A friend of mine is a lobbyist. He was on the Hill and asked a bunch of GOP members what they thought. Their position was basically:
- This is a blue state problem and the people affected are going to vote Democrat anyway
- Moral Hazard arguments and federal gov’t should not intervene
- taxpayers should not bail out speculators
This is delusional. Pew did a new study on expectations of future housing prices. Most Americans are still optimistic. But Republicans are more pessimistic. People with over $75k are more pessimistic. People in more expensive metropolitan areas are more pessimistic. Rich people have also seen housing prices fall more. Etc.
Get it? The "blue state problem" is probably referring to places like the NYC suburbs, where we lost Sue Kelly’s seat and Nancy Johnson’s seat. Or Jerry Weller’s and Deb Pryce’s open seats. Or places like (the crook) Pombo’s seat. Or the AZ seats we lost. Or the CO seats we lost. Etc.
The GOP economic message works when people are optimistic about the future. Core GOP voters — which we are losing anyways — are pessimistic. You think they are going to feel good about us?
Of course, the housing market is still collapsing. (but they said it was all over!) From today’s report by the realtors:
US existing home sales fell 8.0 percent in September as a persistent housing slump continued to weigh on the property market and the world’s biggest economy, an industry group said Wednesday.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a monthly snapshot that sales of existing homes and apartments tumbled to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.04 million units in September from 5.48 million in August.
The drop was worse than expected. Most economists had only expected sales to decline to around 5.25 million.
Stripping out apartment sales, sales fell to their lowest level since January 1998. …
Economists are concerned the housing slowdown could put a brake on US economic growth.
Put slightly differently: when the realtors are telling you that people are pessimistic about the housing market, grab your parachute.
This is bad. The GOP is willfully not having an answer. Why don’t they get it?