FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Another Government Fail





jmi256
Seriously? How hard is it to give money away (and other people's money to boot)? If the government can't manage something like this, how much of a bang-up job do you think they'll do with our healthcare? Welcome to the world of government bureaucracy.

Quote:

Gov't mortgage plan provides little permanent help

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration's embattled mortgage relief plan has provided permanent help to only 4 percent of borrowers who have signed up, weak results that could threaten the housing market's recovery.

Among big lenders, Bank of America Corp. had the worst performance in the Treasury Department report card released Thursday. The nation's largest lender completed just 98 modifications for the 160,000 borrowers who had signed up by the end of November. GMAC Mortgage had the most modifications of any lender, just 7,100.

As of last month, just over 31,000 homeowners had received permanent loan modifications. That compares with about 760,000 who have signed up for the program since it launched in March.

The report shows the administration is not going to hit its long-term target of helping up to 4 million borrowers with modified loans, said Ted Gayer, an economist at the Brookings Institution.

The more borrowers the program can't reach, the more foreclosed homes will spill onto the market, pulling down home prices. Almost 14 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are either behind or in foreclosure.

"Nobody really knows how big that wave will be," Gayer said.

The Treasury Department said it will step up pressure on the industry to improve. The administration's focus is to "get as many of those eligible homeowners as possible into permanent modifications," said Phyllis Caldwell, chief of Treasury's homeownership preservation office.

When the poor progress was clear last summer, Treasury set a goal of enrolling up 500,000 borrowers by Nov. 1. With the clock ticking, many lenders started giving homeowners verbal approval for a temporary modification.

"They were going to do anything to hit that number,"
said Marietta Rodriguez, national director of homeownership programs at NeighborWorks America.

Under the program, eligible borrowers who are behind or at risk of default can have their mortgage interest rate reduced to as low as 2 percent for five years. They are given temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete the required paperwork, including proof of income and a financial hardship letter.

Lenders blame the low success rate on borrowers who don't return the necessary paperwork to complete the process.

But Michael Heller of Salinas, Calif., says he and his wife have submitted all of the required documents and made six months of $1,800 payments to JPMorgan Chase & Co., but have yet to receive an answer.

"Every time we send them documents, they send us a form letter that says your modification is risk, you screwed up, you didn't send us the necessary documents," said Heller whose landscaping business has taken a severe hit due to the recession. He figures the house he bought for $640,000 in 2006 is now worth $250,000.

"You never talk to the same person twice," he said. "It makes you a little bit kooky. This has been extremely stressful."

JPMorgan Chase had no immediate comment on their case.

Mike Brauneis, director of regulatory risk consulting at consulting firm Protiviti Inc., predicts that only 20 percent of borrowers who were verbally approved for modifications will ultimately sign up.

"Either people qualify verbally and never send their paperwork in, or they send it in and the numbers are different," he said.

Wells Fargo & Co. has enrolled about 3,500 homeowners in the Obama program so far. There are 14,000 more who have completed all their paperwork and are likely to finish the process soon. Another 9,000 have made three payments but haven't sent back any documents, while 11,000 have sent some paperwork.

"We're going to do all we can to try to get their attention," said Cara Heiden, co-president of Wells Fargo's mortgage division.

Some borrowers, who lied about their incomes when they originally took out their loans, still aren't able to show proof. During the housing boom, the lending industry didn't require borrowers to prove their income, and those loans are highly concentrated in the states hardest-hit by the housing bust.

More than half of loans made in California and Nevada from 2004 to 2007, for example, required little or no documentation, according to research firm First American CoreLogic. Nationally, about 4.3 million of those loans were made during the boom years.

"You definitely have a group that shouldn't be in the loan in the first place" said Terry Moore, managing director of consulting firm Accenture's North America banking practice.

A watchdog report this week said the government effort "appears capable of preventing only a fraction of foreclosures" and that only $2.3 million out of a potential $75 billion government commitment had been spent.

Steve Carpinelli, 39, of Alexandria, Va., thought he'd be a natural candidate for the Obama plan, after seeing his income drop 35 percent from about $65,000 two years ago. He's struggling, but has still made his $2,400 monthly mortgage payment so far.

Though he was initially approved for a temporary modification, made four trial payments and sent back the necessary paperwork, Citigroup Inc. denied him last month.

"It is the most grueling processes I have ever been through financially," Carpinelli said.

A Citi spokesman declined to comment on his case but said, "if the borrower does not qualify, we look for other potential loss mitigation solutions."


Source = http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20091209&id=10844060
handfleisch
Do you really think the USA cannot do the basic things that so many other countries do quite well? Or do you just want the USA to fail?
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Do you really think the USA cannot do the basic things that so many other countries do quite well? Or do you just want the USA to fail?


I don't want the US to fail, and that’s why I point out how insane these policies are. I'm just pointing out that Big Government does fail, as the above shows. The best course of action is to let private companies decide who does and doesn't get loans based on the standards of having a job/income, good credit history, money for a down payment, etc. The system got totally out of whack when liberal lawmakers decided to make homeownership 'a right' and forced banks and institutions to loan money to them. Despite creating the housing bubble and ensuing "foreclosure crisis", the answer liberals have to the mess they made through government intrusion is more government intrusion. How do you think that's going to work out?
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Do you really think the USA cannot do the basic things that so many other countries do quite well? Or do you just want the USA to fail?


I don't want the US to fail, and that’s why I point out how insane these policies are. I'm just pointing out that Big Government does fail, as the above shows. The best course of action is to let private companies decide who does and doesn't get loans based on the standards of having a job/income, good credit history, money for a down payment, etc. The system got totally out of whack when liberal lawmakers decided to make homeownership 'a right' and forced banks and institutions to loan money to them. Despite creating the housing bubble and ensuing "foreclosure crisis", the answer liberals have to the mess they made through government intrusion is more government intrusion. How do you think that's going to work out?


Uh, the idea that liberals created the foreclosure crisis by forcing banks to make loans is the biggest email spam hogwash you've mentioned since Climategate, Extreme Leftist Media, Obama Union Thugs, and all the other debunked threads you've started.

But more directly on topic,

1. if you think universal healthcare, national subsidies for home ownership, or any other of a host of government programs are "big government" and always fails, why then do these same programs work elsewhere, in other countries?

2. Why, for that matter, do large programs like the Veterans Administration, Medicare, Social Security, the US military, the DMV, and so many other US government programs work quite well?
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Do you really think the USA cannot do the basic things that so many other countries do quite well? Or do you just want the USA to fail?


I don't want the US to fail, and that’s why I point out how insane these policies are. I'm just pointing out that Big Government does fail, as the above shows. The best course of action is to let private companies decide who does and doesn't get loans based on the standards of having a job/income, good credit history, money for a down payment, etc. The system got totally out of whack when liberal lawmakers decided to make homeownership 'a right' and forced banks and institutions to loan money to them. Despite creating the housing bubble and ensuing "foreclosure crisis", the answer liberals have to the mess they made through government intrusion is more government intrusion. How do you think that's going to work out?

Uh, the idea that liberals created the foreclosure crisis by forcing banks to make loans is the biggest email spam hogwash you've mentioned since Climategate, Extreme Leftist Media, Obama Union Thugs, and all the other debunked threads you've started.

If you say so.

handfleisch wrote:
But more directly on topic,

1. if you think universal healthcare, national subsidies for home ownership, or any other of a host of government programs are "big government" and always fails, why then do these same programs work elsewhere, in other countries?

That’s a good question. What’s your theory on the subject? I think the US is a very different place than the rest of the world, and I assume there are a slew of reasons certain policies work in certain countries and not in others. For example certain countries have policies that forbid women from showing themselves without burquas, etc. and I’m sure on a certain level that ‘works’ there (not by my standards, but by theirs). But here in the US we would rightfully (in my opinion) be up in arms if the government tried to instill such a policy. National cultures vary, so saying policy X “works” in one country, so it should work in another is foolish.

handfleisch wrote:

2. Why, for that matter, do large programs like the Veterans Administration, Medicare, Social Security, the US military, the DMV, and so many other US government programs work quite well?

I haven’t been to a VA hospital since the late 90s, but I can tell you they did not work well at all then. Maybe they have gotten better since then, but I and the other former military people I know would only go there as a last resort. This is a true shame, and more should be done to care for our veterans.

And you think Social Security works? You do realize that it is basically a bankrupt pyramid scheme that is in constant danger of default don’t you. Not really what I would define as “working quite well.”

And the DMV? You can’t be serious. First of all, those are all regulated by states here in the US, not the federal government (IDs are state issued, not federally issued), but even though they are administered by smaller governmental bodies, many states are horrible at managing them. If you ever make it here to the US (not sure if you’ve been here before) I invite you to try getting something done at the DMV like converting a license from one state to another. Each state has different reciprocal agreements. Some require one set of forms, another state requires another set. Others require a written test. Some require a certain set of supporting documents while others require different documents. Some require an eye test from a doctors while some administer the eye test at the center. And some even require you to start the whole process over again. And if you have a license for a passenger car (each state defines their “classes” differently and a motorcycle, good luck with getting that converted without wanting to pull out your hair or reaching over and strangling the clueless government employee who could care less about things like helping you, speeding up the process or customer service at all. They are employed for life (or at least as long as they want the job) with scheduled increases and promotions in a faceless bureaucracy so there is no incentive for good customer service as there is in a privately held company.

As a former Marine I have a personal view on the military and the challenges it faces (and some of the incredible things about it too, so don’t think I’m anti-military), so I’ll reserve my comments on that.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Do you really think the USA cannot do the basic things that so many other countries do quite well? Or do you just want the USA to fail?
I don't understand this question with regard to the topic and opening post of this forum. Why does criticism of a policy of a Government always have to be equated with criticism of the country? I thought this was a democratic country, where as much as people who were anti-Bush and anti-Republican made their criticisms very widely known, people have an equal right to criticize the policies of the current Government.

The policy of a Federal Government getting involved in business is a bad one. I can imagine it must of cost loads of money to administrate the mortgage plan, and it must have been equally difficult for those applying to work their way through the layers and layers of bureacracy and paperwork. It would have been far better to facilitate the re-establishment of the former local co-ops. I believe they did something like that in Birmingham England that was completely facilitated by private enterprise, instead of hand-outs from Government that come triple the price and impossible to get to because of the layers of bureacracy.

The Banks have become much too federal and your little person just can't reach them. I really wish that if there was no other choice to go for Bail-outs, the Banks could have been allowed to fail and the equivalent of the bail-out money used to re-establish local co-op banks.

The United States was completely differently designed than other countries. I believe the Founding Fathers were hoping for all States to manage their own business affairs. Instead the Federal Government got more and more powers and became more and more expensive to run, hence the present trillions of debt. Do the other countries have trillions of debt as well?
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Do you really think the USA cannot do the basic things that so many other countries do quite well? Or do you just want the USA to fail?


I don't want the US to fail, and that’s why I point out how insane these policies are. I'm just pointing out that Big Government does fail, as the above shows. The best course of action is to let private companies decide who does and doesn't get loans based on the standards of having a job/income, good credit history, money for a down payment, etc. The system got totally out of whack when liberal lawmakers decided to make homeownership 'a right' and forced banks and institutions to loan money to them. Despite creating the housing bubble and ensuing "foreclosure crisis", the answer liberals have to the mess they made through government intrusion is more government intrusion. How do you think that's going to work out?

Uh, the idea that liberals created the foreclosure crisis by forcing banks to make loans is the biggest email spam hogwash you've mentioned since Climategate, Extreme Leftist Media, Obama Union Thugs, and all the other debunked threads you've started.

If you say so.

handfleisch wrote:
But more directly on topic,

1. if you think universal healthcare, national subsidies for home ownership, or any other of a host of government programs are "big government" and always fails, why then do these same programs work elsewhere, in other countries?

That’s a good question. What’s your theory on the subject? I think the US is a very different place than the rest of the world, and I assume there are a slew of reasons certain policies work in certain countries and not in others. For example certain countries have policies that forbid women from showing themselves without burquas, etc. and I’m sure on a certain level that ‘works’ there (not by my standards, but by theirs). But here in the US we would rightfully (in my opinion) be up in arms if the government tried to instill such a policy. National cultures vary, so saying policy X “works” in one country, so it should work in another is foolish.

handfleisch wrote:

2. Why, for that matter, do large programs like the Veterans Administration, Medicare, Social Security, the US military, the DMV, and so many other US government programs work quite well?

I haven’t been to a VA hospital since the late 90s, but I can tell you they did not work well at all then. Maybe they have gotten better since then, but I and the other former military people I know would only go there as a last resort. This is a true shame, and more should be done to care for our veterans.

And you think Social Security works? You do realize that it is basically a bankrupt pyramid scheme that is in constant danger of default don’t you. Not really what I would define as “working quite well.”

And the DMV? You can’t be serious. First of all, those are all regulated by states here in the US, not the federal government (IDs are state issued, not federally issued), but even though they are administered by smaller governmental bodies, many states are horrible at managing them. If you ever make it here to the US (not sure if you’ve been here before) I invite you to try getting something done at the DMV like converting a license from one state to another. Each state has different reciprocal agreements. Some require one set of forms, another state requires another set. Others require a written test. Some require a certain set of supporting documents while others require different documents. Some require an eye test from a doctors while some administer the eye test at the center. And some even require you to start the whole process over again. And if you have a license for a passenger car (each state defines their “classes” differently and a motorcycle, good luck with getting that converted without wanting to pull out your hair or reaching over and strangling the clueless government employee who could care less about things like helping you, speeding up the process or customer service at all. They are employed for life (or at least as long as they want the job) with scheduled increases and promotions in a faceless bureaucracy so there is no incentive for good customer service as there is in a privately held company.

As a former Marine I have a personal view on the military and the challenges it faces (and some of the incredible things about it too, so don’t think I’m anti-military), so I’ll reserve my comments on that.


To your first point, bringing in burqhas is a pretty bizarre change of subject. I am not comparing the US to places with burghas, but to other western, industrialized nations. I don't think the US is very different from many of the countries that have successful government programs for the public, like European countries, Canada, Israel. Universal health care works very well in those places and others. Therefore, it is an example of a "big government" program that works very well in those democratic, capitalist countries.

To your second, VA medical care is considered quite good. Even John McCain, in fighting against health care reform, has admitted that veterans are getting some of the best care for their medical problems. I happen to have extensive experience with military hospitals, and can say even decades ago that the medical care ranged from standard to excellent. Of course, people will always find reasons to complain, especially if they are complainers, but it is overall a well-functioning system.

I think your points about social security, the DMV, etc are not really valid. The former has been going for decades and can easily go for decades more, any problems can be fixed. The DMV does an efficient job considering the enormous task, and seems a little better every time I have to go there.

Conversely, one could cite example of disastrous "big business" like AIG, General Motors, Enron, and say that big business does not work. But that would be as fallacious as saying all big government doesn't work.

The more true thing to conclude might be that some big government works, some big business works, some small government works, and some small business works, and proceed in a moderate way.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:

To your first point, bringing in burqhas is a pretty bizarre change of subject. I am not comparing the US to places with burghas, but to other western, industrialized nations. I don't think the US is very different from many of the countries that have successful government programs for the public, like European countries, Canada, Israel. Universal health care works very well in those places and others. Therefore, it is an example of a "big government" program that works very well in those democratic, capitalist countries.

I wasn’t changing the subject, but just responding to your argument that programs and policies that ‘fit’ in one country don’t necessarily fit in another. Culture, etc. do make a difference. I’m not trying to position myself as an expert in how every country in the world functions and I can’t definitively say whether each and every government-run program in every country works well. A lot of what I know is second hand, but from what I have seen here in the US and in other countries is that government-run anything is usually rife with inefficiency and waste.


handfleisch wrote:

To your second, VA medical care is considered quite good. Even John McCain, in fighting against health care reform, has admitted that veterans are getting some of the best care for their medical problems. I happen to have extensive experience with military hospitals, and can say even decades ago that the medical care ranged from standard to excellent. Of course, people will always find reasons to complain, especially if they are complainers, but it is overall a well-functioning system.

I guess it depends on what your definition of “quite good” is and what you are comparing it to. I just know from firsthand experience at VAs, as well as stories from buddies who have been treated at the VA, that the quality has been pretty bad. Perhaps President Bush was able to improve quality, and they are not as bad as they have been in the 90s, but I don’t know. John McCain (and anyone else for that matter) is entitled to his opinion, but I don’t think patients and former patients who would rather have better quality and better management are just “complainers.” They have a right to demand that their healthcare be quality healthcare.
You say you have extensive experience in military hospitals, but don’t mention which military or even if you mean here in the US. If you’re still talking about veterans’ hospitals, here in the US there is one administrator (the Veterans Administration). If you are talking about the hospitals managed by the active US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, etc. (the US Marines don’t have their own hospitals, but use the Navy’s facilities), they are good when dealing with injuries and critical care, but not so good when dealing with chronic diseases, long-term care, etc. First of all the patient population is skewed. Most active-duty personnel are young and fit, eat well, don’t abuse drugs, etc. Their main aliments are physical injuries from their activities (not always combat/training related; you’d be surprised at the stupid risks a young 20-something Marine who thinks he’s tough and invincible will take to impress his friends) and the occasional sickness. If an active-duty person is diagnosed with a debilitating disease, he is quickly discharged from the military and then falls under the VA. Perhaps it’s different where you are, but using the US military hospitals as an example for how the rest of the country could work isn’t realistic since the patients are so different.

handfleisch wrote:


I think your points about social security, the DMV, etc are not really valid. The former has been going for decades and can easily go for decades more, any problems can be fixed. The DMV does an efficient job considering the enormous task, and seems a little better every time I have to go there.

You’re welcomed to have your own opinion. But I don’t think that the fact that Social Security has been able to hobble along bailout after bailout and still faces insolvency is an example of a program that “works quite well.” And you may like the DMV, but most people here in the US consider it hell dealing with them. Here are a few stories I found just by Googling “DMV Hell.” Gives you just a glimpse into what government-run healthcare, which is a much more complicated/enormous task, will look like.

http://www.timandwendy.com/2007/07/dmv-hell.html

http://www.fallinghawks.com/other/dmvhell.htm

http://www.socalmom.net/travelblog/2009/05/vlog-dmv-hell.html

http://www.lasvegascitylife.com/articles/2009/03/23/multimedia/doc49c416101b337428900203.txt



handfleisch wrote:

Conversely, one could cite example of disastrous "big business" like AIG, General Motors, Enron, and say that big business does not work. But that would be as fallacious as saying all big government doesn't work.
The more true thing to conclude might be that some big government works, some big business works, some small government works, and some small business works, and proceed in a moderate way.

First of all I didn’t say “all big government doesn't work.” I’m just saying that most government-run programs are inefficient, mismanaged and not very effective. It ‘works’, just not well. Every now and then there may be an outlier, but I think this can be said of most government-run programs. Second of all, I also don’t think that “big business” runs much better just because it’s a business. I detest the “too big to fail” concept. If a business is poorly run and can’t turn a profit, it deserves to be out of business, no matter how large or small it is.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
The more true thing to conclude might be that some big government works, some big business works, some small government works, and some small business works, and proceed in a moderate way.
Right, I can see your point here. It may have been better to have a heading like: Another Government programme failing, instead of a heading that says a Government failing. The Government is more than its Mortgage Plan.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
The more true thing to conclude might be that some big government works, some big business works, some small government works, and some small business works, and proceed in a moderate way.

Hah! But when businesses don't work, they go away. We're stuck with government programs that don't work though.
yagnyavalkya
There is a lot of money to be given and taken the world bank has a lot of it
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

To your first point, bringing in burqhas is a pretty bizarre change of subject. I am not comparing the US to places with burghas, but to other western, industrialized nations. I don't think the US is very different from many of the countries that have successful government programs for the public, like European countries, Canada, Israel. Universal health care works very well in those places and others. Therefore, it is an example of a "big government" program that works very well in those democratic, capitalist countries.

I wasn’t changing the subject, but just responding to your argument that programs and policies that ‘fit’ in one country don’t necessarily fit in another. Culture, etc. do make a difference. I’m not trying to position myself as an expert in how every country in the world functions and I can’t definitively say whether each and every government-run program in every country works well. A lot of what I know is second hand, but from what I have seen here in the US and in other countries is that government-run anything is usually rife with inefficiency and waste.


What we have each seen personally is called "anecdotal evidence" and alone doesn't prove anything, really. It's like story of the blind men and the elephant, one touches the trunk and thinks an elephant is like a snake, one touches a leg and thinks it's like a tree, one takes the tail and thinks it's like a rope. My personal anecdotes of years of experience with government-run medical systems inside the USA found it to range from adequate to excellent, but I wouldn't cite that for final proof.

On something this big, you have to take in empirical data from many sources to get a working model of the truth.

One could easily argue the opposite, that "private-run anything is usually rife with inefficiency and waste". Here is a good example -- from Switzerland to Sweden, among all the rich, first world, capitalist democracies on this list, the more nationalized and government-run this sector of the economy is in each country, the less it eats into their GDP.
jmi256
Another example of a government-run program's inability to function well. Apparantly the managers at the postal facility decided to just hide the mail instead of processing it. Hopefully people weren't mailing something important.


Quote:
You've Got Mail, But the Mailman Hid It

If your mother-in-law's mail goes through the Waterbury or Wallingford post offices, she might not have received the birthday card you sent in time.

Apparently managers at the post office have been hiding mail, Ray Arcovio, president of the Waterbury area postal worker’s union, told the Waterbury Republican-American. And he wants to sincerely apologize.

Workers have been stuffing mail into closets and unused rooms at mail facilities in Waterbury and Wallingford because they don’t know how to keep up with such a high volume of mail, he told the newspaper.

"They're just pushing it aside for the next day," Arcovio told the paper. "We've had issues with them hiding the mail."

In an effort to cut back on costs, the postal service now transfers mail processing from Waterbury to Wallingford.

Arcovio says the problem is being handled.

"We have dealt with it and got the assurance it wouldn't happen again," he told the Republican American. "The employees who see it and are aware of it are fearful to speak out about it for fear of repercussions."

In some cases, even first-class letters were pushed aside because there weren't enough workers to handle it.

The U.S.P.S. has yet to return a call for comment.

Source = http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local-beat/Wheres-My-Mail-Waterbury-Post-Office-Overwhelmed-79214222.html
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
Another example of a government-run program's inability to function well. Apparantly the managers at the postal facility decided to just hide the mail instead of processing it. Hopefully people weren't mailing something important.

So you're going to ignore the point about isolated examples proving nothing. You're going to just keep posting them, so you can continue with your pet premise, despite its weakness. And you're not bothering with getting at any real truth. Hard to take your posts seriously, then. Will have to put them into same file as "left wing extremist media" and the Obama Union Thug Beatings.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
So you're going to ignore the point about isolated examples proving nothing.

I didn’t realize I had to answer to each and every one of your postings. To be honest I didn’t think your post made much sense and was off topic, so I didn’t think a response was necessary. If you are arguing that showing examples of government-run inefficiencies and mismanagement fail to show government-run inefficiencies and mismanagement, I’ll have to disagree. I think these types of failures are systemic to government-run bureaucracies. You are welcome to your own opinions, however, and if you want to defend the USPS hiding mail and the federal mortgage program’s lack of results, feel free to go ahead. If you just want to argue for the sake of arguing, please PM me instead of mucking up another thread.


handfleisch wrote:
You're going to just keep posting them, so you can continue with your pet premise, despite its weakness.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think my “premise” is, however, and why you claim it is ‘weak.’


handfleisch wrote:
And you're not bothering with getting at any real truth.

And what “real truth” is that?


handfleisch wrote:
Hard to take your posts seriously, then. Will have to put them into same file as "left wing extremist media" and the Obama Union Thug Beatings.

If you say so.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
So you're going to ignore the point about isolated examples proving nothing.

I didn’t realize I had to answer to each and every one of your postings. To be honest I didn’t think your post made much sense and was off topic, so I didn’t think a response was necessary. If you are arguing that showing examples of government-run inefficiencies and mismanagement fail to show government-run inefficiencies and mismanagement, I’ll have to disagree. I think these types of failures are systemic to government-run bureaucracies. You are welcome to your own opinions, however, and if you want to defend the USPS hiding mail and the federal mortgage program’s lack of results, feel free to go ahead. If you just want to argue for the sake of arguing, please PM me instead of mucking up another thread.


handfleisch wrote:
You're going to just keep posting them, so you can continue with your pet premise, despite its weakness.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think my “premise” is, however, and why you claim it is ‘weak.’


handfleisch wrote:
And you're not bothering with getting at any real truth.

And what “real truth” is that?


handfleisch wrote:
Hard to take your posts seriously, then. Will have to put them into same file as "left wing extremist media" and the Obama Union Thug Beatings.

If you say so.


Well, yeah, I do say so. I will try this one more time, though I am really just repeating myself.

Someone could point to countless individual examples like yours (Fed Ex losing packages, airlines losing baggage) of Big Business failures, inefficiency, and waste. They could then try to say that this is proof of their premise that all Big Business or private business is a failure, and that State-run economies and programs work the best. I am sure you would see this as absurd propaganda. Can't you see what you are alleging, with your premise that all gov't programs are failures, wasteful and inefficient, is the same?

Above, I did much more than cite an isolated example of waste or inefficiency in a comparison of Big Business vs Government Program. I showed a graph that indicates that countries with mostly gov't-run health care seem to save money in their economy that the US does with mostly all private health care. This graph and its data could be analyzed and argued, but it is at least a general overview of a situation, not just anecdotes and isolated incidents. I could also cite the data that shows most bankruptcies in the US come from medical expenses, and how this is far from the case in first-world countries that do have gov't-run insurance. That is another overriding indication of waste and inefficiency on a societal level of Big Business, which would definitely go further to prove that gov't-run programs, far from being wasteful and inefficient, are often the opposite when compared to Big Business.

So, with these things in mind, you might want to cite less individual examples and anecdotal evidence of gov't waste while saying that they prove your premise, when they don't. Otherwise it will seem like you don't know or care about the difference.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Well, yeah, I do say so. I will try this one more time, though I am really just repeating myself.

I noticed that.


handfleisch wrote:
Someone could point to countless individual examples like yours (Fed Ex losing packages, airlines losing baggage) of Big Business failures, inefficiency, and waste. They could then try to say that this is proof of their premise that all Big Business or private business is a failure, and that State-run economies and programs work the best. I am sure you would see this as absurd propaganda. Can't you see what you are alleging, with your premise that all gov't programs are failures, wasteful and inefficient, is the same?

Yes, they could. But as has been pointed out above, “But when businesses don't work, they go away. We're stuck with government programs that don't work though.” In other words, if a business fails its consumers, consumers vote with their wallets and don’t frequent that business by using a competitor, finding an alternative, etc. They have choice and control over their spending. If FedEx loses a package, etc., I can decide to use UPS. If American Airlines loses my luggage, etc., I can use US Airways if I want. Many government-run programs operate in a virtual monopoly and still find themselves failing. As I’ve said before, I’m not a believer in the ‘too big to fail’ concept, and a business that is poorly managed and inefficient should go out of business unless they can shape up and turn things around. I think we’re in agreement on that. The difference is that with government-run programs there usually is no recourse. I can’t say to the federal government, “Hey I don’t like how you manage program X, so I’d like to take my tax dollars back.”


handfleisch wrote:

Above, I did much more than cite an isolated example of waste or inefficiency in a comparison of Big Business vs Government Program.

If your issue is that there aren’t enough examples, I can provide more.

handfleisch wrote:

I showed a graph that indicates that countries with mostly gov't-run health care seem to save money in their economy that the US does with mostly all private health care.

Actually your graph just showed % of GDP spent on healthcare by country, which could possibly be explained by a host of factors. This has been debated ad nauseam in the healthcare thread (http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-107746.html), but exactly what in the Democrats’ healthcare scheme and the cost of over a trillion dollars would lead you to believe that overall costs would go down? If anything overall costs will go up. Yes, some individual people will pay less than they have in the past, but that will be offset by many more who will pay more. And bringing more people into the system who will need free services will stress the system even more and increase costs further, increasing the % of GDP shown in your graph. Heap on that the inefficiency and mismanagement that most government-run programs seem to suffer and costs go up even more. As you pointed out the US has mostly all private healthcare, and it could be argued that people spend their money on things they value/need. At least we now have a choice.


handfleisch wrote:
This graph and its data could be analyzed and argued, but it is at least a general overview of a situation, not just anecdotes and isolated incidents.

Again, it doesn’t provide anything other than a breakdown of % of GDP by country, which you have then tried to use to make your point.


handfleisch wrote:
I could also cite the data that shows most bankruptcies in the US come from medical expenses, and how this is far from the case in first-world countries that do have gov't-run insurance.

Good for you. How does that justify government-run mismanagement, ineffectiveness and inefficiencies?


handfleisch wrote:
That is another overriding indication of waste and inefficiency on a societal level of Big Business, which would definitely go further to prove that gov't-run programs, far from being wasteful and inefficient, are often the opposite when compared to Big Business.

Not sure what your reference to “societal level” means. If you are comparing the “Big Businesses” that are often cited a ‘too big to fail’ and subject to bailout after bailout, they are poorly run, mismanaged and inefficient by definition. If they weren’t they wouldn’t need bailouts. If you compare these failing businesses to the typical government-run scheme, you may very well find that the failing businesses are more poorly managed and should have gone bankrupt long ago. But if you compare the government-run programs to functioning, profit-generating businesses, you’d probably come to a different conclusion.


handfleisch wrote:

So, with these things in mind, you might want to cite less individual examples and anecdotal evidence of gov't waste while saying that they prove your premise, when they don't. Otherwise it will seem like you don't know or care about the difference.

Thanks for the advice. I’m sure it’s well intended, but given where it’s coming from you’ll pardon me if I don’t follow it. It’s interesting that in your defense of many government-run programs in other threads you often cite “individual examples and anecdotal evidence”, yet now you have a problem with it. Are you saying that all of the “evidence” you supplied in the past if false?
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Someone could point to countless individual examples like yours (Fed Ex losing packages, airlines losing baggage) of Big Business failures, inefficiency, and waste. They could then try to say that this is proof of their premise that all Big Business or private business is a failure, and that State-run economies and programs work the best. I am sure you would see this as absurd propaganda. Can't you see what you are alleging, with your premise that all gov't programs are failures, wasteful and inefficient, is the same?

Yes, they could. But as has been pointed out above, “But when businesses don't work, they go away. We're stuck with government programs that don't work though.” In other words, if a business fails its consumers, consumers vote with their wallets and don’t frequent that business by using a competitor, finding an alternative, etc. They have choice and control over their spending. If FedEx loses a package, etc., I can decide to use UPS. If American Airlines loses my luggage, etc., I can use US Airways if I want. Many government-run programs operate in a virtual monopoly and still find themselves failing. As I’ve said before, I’m not a believer in the ‘too big to fail’ concept, and a business that is poorly managed and inefficient should go out of business unless they can shape up and turn things around. I think we’re in agreement on that. The difference is that with government-run programs there usually is no recourse. I can’t say to the federal government, “Hey I don’t like how you manage program X, so I’d like to take my tax dollars back.”


Actually, I didn't know you took that "When businesses don't work, they go away" thing seriously. The ongoing waste and economic disaster of Big Business private health insurance, the example you have mentioned, sure hasn't gone away, it only has gotten bigger and worse. I have worked for multinationals corporations and I can tell you (anecdotal evidence, your favorite kind, but there is plenty of other evidence) that Big Business can be incredibly wasteful, not just internally, but to society at large, and they don't simply go away.

jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Above, I did much more than cite an isolated example of waste or inefficiency in a comparison of Big Business vs Government Program.

If your issue is that there aren’t enough examples, I can provide more.
I guess you just don't get it, that isolated examples prove nothing. But yes, I am sure you can cite more things that prove nothing.
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

I showed a graph that indicates that countries with mostly gov't-run health care seem to save money in their economy that the US does with mostly all private health care.

Actually your graph just showed % of GDP spent on healthcare by country, which could possibly be explained by a host of factors. This has been debated ad nauseam in the healthcare thread (http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-107746.html), but exactly what in the Democrats’ healthcare scheme and the cost of over a trillion dollars would lead you to believe that overall costs would go down? If anything overall costs will go up. Yes, some individual people will pay less than they have in the past, but that will be offset by many more who will pay more. And bringing more people into the system who will need free services will stress the system even more and increase costs further, increasing the % of GDP shown in your graph. Heap on that the inefficiency and mismanagement that most government-run programs seem to suffer and costs go up even more. As you pointed out the US has mostly all private healthcare, and it could be argued that people spend their money on things they value/need. At least we now have a choice.


Nonpartisan analysis has predicted that this reform package would both reduce the deficit and reduce the amount of GDP that goes to spending on health costs. That is partly because the waste and inefficiency in the present US system is massive. And the graph shows this is exactly what happens in all the other first world democratic capitalist nations. I don't know how you think that the graph "proves nothing", when it clearly indicates that the US private health care system eats up a greater percentage of GPD than in other, comparable countries. Yes there are other factors, but the differences between the US and every other country wouldn't be so stark if it meant "nothing".

jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
I could also cite the data that shows most bankruptcies in the US come from medical expenses, and how this is far from the case in first-world countries that do have gov't-run insurance.

Good for you. How does that justify government-run mismanagement, ineffectiveness and inefficiencies?

Are you joking? Your whole premise is about waste and inefficiency of systems. The Big Business system is causing bankruptcies on a massive scale. That is incredibly wasteful and inefficient, far and above anything to be found in countries with goverment-run programs.
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Not sure what your reference to “societal level” means. If you are comparing the “Big Businesses” that are often cited a ‘too big to fail’ and subject to bailout after bailout, they are poorly run, mismanaged and inefficient by definition. If they weren’t they wouldn’t need bailouts. If you compare these failing businesses to the typical government-run scheme, you may very well find that the failing businesses are more poorly managed and should have gone bankrupt long ago. But if you compare the government-run programs to functioning, profit-generating businesses, you’d probably come to a different conclusion.

Again, no, not in the example of "functioning, profit-generating" Big Business medical insurance vs. Government-run medical insurance. We are comparing the two, and the waste and inefficiency of the Big Business example is much worse.

jmi256 wrote:
Thanks for the advice. I’m sure it’s well intended, but given where it’s coming from you’ll pardon me if I don’t follow it.


Coming from the master of discredited threads (left wing extremist media, Obama union thug beatings, the ClimateGate canard, etc) that truly is rich.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
One could easily argue the opposite, that "private-run anything is usually rife with inefficiency and waste". Here is a good example -- from Switzerland to Sweden, among all the rich, first world, capitalist democracies on this list, the more nationalized and government-run this sector of the economy is in each country, the less it eats into their GDP.
Isn't this example in the blind man feeling the Elephant up category? Given that quite a number of those people in the other countries, with the "cheaper" medical care, who cannot find specialist treatment/equipment for their disease or injury in their own countries end up in the United States for that treatment. Would be an interesting research study to find how many people from other countries look for specialist treatment in the States, and how much they are paying for that. I imagine that figure would not be calculated back into the country's cost of medical care? That has to increase the cost factor of medical care in the US quite a bit viz a viz other countries, where treatment of their citizens in the United States may be minimized/unreported?
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:

Actually, I didn't know you took that "When businesses don't work, they go away" thing seriously. The ongoing waste and economic disaster of Big Business private health insurance, the example you have mentioned, sure hasn't gone away, it only has gotten bigger and worse. I have worked for multinationals corporations and I can tell you (anecdotal evidence, your favorite kind, but there is plenty of other evidence) that Big Business can be incredibly wasteful, not just internally, but to society at large, and they don't simply go away.

In a properly functioning economy, that would be the case. As I’ve said multiple times I do not agree with the concept of “too big to fail.” If a company (large or small) is wasteful to the point that it is losing money and can’t make a profit, it should go out of business. But instead the government has bailout after bailout using taxpayer money to keep companies afloat. If you’re arguing that this should stop, I agree with you. But I don’t understand why you think that this is a justification of poorly managed, inefficient and ineffective government programs.


handfleisch wrote:

Nonpartisan analysis has predicted that this reform package would both reduce the deficit and reduce the amount of GDP that goes to spending on health costs. That is partly because the waste and inefficiency in the present US system is massive. And the graph shows this is exactly what happens in all the other first world democratic capitalist nations. I don't know how you think that the graph "proves nothing", when it clearly indicates that the US private health care system eats up a greater percentage of GPD than in other, comparable countries. Yes there are other factors, but the differences between the US and every other country wouldn't be so stark if it meant "nothing".

There has been plenty of debate about this in the healthcare thread, and I think your points above have been refuted there. But if you want to continue a debate about the healthcare bill, I suggest you use that thread.

handfleisch wrote:

Are you joking? Your whole premise is about waste and inefficiency of systems. The Big Business system is causing bankruptcies on a massive scale. That is incredibly wasteful and inefficient, far and above anything to be found in countries with goverment-run programs.

Actually this thread is about the waste, mismanagement, inefficiencies, ineffectiveness and general stupidity of government-run programs. In your discredited theory in a recent thread that Bush somehow polluted the drinking water in New York and New Jersey, where it was shown that the accountability was with the Democrat governors of those states, you stated “government-run program only failed miserably due to Republican mismanagement at the federal level”. Now it was clearly shown that the management was the responsibility of the state governments, but you had no problem criticizing a federal program when you thought you could use it to attack an Republican administration. Now that that has blown up in your face you seem to be trying to argue the other side, which only makes you look even more like a hypocrite.


handfleisch wrote:

Again, no, not in the example of "functioning, profit-generating" Big Business medical insurance vs. Government-run medical insurance. We are comparing the two, and the waste and inefficiency of the Big Business example is much worse.

Ok, if you say so. But how about we don’t allow either to exist? Let’s demand accountability from government-run programs by forcing them to show they can run efficiently before we entrust even more to them. And at the same time let’s stop bailing out “big” businesses when they fail. I’d agree to both.

handfleisch wrote:

Coming from the master of discredited threads (left wing extremist media, Obama union thug beatings, the ClimateGate canard, etc) that truly is rich.

You’ve made personal attack after personal attack, and I have tried to ignore you. If my points of view were truly “discredited” as you claim, then you would be able to argue your points within those threads instead of trying to allude to something in every other thread to shout down a different point of view. Just to be clear, because you are unable to grasp what someone is saying and do not agree with the little bit you are able to understand does not mean someone is “discredited.” Your own failures are your own, and I think anyone who takes the time to read through your posts on this forum will see what type of person you are. I don’t need to call you names to criticize or discredit you; I can just let you spout off and you do it all by yourself. In other posts I have acknowledged that sometimes I also get caught up in the back and forth when instigated, which you seem to try to do all the time. But I don’t want to get caught up in that and try to ignore you as much as possible. I hate even having to bring it up once again, but I hope this will cause you to stop your name calling and reliance on mucking up each and every one of the threads on this forum with the nonsense. If you want to have a real debate, however, I’m fine with that.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Nonpartisan analysis has predicted that this reform package would both reduce the deficit and reduce the amount of GDP that goes to spending on health costs. That is partly because the waste and inefficiency in the present US system is massive. And the graph shows this is exactly what happens in all the other first world democratic capitalist nations. I don't know how you think that the graph "proves nothing", when it clearly indicates that the US private health care system eats up a greater percentage of GPD than in other, comparable countries. Yes there are other factors, but the differences between the US and every other country wouldn't be so stark if it meant "nothing".

There has been plenty of debate about this in the healthcare thread, and I think your points above have been refuted there. But if you want to continue a debate about the healthcare bill, I suggest you use that thread.


You brought up healthcare in your own OP:
Quote:
If the government can't manage something like this, how much of a bang-up job do you think they'll do with our healthcare?
Now, because you can't argue the point under your premise that Government-run equals failure, you want to drop it.

jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Are you joking? Your whole premise is about waste and inefficiency of systems. The Big Business system is causing bankruptcies on a massive scale. That is incredibly wasteful and inefficient, far and above anything to be found in countries with goverment-run programs.

Actually this thread is about the waste, mismanagement, inefficiencies, ineffectiveness and general stupidity of government-run programs. In your discredited theory in a recent thread that Bush somehow polluted the drinking water in New York and New Jersey, where it was shown that the accountability was with the Democrat governors of those states, you stated “government-run program only failed miserably due to Republican mismanagement at the federal level”. Now it was clearly shown that the management was the responsibility of the state governments, but you had no problem criticizing a federal program when you thought you could use it to attack an Republican administration. Now that that has blown up in your face you seem to be trying to argue the other side, which only makes you look even more like a hypocrite.

handfleisch wrote:

Again, no, not in the example of "functioning, profit-generating" Big Business medical insurance vs. Government-run medical insurance. We are comparing the two, and the waste and inefficiency of the Big Business example is much worse.

Ok, if you say so. But how about we don’t allow either to exist? Let’s demand accountability from government-run programs by forcing them to show they can run efficiently before we entrust even more to them. And at the same time let’s stop bailing out “big” businesses when they fail. I’d agree to both.

handfleisch wrote:

Coming from the master of discredited threads (left wing extremist media, Obama union thug beatings, the ClimateGate canard, etc) that truly is rich.

You’ve made personal attack after personal attack, and I have tried to ignore you. If my points of view were truly “discredited” as you claim, then you would be able to argue your points within those threads instead of trying to allude to something in every other thread to shout down a different point of view. Just to be clear, because you are unable to grasp what someone is saying and do not agree with the little bit you are able to understand does not mean someone is “discredited.” Your own failures are your own, and I think anyone who takes the time to read through your posts on this forum will see what type of person you are. I don’t need to call you names to criticize or discredit you; I can just let you spout off and you do it all by yourself. In other posts I have acknowledged that sometimes I also get caught up in the back and forth when instigated, which you seem to try to do all the time. But I don’t want to get caught up in that and try to ignore you as much as possible. I hate even having to bring it up once again, but I hope this will cause you to stop your name calling and reliance on mucking up each and every one of the threads on this forum with the nonsense. If you want to have a real debate, however, I’m fine with that.


Excuse me, but mentioning that you have a large number of previously discredited allegations is not a personal attack. And I only mentioned it in answer to your own personal aside, the "but given where it’s coming from" thing, to point out that you are the one who is coming from a proven position of dubious veracity.

Quote:
[quote="jmi256"]
handfleisch wrote:

Actually, I didn't know you took that "When businesses don't work, they go away" thing seriously. The ongoing waste and economic disaster of Big Business private health insurance, the example you have mentioned, sure hasn't gone away, it only has gotten bigger and worse. I have worked for multinationals corporations and I can tell you (anecdotal evidence, your favorite kind, but there is plenty of other evidence) that Big Business can be incredibly wasteful, not just internally, but to society at large, and they don't simply go away.

In a properly functioning economy, that would be the case. As I’ve said multiple times I do not agree with the concept of “too big to fail.” If a company (large or small) is wasteful to the point that it is losing money and can’t make a profit, it should go out of business. But instead the government has bailout after bailout using taxpayer money to keep companies afloat. If you’re arguing that this should stop, I agree with you. But I don’t understand why you think that this is a justification of poorly managed, inefficient and ineffective government programs.


I was talking about private Big Business medical insurance companies and the multinational I knew, and none of them got bailouts, so I don't know what you're talking about.

But I don't care, really -- your whole post is really quite emotional, weird and personal. You seem to want only posts that support your premise that government-run equals failure. Examples and arguments to the contrary make you angry.

It's obvious you want the Frihost political forum to be a small handful of people who support each others reactionary reality, agreeing to each other's easily disprovable notions, the usual nonsense of phony scandals, anti-science, and smearing of anything center-left, to be found in spam emails and fake news sources. Whatever, I'm happy to stay out of it now and let you have fun in your echo chamber.
jmi256
Back on topic…
Here’s another example of the fine efficiency of a government-run system.

Quote:
Memo to the government: Dead people don't spend

In an effort to energize the economy, stimulus checks are being mailed to millions of people. Unfortunately, thousands of the recipients are dead.
Let me explain.

As part of the government's stimulus plan, checks in the amount of $250 are being mailed to retired senior citizens. The idea is to put these people on an equal footing with workers who are getting a tax break through the stimulus legislation.

When completed, the Social Security Administration will have mailed 52 million checks to older Americans as part of the $787 billion stimulus package. Here is the glitch: as the American people learned that Social Security and Medicare are running out of money faster than ever before, the SSA admits that about 10,000 checks, worth millions of dollars, have been mailed to dead people.

Now, assuming that even the most obtuse Washington bureaucrats understand that dead people can't push shopping carts through Costco or Wal-Mart, how did the government do something this foolish?

The SSA, of course, has a perfectly solid explanation for the mailing gaffe.

The agency blames the error on the strict mid-June deadline for mailing out all the checks, which didn't give officials much time to clean up their records.

But how much time do they need?

James Hagner, 83, of Orchard Beach, Md., re-ceived a stimulus check for his mother, Rose, who died in 1967. SSA spokesman Mark Lassiter said in a published report that officials rushing to distribute payments didn't thoroughly review all Social Security records.

Even though Ms. Hagner hadn't received a Social Security check since the Johnson administration, the agency didn't have an official record of her death. Therefore, Mr. Lassiter said her records fell into bureaucratic limbo, and she was sent a stimulus check.

It is more than a bit unsettling that it takes the government 40 years to figure out that someone died. And since the SSA has already admitted that thousands of other dead people also received checks, one has to question how many other checks that SSA doesn't know about were sent to the dead. (And who knows how many checks are still to be sent to the unliving.)

In another case, Antoinette Santopadre of Valley Stream, N.Y., received a $250 stimulus check made out not to her, as expected, but to her father, Romolo Romonini.

Mr. Romonini, an American citizen who went to Italy in 1933 and returned to the United States once, for a seven-month visit in 1969, died in Italy 34 years ago.

To make matters even stranger, the SSA later found out that he never even participated in the Social Security system.

Something more than a little odd is going on here. We all expect the enormous federal bureaucracy to spend money stupidly, but sending millions of dollars to the dead is even more wasteful than the $57,000 spent on gold-embossed playing cards for Air Force Two.

There are, of course, even bigger and more serious implications.

One has to wonder how many people, dead or alive, have fallen into bureaucratic limbo, as Mr. Lassiter explained.

SSA officials are reminding the public that it is a crime to cash someone else's Social Security check. While that will limit the government's losses due to fraud, the warnings are insufficient.

This ridiculous mess requires congressional attention. The SSA needs to understand that the American taxpayers should expect accurate, updated record-keeping.

How can we take seriously the SSA's warnings about its financial health when it doesn't even know how to write a check?

Source = http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20090524/REG/305249992
yagnyavalkya
what are you guys talking?????!!!!!!!!
I am in India, I was at a medical store last week and I saw a man asking at the counter
three tablets for stomach ache and two tablets for fever and the counter guy just gave the medicine!
that is health care in India and let me tell you it is very very effective
deanhills
yagnyavalkya wrote:
what are you guys talking?????!!!!!!!!
I am in India, I was at a medical store last week and I saw a man asking at the counter
three tablets for stomach ache and two tablets for fever and the counter guy just gave the medicine!
that is health care in India and let me tell you it is very very effective
That is totally true. Take the bureacracy out of anything and you usually get results like that. Medicine in India and Pakistan is probably of the cheapest in the world, and I believe it is for that reason. Pakistan has an enormous system of voluntary medical services on every level one can imagine, from medical students, to medical professionals, as well as non-medical people serving their communities. They are bowled over by the high cost of pharmaceuticals and medical treatment in other countries.
jmi256
Even using Obama’s fudged numbers (see links below), the cost per job Obama says he “saved or created” cost $246,436 per job, but would only pay $59,867 per year to the employee (that is if the job actually lasted that long). Yeah, that sounds pretty efficient to me.

Stimulus job boost in state exaggerated, review finds
Errors, incomplete data, estimated positions go into federal report
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/11/11/stimulus_fund_job_benefits_exaggerated_review_finds/

93,400+ jobs 'not really created or saved' by the stimulus (and counting)
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/maps/Bogus-jobs-created-or-saved-by-the-Stimulus.html


Quote:
Cost-benefit analysis of jobs stimulus

Hopefully any new plan will have a better ROI than the current stimulus package. Economic analyst Ed Yardeni runs the numbers:

Quote:
The Obama Administration is touting that their stimulus program has saved or created 640,329 jobs since it was enacted back in February through the end of October. This number is updated and posted on the Administration’s recovery.gov web site. That amounts to $246,436 per job based on the $157.8bn that has been awarded so far! Total compensation earned by the average payroll employee during October, on an annualized basis, was $59,867. If the government had simply used the funds awarded so far to pay for a year’s worth of labor, that would have paid for 2.6mn jobs!

Source = http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2009/12/07/cost-benefit-analysis-of-jobs-stimulus/
jmi256
Another example of government fail that we are feeling the repercussions of today. I think most reasonable people will agree that root of the whole ‘subprime’ mess and the financial issues that followed is that people who should not have been taking out mortgages were ‘encouraged’ to. And the spark that led to that fire can be found in federal intervention through government-run Fannie Mae to ‘encourage’ more borrowing by those with bad credit, no credit, no jobs, low income, etc.. Of course, just as people predicted, this intervention led to a bailout, which our grandchildren will be paying for.

Quote:
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999



WASHINGTON, Sept. 29— In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region – will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

Source = http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/30/business/fannie-mae-eases-credit-to-aid-mortgage-lending.html?pagewanted=1
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Quote:
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999
Took a little while to sink in, as when I read the article the first time, I was wondering what was going on. Now realize that all of this rot actually started during the Clinton regime and the article was dated 1999. You've just quoted a very historic article and the source of where all the troubles started! By the way, has Fannie Mae been scrapped, or is it still around? I realize they don't have anything to do with one another, but perhaps organizations like Fannie Mae and ACORN have to either be extremely well audited, managed and accounted for on a monthly basis or preferably not allowed to exist.
jmi256
More inept big-government bureaucratic failure. Apparently counting is pretty difficult -- and costly. It can’t even do the things it’s mandated to do in the US Constitution well. Yeah, I can’t wait for the government to stick its hands in even more aspects of our lives.


Quote:
Audit finds US census preparations wasted millions
Census preparations wasted millions as temps collected checks for excessive travel, training


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Census Bureau wasted millions of dollars in preparation for its 2010 population count, including thousands of temporary employees who picked up $300 checks without performing work and others who overbilled for travel costs.

Federal investigators caution the excessive charges could multiply once the $15 billion headcount begins in earnest next month unless the agency imposes tighter spending controls, according to excerpts of a forthcoming audit obtained by The Associated Press.

On a positive note, investigators backed the Census Bureau's decision to spend $133 million on its advertising campaign, saying it was appropriate to boost public awareness. The spending included a $2.5 million Super Bowl spot that some Republicans had criticized as wasteful.

The findings by Todd Zinser, the Commerce Department's inspector general, highlight the difficult balancing act for the Census Bureau as it takes on the Herculean task of manually counting the nation's 300 million residents amid a backdrop of record levels of government debt.

Because the population count, done every 10 years, is used to distribute U.S. House seats and billions in federal aid, many states are pushing for all-out government efforts in outreach since there is little margin for error -- particularly for Democratic-leaning minorities and the poor, who tend to be undercounted. At the same time, the national headcount will employ 1 million temporary workers and is the most expensive ever, making it a visible sign of rising government spending.

The federal hiring has been widely touted by the government as providing a lift to the nation's sagging employment rate -- but investigators found it also had waste.

The audit, scheduled to be released next week, examined the Census Bureau's address-canvassing operation last fall, in which 140,000 temporary workers walked block by block to update the government's mailing lists and maps.

While the project finished ahead of schedule, Census director Robert Groves in October acknowledged the costs had ballooned $88 million higher than the original estimate of $356 million, an overrun of 25 percent. He cited faulty assumptions in the bureau's cost estimates.

Among the waste found by investigators:

--More than 10,000 census employees were paid over $300 apiece to attend training for the massive address-canvassing effort, but they quit or were otherwise let go before they could perform any work. Cost: $3 million.

--Another 5,000 employees collected $300 for the same training, and then worked a single day or less. Cost $1.5 million.

--Twenty-three temporary census employees were paid for car mileage costs at 55 cents a mile, even though the number of miles they reported driving per hour exceeded the total number of hours they actually worked.

--Another 581 employees who spent the majority of their time driving instead of conducting field work also received full mileage reimbursements, which investigators called questionable.

Census regional offices that had mileage costs exceeding their planned budgets included Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Kansas City and Seattle.

Most of the nation will receive census forms in mid-March, and the Census Bureau is asking residents to return them by April. For those who fail to respond, the government will dispatch some 700,000 temporary workers to visit homes in May.

In response to cost overruns, Groves has said he would work to prevent expenses from ballooning further and reevaluate budget estimates for the entire census operation. He has made clear his goal of returning tens of millions of dollars to government coffers by motivating more U.S. residents to mail in their form, which avoids costly follow-up visits by census takers.

As to the Super Bowl ads, Republicans including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have questioned the $2.5 million purchase, which included two 30-second pregame spots, on-air mentions and a 30-second ad during the third-quarter.

The ads, featuring Ed Begley Jr. humorously extolling a new project called a "Snapshot of America," was widely panned as weak and ineffective by media critics.

"There is a general move in the United States toward more government involvement in the economy. Seeing the U.S. Census spot gives us little confidence that this is going to solve our issues," blogged Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker, both marketing professors at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.

The inspector general's report said the census advertising was consistent with the government's goals of boosting participation in the count. The agency has said that if 1 percent of Super Bowl viewers change their minds and mail in their form, it will save taxpayers $25 million to $30 million in follow-up costs.

Source = http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Audit-finds-US-census-apf-1237252725.html?x=0&.v=2
Voodoocat
JMI makes a good point- government is good a creating bureaucracies, but not good at creating efficiencies. Look at medicare and medicaid- they are both very large government sponsored healthcare bureaucracies that are constantly on the verge running out of money. The same goes for Social Security. The problem is that when a government agency runs out of money, it just borrows more or takes it from the wages of workers. There is no incentive to save money because there is no consequence to running out of money.
jmi256
Voodoocat wrote:
JMI makes a good point- government is good a creating bureaucracies, but not good at creating efficiencies. Look at medicare and medicaid- they are both very large government sponsored healthcare bureaucracies that are constantly on the verge running out of money. The same goes for Social Security. The problem is that when a government agency runs out of money, it just borrows more or takes it from the wages of workers. There is no incentive to save money because there is no consequence to running out of money.


Exactly. Except it's the taxpayers who have to pay back the 'loans' these miserably run bureaucracies take out.

Speaking of Medicare and Medicaid: Remember when Obama claimed his healthcare scheme would be funded by the $billions$ in waste and inefficiencies that those government-run programs contained? Many people said that if there was so much waste and inefficiencies in these systems, that the first order of business should be to remove/reduce that. But now that the healthcare debate seems to have subsided (or at least publically), I haven’t heard a peep about reducing those inefficiencies. Does that mean the inefficiencies never existed? Or does that mean that reducing the waste was never a priority?
ocalhoun
jmi256 wrote:
Does that mean the inefficiencies never existed? Or does that mean that reducing the waste was never a priority?

The second one.
Even if health care legislation had passed, 99% of that waste would remain in place or be replaced by new waste (not counting potential waste by the health care system itself).

Sad really, especially since the deficit-issue would make waste-cutting a popular political move... Heck, truly effective elimination of government waste would make even me view him in a better light.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Does that mean the inefficiencies never existed? Or does that mean that reducing the waste was never a priority?

The second one.
Even if health care legislation had passed, 99% of that waste would remain in place or be replaced by new waste (not counting potential waste by the health care system itself).

Sad really, especially since the deficit-issue would make waste-cutting a popular political move... Heck, truly effective elimination of government waste would make even me view him in a better light.
I get the feeling that the "waste and inefficiencies" are so deeply ingrained, that one probably would need to scrap all of the regulations and begin fresh. The existence of the "waste and inefficiencies" may also be the reason why new legislation is much more complicated and lengthy than it should be.
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Does that mean the inefficiencies never existed? Or does that mean that reducing the waste was never a priority?

The second one.
Even if health care legislation had passed, 99% of that waste would remain in place or be replaced by new waste (not counting potential waste by the health care system itself).

Sad really, especially since the deficit-issue would make waste-cutting a popular political move... Heck, truly effective elimination of government waste would make even me view him in a better light.
I get the feeling that the "waste and inefficiencies" are so deeply ingrained, that one probably would need to scrap all of the regulations and begin fresh. The existence of the "waste and inefficiencies" may also be the reason why new legislation is much more complicated and lengthy than it should be.

I don't have much faith that any 'new' system would have any less waste and inefficiency. It seems that waste and inefficiency are hallmarks of government-run programs. I agree with you, however, that tackling it would be a politically rewarding move. And it doesn’t even have to be tied to the deficit. Even if we had a smaller, more nimble government without huge deficit spending, cutting waste and eliminating efficiencies would be a smart move. But it seems all we’ve gotten is lip service, which some people will fall for for a while, but eventually if there is no real results they will see right through it.
jmi256
Another superb example of government efficiency and management at work. I’m sure controlling everyone’s healthcare would be much easier than weatherizing a home, right?

Quote:
Obama's federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each

Who could forget the $5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money that was going to rapidly create nearly 90,000 green jobs across the country in these tough economic times and make so many thousands of homes all snuggy and warm and energy-efficient these very snowy days?

Well, a new report due out this morning will show the $5-billion program is so riddled with drafts that so far it's weatherized only about 9,000 homes.

Based on the initial Obama-Biden program promise that it would create 87,000 new jobs its first year, that would be about 10 jobs for each home weatherized so far. Makes for pretty crowded doorways.

ABC News reports that the General Accountability Office will declare today that the Energy Department has fallen woefully behind -- about 98.5% behind -- the 593,000 homes it initially predicted would be weatherized in the Recovery Act's very first, very chilly year.

The Energy Department is run by Steven Chu, like President Obama a Nobel Prize winner. You'll never guess what the federal government blames for the lack of significant progress.

RED tape.

Not duct tape. Not weatherstripping. But that infamous RED tape. In the form of, well, forms.

It seems that the Pelosi-Reid stimulus plan that was so quickly cobbled together and was supposed to immediately pump so much money into the sagging economy last year included an 80-year-old legal provision requiring all federally funded projects to pay a prevailing wage to workers.

But what's a prevailing wage for weatherization, you ask?

Who knows?

So the Energy Department asked the Labor Department, which set out to calculate what a prevailing weatherization wage is in every single one of the more than 3,000 counties across these United States.

There were some other things to figure out. It seems the law also requires some kind of National Trust for Historic Preservation review for most homes before any contracts could be estimated to be negotiated to be signed to be let to be begun. And states like Michigan have two people assigned to such tasks.

So, good luck speeding up that work.

The Energy folks did tell ABC they've so far spent 522-million Recovery Act dollars on the program. So, let's see, about 9,100 homes divided into that chunk of stimulation change to believe in is -- gee! -- about $57,362 worth of very expensive weatherstripping for each home fixed up so far.
Seems believable for a federal program.


Source = http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/02/obama-stimulus-weatherization.html
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Another superb example of government efficiency and management at work. I’m sure controlling everyone’s healthcare would be much easier than weatherizing a home, right?
Probably illustrates how little value is attached to billions of dollars when they are in Government hands. Wonder how much of the money went to funding of bureacracy and administration of programmes, rather than getting to where the money should have gotten too?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Wonder how much of the money went to funding of bureacracy and administration of programmes,

Wait... re-word that in Obamaspeak:
obamaspeak deanhills wrote:

Wonder how much of the money went to creating jobs in the public sector?


Who cares if it's unneeded, unproductive, make-work? They're fixing the economy by making more jobs! ... ... Right?
jmi256
More government failure. While I hate delayed flights as much as the next guy and would hate to be stuck on a tarmac for a few hours, I much rather get somewhere late than not at all. But instead of helping airlines respond to demand causing more flights at crowded airports (suspension/modification of zoning restrictions on where and how big airports runways can be, tax credits for construction of new airports, tax incentives for modernizing control towers and systems, etc.), the federal government has simply decided to levy a huge fine on flights that are delayed. There isn’t any leeway for flights that are delayed coming in from other airports, weather, mechanical/safety inspections, etc. In response to the prospect of losing millions on each delayed flight, airlines are making the logical decision to simply cancel the flight. Nice going.

BTW, I do see the hypocrisy of the airlines complaining about government intrusion when they were more than happy to suck off the taxpayer teat in bailout after bailout while they couldn’t manage to run themselves efficiently. The “too big to fail” doctrine is a bankrupt one, and I think you shouldn’t have it both ways. But in the end it’s the public that suffers.



Quote:
Passengers may soon be seeing more cancellations on airport departure boards.

Several airlines, including Fort Worth-based American and Houston-based Continental, say they will cancel flights rather than risk paying stiff penalties for delaying passengers on the runway.

Continental's CEO told investors Tuesday that the airline will opt to cancel flights rather than chance being fined.

Aviation consultant Denny Kelly expects other airlines to follow suit.

“I think all of them will cancel flights,” he said. “They'll do it partially because they think they are going to punish passengers, and if they punish them, someone will get this legislation removed.”

Under new federal guidelines that take effect next month, airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger if a plane is stuck on the tarmac for longer than three hours.

“How can they say there is nothing wrong with having someone sit on a seat and run out of water and everything and sit on there for three, four, five hours? That's ridiculous,” Kelly said.

With the new fines, a delayed MD-80 could cost American Airlines close to $4 million, and a fine for a full 757 could cost more than $5 million.

“It's unavoidable that more flights will be canceled to avoid fines,” said American Airlines spokesman Steve Schlachter. “It's one of the unintended consequences of a bill that has no flexibility.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Department said airlines can avoid fines by doing a better job of scheduling flights and crews.

"Carriers have it within their power to schedule their flights more realistically, to have spare aircraft and crews available to avoid cancellations" and to rebook passengers when there are cancellations, said Bill Mosley, a department spokesman.

Frequent flier Dave Wooldridge said he plans to punish airlines that cancel flights by taking his business elsewhere.

“I won't fly that airline again,” he said. “They risk losing a lot of people if that's what they become known for, canceling flights.”

Traveler Andrea Ramirez also didn't agree with the airlines' tactic.

“I would definitely rather be late than not go at all,” Ramirez said. “That's for sure.”

The fines are scheduled to take effect April 29.

Source = http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Airlines-Threaten-to-Cancel-Flights-Before-Paying-Fines-for-Delays-87181947.html
jmi256
jmi256 wrote:
Seriously? How hard is it to give money away (and other people's money to boot)? If the government can't manage something like this, how much of a bang-up job do you think they'll do with our healthcare? Welcome to the world of government bureaucracy.

Quote:

Gov't mortgage plan provides little permanent help

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration's embattled mortgage relief plan has provided permanent help to only 4 percent of borrowers who have signed up, weak results that could threaten the housing market's recovery.

Among big lenders, Bank of America Corp. had the worst performance in the Treasury Department report card released Thursday. The nation's largest lender completed just 98 modifications for the 160,000 borrowers who had signed up by the end of November. GMAC Mortgage had the most modifications of any lender, just 7,100.

As of last month, just over 31,000 homeowners had received permanent loan modifications. That compares with about 760,000 who have signed up for the program since it launched in March.

The report shows the administration is not going to hit its long-term target of helping up to 4 million borrowers with modified loans, said Ted Gayer, an economist at the Brookings Institution.

The more borrowers the program can't reach, the more foreclosed homes will spill onto the market, pulling down home prices. Almost 14 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are either behind or in foreclosure.

"Nobody really knows how big that wave will be," Gayer said.

The Treasury Department said it will step up pressure on the industry to improve. The administration's focus is to "get as many of those eligible homeowners as possible into permanent modifications," said Phyllis Caldwell, chief of Treasury's homeownership preservation office.

When the poor progress was clear last summer, Treasury set a goal of enrolling up 500,000 borrowers by Nov. 1. With the clock ticking, many lenders started giving homeowners verbal approval for a temporary modification.

"They were going to do anything to hit that number,"
said Marietta Rodriguez, national director of homeownership programs at NeighborWorks America.

Under the program, eligible borrowers who are behind or at risk of default can have their mortgage interest rate reduced to as low as 2 percent for five years. They are given temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete the required paperwork, including proof of income and a financial hardship letter.

Lenders blame the low success rate on borrowers who don't return the necessary paperwork to complete the process.

But Michael Heller of Salinas, Calif., says he and his wife have submitted all of the required documents and made six months of $1,800 payments to JPMorgan Chase & Co., but have yet to receive an answer.

"Every time we send them documents, they send us a form letter that says your modification is risk, you screwed up, you didn't send us the necessary documents," said Heller whose landscaping business has taken a severe hit due to the recession. He figures the house he bought for $640,000 in 2006 is now worth $250,000.

"You never talk to the same person twice," he said. "It makes you a little bit kooky. This has been extremely stressful."

JPMorgan Chase had no immediate comment on their case.

Mike Brauneis, director of regulatory risk consulting at consulting firm Protiviti Inc., predicts that only 20 percent of borrowers who were verbally approved for modifications will ultimately sign up.

"Either people qualify verbally and never send their paperwork in, or they send it in and the numbers are different," he said.

Wells Fargo & Co. has enrolled about 3,500 homeowners in the Obama program so far. There are 14,000 more who have completed all their paperwork and are likely to finish the process soon. Another 9,000 have made three payments but haven't sent back any documents, while 11,000 have sent some paperwork.

"We're going to do all we can to try to get their attention," said Cara Heiden, co-president of Wells Fargo's mortgage division.

Some borrowers, who lied about their incomes when they originally took out their loans, still aren't able to show proof. During the housing boom, the lending industry didn't require borrowers to prove their income, and those loans are highly concentrated in the states hardest-hit by the housing bust.

More than half of loans made in California and Nevada from 2004 to 2007, for example, required little or no documentation, according to research firm First American CoreLogic. Nationally, about 4.3 million of those loans were made during the boom years.

"You definitely have a group that shouldn't be in the loan in the first place" said Terry Moore, managing director of consulting firm Accenture's North America banking practice.

A watchdog report this week said the government effort "appears capable of preventing only a fraction of foreclosures" and that only $2.3 million out of a potential $75 billion government commitment had been spent.

Steve Carpinelli, 39, of Alexandria, Va., thought he'd be a natural candidate for the Obama plan, after seeing his income drop 35 percent from about $65,000 two years ago. He's struggling, but has still made his $2,400 monthly mortgage payment so far.

Though he was initially approved for a temporary modification, made four trial payments and sent back the necessary paperwork, Citigroup Inc. denied him last month.

"It is the most grueling processes I have ever been through financially," Carpinelli said.

A Citi spokesman declined to comment on his case but said, "if the borrower does not qualify, we look for other potential loss mitigation solutions."


Source = http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20091209&id=10844060




Big surprise. A terribly mismanaged government program fails again. How could they even think that not asking people to verify income to see if they can afford a mortgage would not be a problem?



Quote:
Borrowers exit troubled Obama mortgage program
Borrowers face foreclosure after Obama loan assistance program fails to provide help



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration's flagship effort to help people in danger of losing their homes is falling flat.

More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who have enrolled in the $75 billion mortgage modification program have dropped out. That exceeds the number of people who have managed to have their loan payments reduced to help them keep their homes.

Last month alone, 155,000 borrowers left the program -- bringing the total to 436,000 who have dropped out since it began in March 2009.

About 340,000 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications and are making payments on time.

Administration officials say the housing market is significantly better than when President Barack Obama entered office. They say those who were rejected from the program will get help in other ways.

But analysts expect the majority will still wind up in foreclosure and that could slow the broader economic recovery.

A major reason so many have fallen out of the program is the Obama administration initially pressured banks to sign up borrowers without insisting first on proof of their income. When banks later moved to collect the information, many troubled homeowners were disqualified or dropped out.

Many borrowers complained that the banks lost their documents. The industry said borrowers weren't sending back the necessary paperwork.

Carlos Woods, a 48-year-old power plant worker in Queens, N.Y., made nine payments during a trial phase but was kicked out of the program after Bank of America said he missed a $1,600 payment afterward. His lawyer said they can prove he made the payment.

Such mistakes happen "more frequently than not, unfortunately," said his lawyer, Sumani Lanka. "I think a lot of it is incompetence."

A spokesman for Bank of America declined to comment on Woods's case.

Treasury officials now require banks to collect two recent pay stubs at the start of the process. Borrowers have to give the Internal Revenue Service permission to provide their most recent tax returns to lenders.

Requiring homeowners to provide documentation of income has turned people away from enrolling in the program. Around 30,000 homeowners started the program in May. That's a sharp turnaround from last summer when more than 100,000 borrowers signed up each month.

As more people leave the program, a new wave of foreclosures could occur. If that happens, it could weaken the housing market and hold back the broader economic recovery.

Even after their loans are modified, many borrowers are simply stuck with too much debt -- from car loans to home equity loans to credit cards.

"The majority of these modifications aren't going to be successful," said Wayne Yamano, vice president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, a research firm in Irvine, Calif. "Even after the permanent modification, you're still looking at a very high debt burden."

So far nearly 6,400 borrowers have dropped out after the loan modification was made permanent. Most of those borrowers likely defaulted on their modified loans, but a handful either refinanced or sold their homes.

Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings projects that about two-thirds of borrowers with permanent modifications under the Obama plan will default again within a year after getting their loans modified.

Obama administration officials contend that borrowers are still getting help -- even if they fail to qualify. The administration published statistics showing that nearly half of borrowers who fell out of the program as of April received an alternative loan modification from their lender. About 7 percent fell into foreclosure.

Another option is a short sale -- one in which banks agree to let borrowers sell their homes for less than they owe on their mortgage.

A short sale results in a less severe hit to a borrower's credit score, and is better for communities because homes are less likely to be vandalized or fall into disrepair. To encourage more of those sales, the Obama administration is giving $3,000 for moving expenses to homeowners who complete such a sale or agree to turn over the deed of the property to the lender.

Administration officials said their work on several fronts has helped stabilize the housing market. Besides the foreclosure-prevention plan, they cited government efforts to provide money for home loans, push down mortgage rates and provide a federal tax credit for buyers.

"There's no question that today's housing market is in significantly better shape than anyone predicted 18 months ago," said Shaun Donovan, President Barack Obama's housing secretary.

The mortgage modification plan was announced with great fanfare a month after Obama took office.

It is designed to lower borrowers' monthly payments -- reducing their mortgage rates to as low as 2 percent for five years and extending loan terms to as long as 40 years. Borrowers who complete the program are saving a median of $514 a month. Mortgage companies get taxpayer incentives to reduce borrowers' monthly payments.

Consumer advocates had high hopes for Obama's program when it began. But they have since grown disenchanted.

"The foreclosure-prevention program has had minimal impact," said John Taylor, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a consumer group. "It's sad that they didn't put the same amount of resources into helping families avoid foreclosure as they did helping banks."

Source = http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Borrowers-exit-troubled-Obama-apf-887634101.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
But it seems all we’ve gotten is lip service, which some people will fall for for a while, but eventually if there is no real results they will see right through it.
In some ways it probably would have been much better for the Government not to interfere in the economy and everyone go bust as they should have. Probably only when they go bust that they would really have learned their lessons and radically changed the way of doing banking business and mortgaging of homes.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But it seems all we’ve gotten is lip service, which some people will fall for for a while, but eventually if there is no real results they will see right through it.
In some ways it probably would have been much better for the Government not to interfere in the economy and everyone go bust as they should have. Probably only when they go bust that they would really have learned their lessons and radically changed the way of doing banking business and mortgaging of homes.

Yes, that is the idea of Libertarians and some right wingers, that we should have let another Great Depression happen, let the banks and institutions collapse, let unemployment go to 30 or 40 percent, even with all the strife, chaos and social tragedies that it would entail. Personally I am glad that people of this opinion are far away from power, and that since the Repubs were kicked out we have had good basic macroeconomics to manage the economy and handle the crisis as well as possible.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Many people said that if there was so much waste and inefficiencies in these systems, that the first order of business should be to remove/reduce that.
This is a very good point. If Government can't run those systems properly, if Government does not have a good record, then how would it be fit to run an enormous undertaking as it is embarking on with the new Health Reforms?
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But it seems all we’ve gotten is lip service, which some people will fall for for a while, but eventually if there is no real results they will see right through it.
In some ways it probably would have been much better for the Government not to interfere in the economy and everyone go bust as they should have. Probably only when they go bust that they would really have learned their lessons and radically changed the way of doing banking business and mortgaging of homes.

Yes, that is the idea of Libertarians and some right wingers, that we should have let another Great Depression happen, let the banks and institutions collapse, let unemployment go to 30 or 40 percent, even with all the strife, chaos and social tragedies that it would entail. Personally I am glad that people of this opinion are far away from power, and that since the Repubs were kicked out we have had good basic macroeconomics to manage the economy and handle the crisis as well as possible.

Sorry, as much as you may like to hype it, it would never have been another great depression.

That said, yes it would have been worse without bailouts and stimuli and the like... in the short term.
We'll suffer in the long term though- by sweeping the fundamental problems under the rug:
Failing businesses will be kept alive to fail again in the future, causing more harm.
The money to finance all this emergency spending will come due, plus interest, causing more harm.
Failure will be rewarded- businesses and individuals will know that they are free to be irresponsible; the government will save them when they fail... and when they do, it will cause more harm.

You haven't prevented the social tragedies; you've only delayed them and spread them over a longer time period, so that we can enjoy them over the next 5 or 6 decades. Gee, thanks.
jmi256
Granted the title of the CNN article is a bit shocking, but this is another example of government-run healthcare at its best.

Quote:
VA hospital may have infected 1,800 veterans with HIV

(CNN) -- A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan.

Carnahan said Tuesday he is calling for a investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to President Obama about it.

"This is absolutely unacceptable," said Carnahan, a Democrat from Missouri. "No veteran who has served and risked their life for this great nation should have to worry about their personal safety when receiving much needed healthcare services from a Veterans Administration hospital."

The issue stems from a failure to clean dental instruments properly, the hospital told CNN affiliate KSDK.

KSDK: VA dental patients at risk of infection

Dr. Gina Michael, the association chief of staff at the hospital, told the affiliate that some dental technicians broke protocol by handwashing tools before putting them in cleaning machines.

The instruments were supposed to only be put in the cleaning machines, Michael said.

The handwashing started in February 2009 and went on until March of this year, the hospital told KSDK.

The hospital has set up a special clinic and education centers to help patients who may have been infected. However, Carnahan said he feels more should be done and those responsible should be disciplined.

"I can only imagine the horror and anger our veterans must be feeling after receiving this letter," Carnahan said. "They have every right to be angry. So am I."

This is not the first time this year a hospital has been in hot water for not following proper procedures.

In June, Palomar Hospital in San Diego, California, has sent certified letters to 3,400 patients who underwent colonoscopy and other similar procedures, informing the patients that there may be a potential of infection from items used and reused in the procedures.

Source = http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/30/va.hospital.hiv/index.html
Related topics
The downfall of american society
FBI probes for Chinese cyber spies
irony: Liberal Church May Lose Funds Over Sermon
Enemy Press
UK ID Card plans
Zambia leader seeks UK 'check-up'
Antimatter
HAARP
Panel Says - Bush Policies against Iraq has failed
Jakarta Stinks
Things only a Republican could believe
Obama to Gulf relief efforts: Stop!
Is it right to override a government after disasters?
Pope Quits
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Politics

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.