Archive for March 5th, 2009

March 5, 2009

Foreclose and Evict the Deadbeat Scum

OK, as political slogans go, it ain’t “Hope and Change,” but as economics it’s way better than this:

Learn About the Making Home Affordable Refinance and Modification Options
The President’s plan was created to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgages.
Refinancing: Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage.
Modification: Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments either because their interest rate has increased or they have less income. A Home Affordable Modification will provide them with mortgage payments they can afford.

To quote The Outlaw Josey Wales, “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.” This is a classic example of how interventionist government picks winners and losers, singling out some people for favoritism, while screwing over the rest of us.

When I left Georgia in 1997, we left behind a cute little bungalow on a full acre of wooded land that we bought cheap in 1992. It took us two years to sell the thing, which meant that I spent my first two years in Washington paying that mortgage while also paying $900 a month for an apartment. We tried to rent out our Georgia house, then tried to do a rent-to-own, until finally we sold it at a very modest increase over what we’d paid for it. The damage to my family’s financial situation in the meantime was enormous.

You do what it takes. And since what it took was for us to suck it up, essentially forfeiting our equity and become tenants, that’s what we did. Well, welcome to 2009, and suddenly it’s unpatriotic to expect people to make the mortgage payments or else lose their equity. People have a right to a home, no matter if they’re 120 days past due. Pay close attention to the next sentence:


Excuse my temporary departure from the appropriate decorum of family-friendly blogging, but expecting me to conceive of worthless deadbeats as victims is a bit much to ask. I’m hustling as hard as I can — please hit the tip jar, people — to avert complete financial disaster myself. I’ve got six kids to support, and I ain’t got time for pity, as if pity had any economic value to begin with. Imagine me calling up the finance company and pleading pity to prevent the repossession of my car. (I’m still waiting for those ACORN protesters to show up.)

Now, you can go to Michelle Malkin and read about people whining about the Obama plan. Or you can go to Naked Capitalism and read a detailed analysis of this “mortgage modification” nonsense cooked up by the Treasury Department. But, in general, as an economic proposition, the plan can be summarized in two words: It sucks.

That’s why I’ve announced my own plan, “Foreclose and Evict the Deadbeat Scum” (FEDS). It’s very simple:

  • The banks take back the houses currently occupied by deadbeat scum.
  • The deadbeat scum either find a place to rent, or move in with relatives, or go straight to hell. It doesn’t really matter. We’re talking economics.
  • This creates a housing occupancy in the homes formerly occupied by deadbeat scum.
  • The banks must either (a) sell the homes for whatever the market will pay, or (b) rent the homes to people who weren’t foolish enough to take on balloon-payment mortgages.
  • Whatever the ultimate result — and rents for homes made vacant by the FEDS program may need to be reduced in order to attract tenants — the point is that the excess-valuation problem in the housing market will be resolved, so that prices once again reflect actual supply and demand.
  • Homeowners who don’t wish to participate in the FEDS program can opt out by making their fucking loan payments, like they fucking agreed to when they fucking signed their fucking contracts.

Don’t blame me for the rough language. That’s how the free market talks, you worthless scum. “Compassionate conservatism” left town two months ago. Now you’re talking to the heartless right-winger your mother warned you about. Either make your payments or get foreclosed and evicted. As an economic proposition, one is as good as the other.

March 5, 2009

Uh-oh, she invokes the Gonzo


“I was one of those kids who grew up planning to be somebody important. I wasn’t content to imagine myself as a doctor or a fireman. I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson (minus the tragic end), Rush Limbaugh (minus the masculine physique), or the First Lady (who, at the time was Hillary Clinton, so minus the pantsuit). I had big dreams.”
S. Logan

Oh, man. I was going to be a soldier, then an artist, then a football player, then an actor, then a rock star. I guess journalism was sixth on my list.

But invoking HST — that’s almost like inviting ridicule for overweening ambition. Thou shalt not invoke the Gonzo in vain.

Assignment: Try to write up CPAC in your best approximation of Gonzo. Not a slavish imitation, but with the spirit of Gonzo.

Warning: This is merely a writing exercise. You are not to publish this. You are writing it for the sake of seeing if you can write it. Set yourself a deadline, and produce X number of words (1,500? 2,500?) about CPAC by that deadline.

Try to hear the Mojo Wire humming in your mind. Also: You’ll need lots of whiskey. And grapefruit. Feel free to substitute Red Bull for other stimulants.

UPDATE: OMG, Moe Lane goes Gonzo! See what you’ve started, you wench?

March 5, 2009

‘The other possibility, of course, is that he’s clueless.’

“Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence, and after the Geithner/Daschle/Richardson/Killefer/Carrion/Kirk problems, incompetence is looking like the strong horse.”
Professor Glenn Reynolds

March 5, 2009

Too hot for the White House?

My latest Taki’s Magazine column:

Some just-published research suggests that the incontestable hotness of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hurts her chances of becoming president, which is a sore disappointment to her admirers at Conservatives4Palin, and also to me. Never mind any discussion of Palin’s political leanings or qualifications. It just seems to me that if America is going to elect a woman president, she might as well be a hottie.

Please read the whole thing. Remember, I’m the guy who got a quarter-million hits in September on the strength of “Sarah Palin bikini pics.” Rule 5 has been very, very good to me.

ET SEQUELAE: The Hottie Who Would Be Gonzo tells her tale.

ET SEQUELAE II: Now Richard’s begging for a second chance. This could become interesting.

March 5, 2009

How not to argue

“What is it supposed to mean to describe conservatives who have a beef with Limbaugh’s views or rhetoric as ‘highbrow’? Are the opinions illegitimate or mistaken because they supposedly come from a vantage point of cultural sophistication?
Rod Dreher

Having plowed the fields of culture for many years, I don’t want to deny being sophisticated, but that’s not really the beef, is it? Calling people “mongoloids” isn’t exactly sophisticated, even if you do reference it to A Confederacy of Dunces. I mean, Huck Finn is a work of literature, so maybe there are some words in Huck Finn that Rod Dreher wants to start slinging around.

In any conflict between Rod Dreher and Rush Limbaugh, Dreher loses.

March 5, 2009

Our Venezuelan future

What will Obamanomics do to America’s economy? The same thing Hugo Chavez has done to his nation’s economy:

Venezuela’s public finances are unravelling, with oil prices at $40 a barrel, while the national budget is calculated at $60 a barrel. Inflation is running at over 30 per cent, yet with the new measures Mr Chavez is seeking to ensure that his core support, the poor, can still fill their shopping baskets with food.
“If any industry wants to ride roughshod over the consumers, with a view to getting better dividends, we are going to act,” said Carlos Osorio, the national superintendent of silos and storage. “For the government, access to food is a matter of national security.”
Production quotas and prices have now been set for cooking oil, white rice, sugar, coffee, flour, margarine, pasta, cheeses and tomato sauce.

Fixing prices, rationing, hyperinflation — you may say, “Well, that can’t happen here in America,” but how do you know?

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are spending borrowed money at an unprecedented rate. This sudden, massive addition to the deficit amounts to a huge additional demand for credit in a financial situation where capital was already in short supply. There are several possible outcomes of such an action, and none of them are good. The one certainty is that the shortage of capital for business investment will be exacerbated, and the consequences of that alone is enough to ensure that recovery won’t happen.

However, the spiral into stagflation is almost equally certain, because with tax revenues plummeting as a result of the stagnating economy, the only way to pay interest on the debt will be to turn on the printing presses, producing the trademark inflation of unsound fiscal policy. That, in turn, will drive capital away from the dollar — oh, there are lots and lots of ripple effects when this kind of snowball gets rolling downhill.

You cannot have a strong economy without a stable currency. You cannot have a strong economy without capital investment. The Obama administration’s policies have already begun driving capital investment out of the market — which is the Wall Street plunge is represents — and the currency has already been destabilized, we just haven’t begun seeing the inflationary effects yet. You wait, though — it’s coming.

And notice how Chavez responds to his country’s financial crisis — caused by government intervention — with more intervention. A classic socialist response to economic woe:

Hmmm. Our programs of coercive expropriation don’t seem to be working. We must apply more coercion!

They never learn.

March 5, 2009

Rep. Paul Ryan exposes Obama’s OMB Director as a complete putz

March 5, 2009

Smackdown City

Doubleplusundead gives David Frum some serious disrespect.

Ace of Spades gives it to Rod Dreher.

Red State’s Erick Erickson gives it to Frum, Dreher and others.

Wlady Pleszczynski gives it to Kathleen Parker.

Jimmie Bise gives it to John Farrell.

So much . . . divisiveness. Tsk. Tsk.

UPDATE: (Forehead slap) Almost omitted Dan Collins’s contribution to International Fisking Day.

UPDATE II: And thanks to Dan Collins for pointing out the return of T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII to the blogospheric fray.

UPDATE III: Donald Douglas goes upside E.D. Kain’s head.

UPDATE IV: Late entry from Mark Goluskin: David Frum needs to shut his hole. Which kind of sums the whole thing up, eh?

March 5, 2009

‘Going John Galt’

Wow, raise your hand if you remember the mind-blowing awesomeness of the first time you read Atlas Shrugged. The recognition that you own yourself, that what you earn by your labor and ability is yours, and that the socialist parasites who would stake a “moral” claim to take away your hard-earned property are, in fact, the most immoral creatures on earth — it’s a psychotraumatic revelation, isn’t it?

Rand’s philosophical radicalism ultimately goes beyond a point I am willing to follow, but in her basic idea — the irreplaceable creative value of the entrepreneur, and the unworthiness of capitalism’s enemies — she hammers it home.

Michelle Malkin has begun hammering the “Going Galt” theme, and it’s the subject of a long post by Melissa Clouthier today, and Donald Douglas also weighs in. I believe Dr. Helen may have been the first to raise the issue, so I’ll link her to be on the safe side. (I met her and the Instahubby at CPAC, which gave me occasion to say, “All your links are belong to us!”)

The Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis have enacted laws that constitute an incentive against earning, against investing, against hiring, against working. Projections of deficits cannot possibly measure future revenues accurately, if more and more people simply stop engaging in productive economic activity. They can’t force you to work and earn, can’t they? They can’t force you to invest and hire, can they?

Can somebody tell me when the next Treasury auction is? I’ve been saying for weeks that everybody’s panicking about the stock market, but if the bond market gets the willies — and methinks they’re starting to sweat a little — oh, boy!

BTW, I am in discussions with some folks down Alabama way about getting there for a Tea Party they’re planning. So if any of my readers are in Alabama and are in touch with the Tea Party resistance, please get in touch or leave a comment. Dates and details are sketchy, but my itinerary will likely include stops in Decatur, Birmingham, Alexander City (to see a certain erudite fellow) and Montgomery.

Thanks to everyone who’s been hitting the tip jar lately. The contributions are greatly appreciated by my beautiful wife.