Tom McClintock was at various venues in Grass Valley recently, revealing his poor grasp of local and national issues, as reported by someone close to me (full disclosure: my wife, in an op-ed in today’s The Union):
More than 26 million Americans are now out of work or are underemployed.
Four million homes have been lost to foreclosure. Another 4.5 million mortgages are “under water.”
Consumers are broke, and local businesses are faltering. American jobs continue to be shipped overseas. Meanwhile, Wall Street’s top banks and firms paid their employees $135 billion last year.
Yet, at a recent meeting in Grass Valley when the conversation turned to possible unscrupulous banking practices when dealing with foreclosures in Nevada County, Tom McClintock offered this nugget: “If you can’t afford to buy a house — say it with me — don’t buy a house.”
Really? How glib. As if the catastrophic rate of foreclosures can be laid at the feet of irresponsible borrowers. Mr. McClintock also blames government for “encouraging lenders, who in their right minds would never have made such loans, to make them anyway.”
He forgot to mention that, while encouraging banks to lend to qualified borrowers in low-income neighborhoods, government housing policy did not require banks to lend to people who were without the means to repay the loan; did not require banks to steer borrowers into higher interest subprime loans even when they were otherwise eligible for lower rates; did not require banks to deceive borrowers by verbally committing to terms that were contradicted in the fine print; and did not require lenders to forge borrower signatures on loan documents.
Read full op-ed here: “McClintock gets it wrong on foreclosures”