Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.
Are President Obama’s decisions on the foreclosure crisis hurting his re-election chances?
The administration has tackled the foreclosure crisis with what New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum calls a limited aid program:
He tried to finesse the cleanup of the housing crash, rejecting unpopular proposals for a broad bailout of homeowners facing foreclosure in favor of a limited aid program — and a bet that a recovering economy would take care of the rest.
During his first two years in office, Mr. Obama and his advisers repeatedly affirmed this carefully calibrated strategy, leaving unspent hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress had allocated to buy mortgage loans, even as millions of people lost their homes and the economic recovery stalled somewhere between crisis and prosperity.
Political allies of the President are saying that President Obama’s decision not to do more to help struggling homeowners may have been the administration’s most serious mistake.
California Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren told the New York Times that the administration was simply “not aggressive enough .. and as a consequence they did not interrupt the catastrophic spiral downward in our economy.”
Administration officials say they did what was possible, and that it would have been difficult to do more given how the mortgage and banking industry is set up. And they point out that there was a tremendous amount of political opposition to more aggressive measures.