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Busted: The Obama Housing Briefing Book

- September 30, 2012

FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY, OBAMA WAS IN NEVADA PROMISING TO HELP STRUGGLING HOMEOWNERS, FOUR YEARS LATER THEY ARE NOT BETTER OFF

“President Barack Obama Will Be In Las Vegas, Nevada For A Campaign Rally On Sunday, September 30, 2012 …” (David Phillips, “Obama Will Spend Three Days In Las Vegas For Rally And Debate Prep,” Las Vegas Democrat Examiner, 9/26/12)

THEN: Four Years Ago Today, Obama Was In Nevada Lamenting The Foreclosure Crisis. OBAMA: “Because of the housing crisis -- and nobody’s been hit harder by foreclosures in the housing crisis than Nevada -- we are now in a very dangerous situation where financial institutions across this country are afraid to lend money.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Reno, NV, 9/30/08)

  • Obama Said “We Can’t Help Banks On Wall Street Without Helping The Millions Of Innocent Homeowners Who Are Struggling To Stay In Their Homes. They Deserve A Plan, Too.” OBAMA: “Second -- second, I said we can’t help banks on Wall Street without helping the millions of innocent homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes. They deserve a plan, too.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Reno, NV, 9/30/08)

NOW: The Fiscal Times Headline: “Homeowners Not Better Off Now Than Four Years Ago” (Liz Peek, “Homeowners Not Better Off Now Than Four Years Ago,” The Fiscal Times, 9/5/12)

  • “Are We Better Off Than We Were Four Years Ago? ‘Absolutely’ Chirps Obama’s Hallelujah Chorus. ‘No Way’ Say Struggling Homeowners, And They Have A Point.” “Are we better off than we were four years ago? ‘Absolutely’ chirps Obama’s hallelujah chorus. ‘No way’ say struggling homeowners, and they have a point. Despite tens of billions of dollars pledged and a veritable barrage of government programs, more than one in five borrowers hold underwater mortgages, just as they did when Obama took office.” (Liz Peek, “Homeowners Not Better Off Now Than Four Years Ago,” The Fiscal Times, 9/5/12)
  • “The Simple Truth Is That Geithner And Treasury Chose To Never Treat The Foreclosure Crisis, Or Their Promises To Congress To Help Homeowners, With The Same Seriousness And Resolve That They Applied To Rescuing The Banks.” (Neil Barofsky, Bailout: An Inside Account Of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street, 2012, p. 199)

OBAMA AND HIS OWN ADVISERS ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR POLICIES HAVE FAILED

“This Summer At The White House, Obama Offered A Rare Acknowledgment That His Response To The Housing Crisis Had Fallen Short.” (Zachary A. Goldfarb, “Obama’s Efforts To Aid Homeowners, Boost Housing Market Fall Far Short Of Goals,” The Washington Post, 10/23/11)

  • Obama Said That Housing Has Been The “Most Stubborn To Us Trying To Solve The Problem.” OBAMA: “We’ve had to revamp our housing program several times to try to help people stay in their homes and try to start lifting home values up.  But of all the things we’ve done, that’s probably been the area that’s been most stubborn to us trying to solve the problem.” (President Barack Obama, Twitter Town Hall, Washington, D.C., 7/6/11)
  • Obama Said “I’ll Be Honest With You, [Housing] Is Probably The Biggest Drag On The Economy Right Now.” OBAMA: “Well, it’s a good question.  And I’ll be honest with you, this is probably the biggest drag on the economy right now that we have -- along with I know the frustrations people have about gas prices.  What we’ve really seen is the housing market, which was a bubble, had greatly over-inflated in all regions of the country.  And I know I probably don't get a lot of sympathy about that here because I can only imagine what rents and mortgages you guys are paying.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President At A Facebook Town Hall, Palo Alto, CA, 4/20/11)

Treasury Secretary Geithner: “But Our Programs Have Dramatically Underperformed What We Thought. … We Are Very Disappointed And Frustrated By It And We Have A Lot Of Challenges Ahead.” (Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Committee On Financial Services, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 10/6/11)

  • Geithner Admitted That The Administration’s Housing Programs Have Not Lived Up To Expectations. “Mr. Geithner said that he agreed that the administration’s efforts had not met expectations, and he pointed to efforts by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to reduce barriers to refinancing, which he said could be introduced next week. ‘We are doing as much as we can with the authority we have to help people caught up in this crisis,’ Mr. Geithner said.” (Binyamin Appelbaum, “Treasury Secretary Urges Quick Action On Jobs Plan,” The New York Times, 10/6/11)

OBAMA’S HOUSING FAILURES HAVE HELPED NOWHERE NEAR THE 7 TO 9 MILLION HOMEOWNERS HE PROMISED THEY WOULD HELP

PROMISE: Obama Promised That His Housing Program Would Prevent 7 To 9 Million Families From Foreclosure. OBAMA: “And we will pursue the housing plan I'm outlining today. And through this plan, we will help between 7 and 9 million families restructure or refinance their mortgages so they can afford—avoid foreclosure.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks On The Home Mortgage Industry, Mesa, AZ, 2/18/09)

  • Obama Said That “All Of Us Will Pay An Even Steeper Price If We Allow This Crisis To Deepen – A Crisis Which Is Unraveling Homeownership, The Middle Class, And The American Dream Itself.” OBAMA: “All of us will pay an even steeper price if we allow this crisis to deepen – a crisis which is unraveling homeownership, the middle class, and the American dream itself.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks On The Home Mortgage Industry, Mesa, AZ, 2/18/09)

FACT: Obama Promised His Foreclosure Prevention Program Would Help 9 Million Homeowners, But It Has Only Assisted About Two Million Homeowners. “The foreclosure prevention fund was the heart of his promise. Obama originally pledged $10 billion but ended up setting aside $75 billion, using TARP funds. He predicted the money would assist 9 million homeowners. But after three years, only about 2 million people have won permanent mortgage help, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” (Molly Moorhead, “President Barack Obama’s Efforts To Help Foreclosure Crisis Have Fallen Short,” Politifact, 5/28/12)

  • “Obama Didn’t Deliver On His Vow That Day To Avert As Many As 9 Million Foreclosures.” (Clea Benson, “Obama Housing Fix Faltered On Carrots-Not-Sticks Policy,” Bloomberg, 6/11/12)


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