not less. But there’s still some hope.

                    6. Certainly it’s true of all libertarians, and I think a decent percentage of “conservatives” have distrust of most elements of the government.

                      Really? Conservatives worship the military and many love to suck pig dick.

                      Conservatives are all about force. They love government when it’s at its violent best. Killing Mooslems, cracking druggy heads, fuck yea! Government is awesome!

                    7. Like I said, “most elements.” It’s obviously not enough–no disputing that.

                    8. Sarc, there was a time in my life when I would have hated you for what you just said. Now I just hate myself for once counting myself as one of them.

                    9. Now I just hate myself for once counting myself as one of them.

                      I was once a good liberal progressive.

                      I understood that the economy is a zero sum game, that every rich person represents potentially thousands of poor people, that the corporations were stealing from us, that the government is us and corporations are them, that Democrats represent the people and Republicans represent the rich (or the stupids who either apologize for the rich or think they’ll be rich one day), that authority is good and wise, that authority knows what it’s doing, that authority is looking out for my best interest, that I deserve more from my boss who profits off my labor, that there should be a maximum wage in addition to a minimum wage, that no one should be allowed to reproduce without getting permission from authority…

                      Oh, yeah. I felt just as they do.

                      Now I think.

                    10. A people willing to be stepped on will be stepped on, period. As long as they are, no system can work, and when they no longer are, no system is necessary.

                    11. Saying that we shouldn’t have government because of government’s tendency to become awful is like saying we shouldn’t have weather because it can be bad or shouldn’t live because it leads to death. Anarchy is a silly thought experiment and a collectivist ideal running at odds with reality.

                      You can’t have freedom without government.

        2. Yes, but the folly of no government is that one will inevitably arise in a place with more than one person.

          1. We’re going to have strongmen and warlords no matter what. Isn’t it better to be honest about it instead of the fucking retarded fiction we create that we don’t because we have “democracy”?

            1. People really, really like retarded fictions.

              1. Proof: Aaron Sorkin’s whole career.

              2. Yeah…like Twilight.

                (stares at nicole accusingly)

                1. Well it is exactly what I had in mind.

                2. Serious Twilight story because this has been freaking me out for like a year. I read the first chapter of the first book via Amazon to see how bad it really was. (Answer: really, really bad.) At one point, a truck is described as being made of “iron.”

                  Bella (Kristen Stewart’s character in the movies) is the narrator. When I complained about this specific thing to my mom, who is really not the brightest, it turned out she was some kind of idiot savant of YA literature. “But Bella is narrating! She doesn’t know what trucks are made of!”

                  This is my eternal Twilight shame.

                  1. I’m sorry, nicole, I had no idea that it was so bad. I almost feel bad for making fun of you for it. Almost.

                    1. People think it’s all just girly nonsense like “omg sparkle vampires are hawt and werewolves are gross!” or vice versa, but it’s so, so much worse…

                  2. “But Bella is narrating! She doesn’t know what trucks are made of!”

                    In which case Bella is literally too fucking stupid to be allowed to continue living.

                    1. Spoiler alert: she doesn’t continue living, in the traditional sense of the word.

                  3. You want laughably bad? Try 50 Shades of Grey.

                    I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My wife had it lying around and had not (still hasn’t) looked at it as she has dozens of books she wants to read.

                    Not interesting, not sexy, and not well written. Complete crap.

                    My favorite parts (spoiler alert), aside from the fact that this plays into every little gold-digger’s fantasies about meeting a rich man, are that this is a college age girl who has never even held a boy’s hand, but is actually quite hot and has never touched her own clitoris, and the rich sadist gives her an orgasm by touching only her breasts. Is it just me, or is that really, really stupid?

                    1. All of what you said is true, except where you scoffed at

                      gives her an orgasm by touching only her breasts

                      You need to fuck more fun girls, dude.

                    2. My wife liked both 50 Shades and Twilight.

                      Then again it’s not like she has taste. She married me after all.

                    3. Hey I read Twilight and I can say that it was clearly not the worst book I have ever read.

                      It was somewhat wooden and often self contradictory (Meyer clearly had no idea where it was going in the first couple of books) but the narriative was reasonably accurate to how a teenaged girl thinks and several of the characters were interesting (far more interesting in the books than the movies because the interesting parts happen inside their heads).

                    4. Jeez, could I feel any more self-conscious? Jeez, he remembers how I like my tea. Jeez, I’m a quivering, moist mess, and he hasn’t even touched me.

                      Really? It’s that fucking bad? Fuck. I might have to read this magnificent piece of shit.

                    5. My girlfriend has been reading it the past week or so. I read a couple of pages over her shoulder last night. The sex ended basically “and I fell into a mind blowing orgasm”. Wow, that’s some top notch description there. Also, there was a ton of “Holy shit” in the narration. That’s apparently the only thought she is capable of having.

                    6. How does a woman even manage to wash “down there” without touching her clitoris?

                      p.s. My first girlfriend once asked me if guys get off when they wash their penis. I responded by asking her if gals get off when using tampons…

                    7. My first girlfriend once asked me if guys get off when they wash their penis. I responded by asking her if gals get off when using tampons…

                      You should have responded by inviting her to join you in the shower so she could find out for herself.

                    8. But then she might have spent the rest of her life horribly misled…

              3. Nicole, that is one of the best comments I’ve ever read, and is also an insanely accurate observation of human behavior.

            2. Being honest about it would be nice. Government is always just the strongest gang and it will use force in immoral and unjust ways. But I think that even the trappings of democracy we get serves a useful function by injecting a bit of randomness into the lives of the people who would rule us.

          2. Not inevitably; as I am trying to point out above, it depends on mindset of the people. There is no conceivable top-down solution.

      2. Franklin Raines is laughing at you… and the rest of us.

      3. Mine might be solid basic finance education. I think if people understood money a little better, they might be aghast at the mismanagement of govt.

        Some say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

        1. Even without that, holding accountable people who fail or who are caught lying or who do any of the many other bad things voters just ignore these days would help a lot.

    2. The Mafia doesn’t pretend that breaking your knee caps is in your best interest. The Mafia doesn’t pretend that their protection racket stimulates the economy. The Mafia doesn’t pretend that buying off cops makes the streets any safer.

      The Mafia has a refreshing sense of honesty that the gummit lacks.

  4. The hits will keep coming. I can’t wait for the next jobs report that will “unexpectedly” illustrate the folly of Obama’s happy talk.

    1. Repeat after shrike:



      1. Shrike will claim the economy is absolutely amazing and then BOOOOSH.

        1. Don’t forget teh RECORD CORPORATE PROFITZ! and teh Chrrrrristfag!

  5. I just went for a walk in my neighborhood and happened upon a 7.7 acre property with a condemned house on it from 1800.

    Some genius bought the property for $400k in 2010 and hasn’t done anything.

  6. If my taxes go up and the government spends even more to support the investments of a bunch of morons who are already getting a market-distorting tax credit that helps perpetuate their idiocy…

    Well, I won’t do motherfucking anything, because there’s no point. But I won’t be happy about it!

  7. Also, regarding the photo included here: Clearly, the “house of cards” metaphor is a racist dog whistle intended to make us think of the RACIST Obama Joker in whiteface. It is known.

    1. Yeah, notice all the spades in the pic? Somebody alert Chris Matthews.

  8. Further tales of me being a sucker, as told by the LA Times yesterday: “The last time he owned a home, Maldonado refinanced four times and took on a second mortgage. He put a Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz C300W in the driveway and racked up about $45,000 in credit card bills and other debts. His debt-fueled lifestyle ended only when he was forced into bankruptcy. His reentry into homeownership three years later came courtesy of the Federal Housing Administration.”…..6111.story

    1. Exactly how much money is hemorrhaging from the agency could be revealed Thursday, when the agency files a self-evaluation report to Congress.

      Now, *that’s* funny!

      1. I filed my self evaluation at work yesterday. Apparently I’m the most important human resource they have. Who would have thought?

        1. You must not work here, because that’s what my self evaluation says.

    2. He speaks English but is more comfortable in his native Spanish. Maldonado doesn’t smile often, but he flashes a wide grin when describing his good fortune to own anew.

      32 years
      and feels more comfortable speaking spanish

  9. At this point the cheapest way to increase the value of my home by the 20% I need to be above water again would be blanket student loan forgiveness. SLD, I’m not saying that its the right thing to do, but confiscating endowments on loans owed by each higher learning institution, giving the banks a 30% haircut on the priniple, and having the Feds eat the rest would be less Byzantine, more stimulative, and a better solution than endless rounds of this shit. I mean, if they’re really interested in getting people who could actually afford houses into houses. People with nothing but car debt who can’t afford a house payment aren’t gonna be able to magically afford a house payment.

    Also, I would require the Feds stop guaranteeing student loans and universities to publish the average salary one, five, and ten years out of all the persons entering and leaving their department for the real world (with or without degree) and the cost per credit hour. Were I God-Emperor. Its a bad solution, but it would be two birds, one stone, one-time pain.

    1. Actually nearly everyone could afford a mortgage payment with interest rates where they are today because the mortgage payment would almost always be cheaper than the rent on a comparable property. The only difference are those renting relatively small apartments where there is not much of an equivalent purchase option.

      The problem is that in buying a house you are locking yourself in, your job prospects are limited to those in a reasonable driving distance from that house, you cannot quickly downgrade to a cheaper home in the face of financial hardship, and so on.

      Honestly I am not really sure why anyone would want to own a home right now.

      1. I can tell you why I want to own a home right now (which I do, or at least I make payments on a mortgage.). Land is important to me, as is being able to do what I want with a piece of real property. I can cut down trees, build a new house or outbuildings, leave garbage all over the place. It’s great. I would hate to rent. But unless you really care about that sort of stuff, I agree, there aren’t a lot of compelling reasons to buy right now except for the low rates.

      2. Well, mine was a ridiculously good deal because some bank just wanted it off the books. My wife and I like improving our space so the work it needs is not a problem.

  10. 50 to 100 billion? That’s not high, that’s a rounding error these days.

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