Monday, October 13, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Who is Responsible for the Financial Crisis? -- October 12th, 2008

Not surprisingly, we are seeing on TV and across the nation a strong and sometimes vicious debate erupting about who or what is to blame for the financial meltdown that is impacting not only our domestic markets but world markets as well. This was also a hot subject at the debates and forums held this week for the candidates in the 5th district race.

It is very troubling to see certain people on the national scene attempt to blame this crisis on people who took out mortgages they could not afford. We are also hearing criticism that federal government policies put in place during the 90's to encourage home ownership by low income minorities was a major factor in the crisis.

The problem was not caused by hard working people who were trying to purchase a home. The problem lies with the lending institutions that made bad loans and the people who approved the loans. The lending institutions should have been performing stringent reviews and they had the authority to approve or reject loans and mortgages. Regardless of what the federal government was saying, the lending institutions should have been looking out for their own best interests and when someone applied for a mortgage that was a risk, the lending institution should have rejected the application and advised the person to find a home that was more affordable.

The problem is widespread and I know first hand of people who were rejected by local lending institutions only to find an out of the area lender that approved their mortgage on a property they will struggle to afford. Not only do they have a problem paying the mortgage but the property taxes are also more than they can reasonably afford. There are many cases where good lending institutions will tell someone no but there were others willing to take a gamble and approve risky lending.

The gamble these risky lenders took was two fold. First, the lending institution gambles the borrower can struggle and make the payments, with the second part of the gamble being somewhat unethical. They were betting against the people they were lending money to with the secondary goal being foreclosure on the property. The unethical portion of this is betting that someone would fail, causing families to lose their homes so a corporate interest could gain ownership of real estate. Of course what goes around comes around. The housing bubble burst, values went down and the risky lending institutions were left holding ownership to properties that are now worth less than what was owed on their books.

It is unconscionable that corporate America, Wall Street and certain political and media elements now point the finger of blame at people who just wanted a better life with a nice home. Blame and responsibility lies with those who had the control to approve or reject lending. Over the last 30 years, corporate America, Wall Street and the financial interests have been granted wide ranging powers by our federal government and they decide the direction of our free market economy. REMEMBER -- With power comes responsibility. Now, ask yourself -- who is ultimately responsible for the financial crisis? Is it your neighbor down the street that lost his home or does the blame lie with those who made the risky business decisions?

Another Important Endorsement:

The McCracken for Congress Campaign has received another important endorsement from the 23,000 member United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. In the letter to our campaign informing us of the endorsement, UFCW Local 1776 President Wendell W. Young IV wrote "Our endorsement recognizes your commitment to policies that will benefit working families".

Review of the Past Week on the Campaign Trail:

It was a busy week with candidate forums in Punxsutawney on Monday, Emporium on Tuesday, DuBois on Thursday and Williamsport on Friday. All of these events were very good with the forum in DuBois on Thursday lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes that was broadcast live of 4 radio stations. The DuBois forum sponsored by the DuBois Chamber along with both the Democratic and Republican county committees offered some unique and challenging subjects for all 3 candidates to address.

Late Friday evening I attended the oPROMa event in State College that was organized by the Penn State College Democrats. In speaking with the Penn State College Democrats, I reminded them to spread the word to their fellow students that this election is their election to change the future. During the last 8 years, George W. Bush and his administration's policies have mortgaged the future of our nation. I concluded my brief speech with the call "During the last 8 years Bush has tried to take your future from you - Go out on November 4th and take your future back".

Saturday was a busy day with events on both ends of the district that were complicated with some personal problems. I woke up on Saturday with a very sore throat and hardly any voice. I was hoping it would get better during the day but it didn't. What a nightmare -- a politician without a voice.

We attended the Flaming Foliage Festival Parade in Renovo early in the afternoon. It was a great parade with the streets jam packed with people.

The Democratic float including State Rep. Mike Hanna, County Chair Dave Wallace, Clinton County Commissioner Adam Coleman, Senator John Wozniak and Clinton County Commissioner Joel Long. Not pictured -- Kelsey Lomanson who drove the Jeep pulling the float.

Mike Hanna and I tossing candy to the crowd.

With supporter Jonah and his mom Linda at the Venango County Dinner. By this time my voice was gone but Jonah assured me he has the 2nd grade votes at his school lined up for me.

Schedule for Upcoming Week:

Tuesday 7 PM -- PSU DuBois -- Meeting with Students for Obama

Wednesday 8:30 AM -- St Marys -- AHUG Breakfast Forum

Wednesday 7 PM -- Centre County League of Women Voters Debate -- State College

Thursday 7 PM -- WPVL Debate -- State College

Friday 7 PM -- Meeting With Forest County Voters and Officials

Saturday 8 AM -- AARP Candidates Breakfast -- DuBois

Saturday -- 6 PM -- Elk County Democratic Fall Banquet -- Ridgway / Royal Inn

FUNDRAISING REMINDER -- Keep talking with people about the 5,000 Friends to Flip the Fifth project. We can win the 5th District Congressional District for the first time in 32 years but we need to be organizing our forces heading into the final weeks. The only way to turn this country around is to send people to Washington who will make the tough decisions. The choice in the 5th district is clear. My opponent regularly states that he supports the fiscal policies of the Bush administration AKA "the Bush tax cuts" and will continue them -- More of the Same. While I continue to stress that we must balance the budget, built a surplus and pay down the debt.

In order to get the message out to voters we will need to advertise which costs money. Please contact your family and friends and urge them to financially support our campaign as we move into the final weeks. Donations can be made online through or by direct mail to McCracken for Congress, PO Box 332, Clearfield PA 16830.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

No comments: