This week, the irresponsibility of the federal government's housing policy has come to a head with the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a real estate agent, I've seen this coming for a long time. The government was propping up an entire market that was giving loans to individuals at rates they could never afford to pay back. You can hardly blame the industry; it's hard to see any downside to your bad corporate policies if the government will fully back you, however badly you perform. It's the worst of both worlds; the leaders of the mortgage industry didn't have responsibility to voters, as would a public official, and didn't see any reason to worry about their shareholders, as they had every reason to believe that the government would bail them out if their accounts were in any real peril. They were, in effect, accountable to no one.
Congress had every opportunity to establish oversight of the mortgage industry, but for the 14 years the Republican dominance, they've hardly even tried. My opponent was a member of that do-nothing Congress for 8 years. Mike Simpson has supported a lot of band-aids, but never looked into a long-term solution to avoid the all too predictable situation we find ourselves in today. I've seen this crisis growing from the ground, and I have watched my clients and the clients of my colleagues suffer. It's what got me into this race. Idaho can't afford to let Mike Simpson continue to support the same old shell-game as American families lose their homes.