Why not sell members of Congress to pay for our debt?

So here we are, the United States is almost $14 Trillion in debt.  Does anyone really have a grasp what that means?  I think most people don’t really care.  Think about it.  We continue to borrow money from other countries and does our quality of life change because of it?  Do we really end up paying that money back?  We just continue to dig our hole deeper and deeper, spending and spending.  Sooner or later the note will be called.  Look at California.  They are now in a State of Emergency.  Who will bail them out?  The answer is in the mirror unless we find another way.

This recession, and in my opinion its really not over despite what the GDP shows, has caused many people to look at their own personal debt.  Many folks have cut their spending and destroyed their credit cards so they don’t continue to dig their graves.  They realize that they can not sustain their lifestyle without having a way to pay for it.  So many people have cut back.  But not our government.  It has grown substantially over the years, but it has moved into maximum overdrive the last 2.  We have increased our government so much to protect us, but we can’t pay for it.  Now congress is fighting over taxes and ideas in how to pay for it.  After all, we are the ones to pay for their work, not them.  Well, unless we want to be owned by China.  Oops!  Too late.  I am reminded of Proverbs 22:7 which says that we are slaves to our lenders.  Why would anyone want to be a slave?  I guess you would have to believe in God’s word in order for this passage to resonate with you, but I think most people agree that if they are in debt, then they really don’t have the full freedom that they could have.

Re-enter in the United States.  We are almost $14 Trillion in debt, mostly to China who can’t stand us.  Doesn’t that seem fitting?  The CBO predicts that in 2015 we will be $17 Trillion in debt.  How will we ever pay it off?  Well, I do have an idea…

There needs to be some kind of creative way to get us out of slavery.  Why not sell every member of congress who has contributed to our debt that has not been paid off?  I understand that the majority of the voters vote them in, but we really can’t control what these people do once they are in.  This administration has bet on speculation of tax revenue for the spending that they have endured the last couple years.  Now they are arguing over those tax codes.  The lawmakers who have spent all of the money argue that the higher earning individuals should pay more.  Why should the so called “rich” have to pay for it?  The Administrations and Members of congress are the ones who spent the money.  Why don’t they pay for it?  So back to my argument.  Unless these spenders can pay for the mess they put us in, selling the ones off who increased our spending could be a viable option.  I could see someone from Dubai or China paying a really good price for Chris Dodd or even a higher price for Barney Frank.  They could really have a good time with him!  I understand that we wouldn’t get much of a return for Charlie Rangel, but anything would help.

This idea may seem a little crazy, and of course the ACLU would have issues with it, but I think it could work.  All I am saying is that it should be looked into.  It may require these spenders to think twice before they give away our hard earned money.

Market Update Video #3

Recovery and Refinancing are the topics for this week’s video.  Important Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae information as well.  Do you have a Freddie or Fannie loan?  Do you have lost equity in your home making it difficult to refinance to the lowest interest rate like almost everyone else?  Don’t miss out on this week’s Market Update Video.  CLICK HERE to view.

Market Update Video #2

Unemployment, threats of tax increases, and foreclosures are keeping our inventory around 12 months in the books in the Mid-Willamette Valley.  People need to go back to work now!  CLICK HERE to view our market update video for the week.

Market Update Video #1

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Video Tour for 5275 Chicago St. SE Turner, Oregon

We just listed this nice home in the heart of Turner, Oregon.  This home has been fixed up with new carpet, tile, trim, doors and paint to make it shine!  Many windows allow for natural light, large rooms and formal dining.  This property would also work excellent for an office or home based business with ample parking, functional for many offices and next to a park!  Check out the video tour Here

5275 Chicago St. SE Turner, Oregon

 Just listed this wonderful property that is designed for owner occupied or an office building in the heart of Turner Oregon!  Check out our Video Tour!

Tax Credit Hangover

Is there seriously more talk of another tax credit?  Please… the last ones only prolonged the inevitable and ultimately dug our hole deeper.  The previous tax credits cost the American Tax Payers, which are mostly middle income earners, $23.5 Billion!  Out of the 1.8 Million home buyers that took advantage of the first program, 950,000 bought back in 2009 when the $6500 tax credit was in play.  If you bought during that time, and was considered a “first time home buyer”, then remember that you have to pay that money back.  The IRS designated that $500 per year to be paid back over a 13 year term.  It was basically a free loan. 

Now that the tax credits are over, we have a $23.5 Billion bill and the headache gets worse.  Existing home sales are down considerably and we are heading into our typical slow period of long Winter months.  Job growth is nothing where it should be and consumers are not confident with the track that we are on.  As states continue to threaten to cut the budget; that specifically hurts markets like ours where many of our residents are state workers.  So, take your ibuprofen and drink lots of water because the headache continues.

The Next Depression?

The experts say most recessions last an average of 18 months.  We are getting closer and closer to doubling that with this current recession.  At what point do they call it a depression?  The Great Depression of the 1930s was very deep; cutting to the core of what America prided itself on.  It sure seems like we are quite aways away from something like that, however; the Great Depression had an instant effect after the stock market crash in 1929.  Some economies started to recover in the mid 30’s, but most of the world came out of it in the late 30s to early 40s.  Some say World War II was the factor in getting us out of the Depression.

I am just wondering who decides when it is a depression.  According to Wikipedia, there is no real consensus on what a Depression is.  It explains, ‘There is no widely agreed definition for a depression, though some have been proposed. In the United States the National Bureau of Economic Research determines contractions and expansions in the business cycle, but does not declare depressions.  Generally, periods labeled depressions are marked by a substantial and sustained shortfall of the ability to purchase goods relative to the amount that could be produced using current resources and technology (potential output).  Another proposed definition of depression includes two general rules: 1) a decline in real GDP exceeding 10%, or 2) a recession lasting 2 or more years. 

Well, I hate to bring it up, but we are way past 2 years.  Obviously most people are still being able to buy groceries and live a fairly normal life.  Even though many people are not able to make their house payments, the GDP increased the first quarter by 2.4% and 3.7% the second quarter of this year.  That’s a sliver of good news!  So, why are we not getting out of this recession?  July’s unemployment rate still remains over 10% for Oregon and 9.5% for the U.S.  Only 71,000 private jobs were created.  That is terrible since private jobs are the driving force to our healthy economy!

Well, I say blame it on the government.  Although I believe their intentions are good, they only seem to swing the pendulum way too far the other way.  Strict oversight and over regulation will only paralyze our economy further.  The good news is that entities like FHA are starting to come around.  There is talk that they need to lighten up the oversight.  Keeping interest rates down can only do so much, but if a potential buyer can’t get financed, then it doesn’t matter how low the rates are.  We do need a balance of oversight and low interest rates.  The people who are taking advantage of this market are the investors.  Good for them.  They will be the ones who will be reaping the rewards in about 20 years.  The problem is that there are not enough of them to help us reduce enough inventory to get us out of this mess.  The government needs to loosen its grip on the financial systems and stop thinking they need to protect us from every danger out there.  The free market will not sustain with Big Brother looking over the shoulder every second.  The other alternative?  We can be like Europe.  Lets keep in mind what made this country the greatest country in history.

More Tax Credit Fraud!

We are entering into the middle of Summer even though we haven’t had much of a Summer thus far in the Pacific Northwest.  We finally are receiving some nice weather and people are taking advantage of that.  Sales are slumping a little since the tax credit has been ceased.  Although, we are getting reports of increased fraud.  You would think that the IRS would require a purchase contract to be submitted, along with the HUD 1, since they instituted the April 30th deadline to be under contract with a seller.  Well, they apparently don’t have any policies in place to verify that and buyers are going into contract after the April 30th deadline and still receiving the tax credit.  As a tax payer, how does that make you feel?  Hopefully they can get that under control soon and start thinking a few steps ahead.

April Jobs Report tied to Strategic Defaults?

Jobs continued to gain in the month of April according to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics.  290,000 non farm jobs were created with 66,000 of them for the government as temporary jobs for the census continue to gain momentum.  Have you had your friendly census worker visit you yet? 

Over the last 2.5 years this Great Recession has contributed to approximately 8 Million jobs lost.  Last months jobs report is encouraging, but I am not expecting numbers like that to follow month after month.  And even if it did it would take about 3 years to get all of those jobs back that we lost.   I hate to be a pessimist here.  I want this our economy to thrive again and thrive now!  I hope I am wrong, but I just don’t see how we can continue to spend the money that we don’t have and sustain any kind of momentum that we are seeing.  The bailout of Greece is a prime example of that.  The U. S. holds 17% responsibility in the International Monetary Fund and they just decided to bail out Greece for a whopping 1 Trillion Dollars!  Greece is a perfect example of entitlement programs coming to a head.  The working class can not afford to pay for all of these programs!  More taxes means higher costs for good and services or less jobs.  Period. 

A lot of this “growth” that we are seeing is believed to be due to the seasonal time of year and the notion that many people are out spending more money instead of paying for their mortgage every month.  Many of these are people who have jobs and have the money to pay for their bills, but they are strategically missing payments in order to have a little more fun this year.  People are frustrated that their equity is gone so they are not seeing the value in making their mortgage payments.  This is known as Strategic Defaulting.  They miss a couple of months, which can mount out to a chunk of change, every month or so until the bank comes knocking.  The borrower then makes a payment to appease their lender and the cycle continues over and over again.  This obviously brings up a moral dilemma.  What would you do?  Studies show that once the value of a person’s home decreases to 75% of their balance owed, that person considers a strategic default.  The more popular this idea becomes the more people will consider it.  This won’t help out the recovery of our economy, but it is the sign of the times.