While millions of Americans are foreclosing on their homes, Bank of America has stepped in by offering significant mortgage loan reductions—”the industry’s boldest move yet,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Struggling homeowners with subprime and other risky mortgages will be offered reductions as high as 30 percent on their loan principal. So far banks have been reluctant to reduce principal amid the financial crisis, instead offering lowered interest rates or extending the life of repayments. But these measures haven’t been enough to convince homeowners to hang on to their bum houses, which may never regain their purchase value. Bank of America’s approach reduces loan balances to the home’s current estimated value, and the bank estimates that at least 45,000 customers will qualify for the program.
Daily Archives: March 24, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome—pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism—has infected the Republican Party. Here’s new data to prove it:
- 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.
- 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
- 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
- 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
- Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
The poll, which surveyed 2,230 people right at the height of the health-care reform debate, also clearly shows that education is a barrier to extremism. Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped. It’s a reminder of what the 19th-century educator Horace Mann once too-loftily said: “Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.”
It didn’t take long for Americans to come around on health-care reform: A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows 49 percent of Americans saying health-care reform is a “good thing,” with only 40 percent saying it is bad. This is a marked reversal from polling from before the legislation was passed and signed, which typically showed the public opposed. Forty-eight percent of respondents also say it’s just a “good first step” that needs to be followed up with more action. Additionally, congressional Republicans rate the lowest out of all the major players: Twenty-six percent said their work was excellent or good, while 34 percent say it was poor; for congressional Democrats, those numbers are 32 and 33 percent; for Barack Obama, they’re 46 and 31 percent.