Posts Tagged "Obama"

“Are You Listening, Mr. President?” My Open Letter re: Today’s Economic Speech

Greetings, my fellow Politicos! I am sharing my letter to President Obama with you today. While his speech was heartening, I found little to truly help us, in our middle class family’s position. You and your family may be in a similar situation. And it’s summer vacation, so I had time to write a letter on behalf of all of us. I hope it speaks to your family’s concerns as well. Please don’t let my writing a letter to our President keep you from doing so. Maybe if they hear from enough of us, via email or snail mail, they’ll pay attention. (Hey, you know I’m the eternal optimist…) So, with no further ado, my open letter to President Barack Obama, to be snail mailed and emailed today: Dear Mr. President, In 2004, when you spoke at the National Democratic Convention, I was a teacher and mom of two amazing kids. Tweenie was eight, and Little Man had just turned four. We had just become homeowners, The Hubby and I, and our family was filled with hope for the bright future ahead. I called the kids over to hear your speech, saying, “This man is named Barack Obama. He’s going to be our President one day, Guys. He wants to fight for families like us.” Now it’s 2013, and you’ve not only been elected as our President, but re-elected with an overwhelming mandate by the American people. We have supported you all along the road, and are grateful for all you have done for our country and middle class families like ours. We’ve worked hard, Mr. President, and tried to do the right thing. But just working hard and doing what’s right isn’t enough anymore. We are upside-down in our home: our house payment is nearly $4000 a month for our two-bedroom, two-bath tract home in a working-class neighborhood. While several friends and family members have received help through the HARP and HAMP programs, we are not eligible. Why? Because we haven’t defaulted on our mortgage. We made sacrifices. We did not walk away, though it would have been easy to do so. If we weren’t underwater, we could refinance at a lower rate, and be able to save or get a little bit ahead. But as of right now, because we’ve done the right thing and not defaulted or simply walked away, we have no recourse. There is no way to escape the debt we’ve incurred, and gaining equity in our home is an impossibility. Tweenie is now eighteen and Little Man is ten. They’re still amazing, terrific kids who do well in school and want to go to college. Tweenie was accepted to a good school, her...

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“If The 99% Vote, The 1% Won’t Matter”…Or Will They? Voter Suppression & The GOP

“If The 99% Vote, The 1% Won’t Matter”…Or Will They? Voter Suppression & The GOP

Well, my fellow Politicos, it has been a long time in blog years-July of this year- since I have posted here at mommapolitico.com, and I extend my heartfelt apologies. The new job has been all-consuming, but it is work for the common good, the work of making young people into smart and productive citizens,  and I love it, exhausting as it is. But I could not stand back and let this monumental election go by unnoticed, especially with the extreme effects it will have, for good or for bad, on the middle class and working people. So here I am. Today I just got a terrific bumper sticker from boldprogressives.org , which I promptly put on the car. (This despite the fact that The Hubby says I am one bumper sticker away from a ticket for lack of visibility!) You all know how I love small-d democracy, and it’s a mere 3 days from the national election, and our Little Man’s birthday, so there’s a celebratory tone here in the Politico household. I believe the sentiment expressed on the Bold Progressives bumper sticker with all of my being. And if we can get out the vote, I truly believe we will have a groundswell of support for not only the President, but for the so-called “down-ticket” races.  And that matters. Because a Democratic Congress could make for a real recovery for this country, in actions and not simply in words. Over the last six months, I’ve been listening to lots of people, too: friends and colleagues, people in the grocery store line and at the bank and post office. Folks who have been struggling and trying to get back to some sense of normalcy are grateful as the economy improves, people get back to work after tough times, the housing market improves, Obamacare provisions begin to kick in, our family and friends come home from wars in the Middle East, and they see the quality of their lives improve in so many ways. Our President has become a strong Commander-in-Chief, a leader in times of crisis (such as the flooding and damage wreaked by Sandy). My Republican friends tell me that they can’t, in good conscience, vote for Mr. Romney, for a myriad of reasons. And that is encouraging news for the upcoming election. Despite all the momentum I see, there has been a strong, deliberate and disturbing movement going on over the past four years by the Rethugs. I have told everyone that would listen that if the President loses this election, it will be for one reason and one reason only: the GOPs voter suppression efforts. Over the past four years, side-by-side with personhood amendments and all the other...

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WE Don’t Get It??? Bullpuckey! Mitt & The RICH Don’t Get It!!!

WE Don’t Get It??? Bullpuckey! Mitt & The RICH Don’t Get It!!!

Quoted in a USA Today article on the changing expectations of young adults, author Morley Winograd, who writes extensively about the Millennials, said their economic situation is “completely analogous” to the depression-era generation. “They were raised in relative affluence, and just as they are about to start in that affluent world, it all comes crashing down.” They are forced to assume that “everything that came before them was a mirage — that it was built on unsafe foundations.” This prolonged downturn will end. They always do. People will find their way back to confidence. But especially for those growing up under the weight of its fearsome uncertainties, it will be with us for generations to come. ~ Dr. Peggy Drexler, The Huffington Post (via http://charlesbivona.tumblr.com) Here we are, my friends, in a time and place in our lives, at a point when, in our parents generation, they saw their retirement funds growing; due to the housing and bank bailout, ours are gone. Our parents used the equity in their homes to improve their lot, adding a spare room, re-doing the kitchen, paying for college and weddings; we are upside-down, with no hope in sight. Our folks could get good, secure jobs with which they could raise families, have benefits, and pensions; we have to go deep in debt to get advanced degrees to compete for the few pension-less jobs out there, all the while having to pay for our own health insurance as costs skyrocket. Our parents paid for weddings, college for some of us, took us on cross-country trips for summer vacations to see the best of our land; we’ll be hard-pressed to pay for their grandkids’ weddings, or to help them through a state college, and to put aside enough to have some local fun on a “stay-cation.” Union-busting, teachers cut, firefighters and cops getting minimum wage (Scranton, PA, folks, google it!), GOP pushing to cut government jobs to their lowest numbers ever, in the middle of the worst recession we’ve had since the Depression, just when we’ve started to climb our way out of the Republican-created ditch. Yet, the GOP continue to insist that the rich don’t need to pay their fair share: $250,000 tax cuts for the top 1% in Ryan’s (now Mitt’s) budget. Middle class, hard-working families are asked to shoulder more and more of the burden. “Noblesse oblige is dead, long live Citizens United!” the corporate raiders cry, while Mitt dumps his funds into a charitable trust in his wife’s name the day before he becomes governor, and invests his money in Swiss Banks, the Caymans and several other tax-free, untraceable accounts overseas. Because he can. Because he will only release a year’s worth of...

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Underwater? Help Is On The Way! Mortgage Relief from Fed

Underwater? Help Is On The Way! Mortgage Relief from Fed

  Well, my fellow Politicos, it’s been a wild week – so much to talk about! So many things that I have included a couple of links at the bottom of the post for you because there won’t be time to discuss them together here this week. But the main thrust of my post this week is the issue that could affect your kitchen table politics the most.  Right now, 10.7 million homeowners in the U.S. are “underwater” in their loans, meaning that their homes are worth far less than when they purchased them. That’s one in every four families. The crisis is worst in Nevada, Arizona, Florida and here in California, where 30% of borrowers owe 50% or more of their home’s value. There are over a million California families who are upside-down, and ove a hundred thousand in New York alone. With such a large number of families in crisis, it puts any economic recovery at risk. What choices do families who are underwater in their home loans have? Very few. You can’t afford to sell it at a loss because you’d still be deeply in debt; You can walk away from the home, like 588,000 homeowners did last year, even though they could still afford to pay the mortgage – just stop paying and let the bank foreclose. Or, like 40% of folks,  you can stay and keep paying your mortgage, if you can still make the payments, and continue to hope against hope that someday housing prices will rise to at least the level they were when you bought the house – if you got in at the early end of the bubble, your chances are better that if you ought at the peak. That’s where we are now, hoping against hope that something’s gotta give, having been taught all our lives that you don’t walk away from your debt, you keep your commitments. It is simply the integrity of the middle class homeowner that keeps the housing market even afloat right now. So when The President came out in his State of The Union and said that he’d be uniting the State Attorneys General and the U.S. Attorney General to prosecute the responsible parties that caused this mess, prosecuting the banks that bundled our loans and used them as chips in their high-stakes game of Texas Hold-’em, I saw a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Then, within a matter of days, I heard that there was a $25 billion settlement with the banks – turns out it’s been six months in the making. Finally, someone addressing these abuses. And that’s what they are, abuses. But I also thought, “Hey, that was happening way too fast,”...

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I refuse to cave to a minivan. I am still a tomboy - comfortable in Levi's, my Yankees cap and Converse. And I always have a political opinion...hell, I always have an opinion, period. The hubby, my kids and my friends think I should run for office. Maybe one day. But for now, Momma Politico blogs. Peruse, enjoy, and know that our busy lives are as significant as those in The Washington Post. Cheers, Heidi Haines AKA Perry MacNeil Momma Politico

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