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Foreign Buyers For U.S. Homes

Tapping foreign buyers to snap up American homes. New legislation looks to open the floodgates.

A tugboat heads west up the Miami River in Miami, lined with high-rise condos, mansions and luxury marinas. Developers are looking inland to expand residential construction, particularly along remaining waterfront in areas that have been historically industrial, kicking up property values astronomically. (AP)

A tugboat heads west up the Miami River in Miami, lined with high-rise condos, mansions and luxury marinas. Developers are looking inland to expand residential construction, particularly along remaining waterfront in areas that have been historically industrial, kicking up property values astronomically. (AP)

Millions of Americans can no longer afford the homes they’re in, let alone to buy new ones. President Obama is looking to help out now with more lenient refinancing for homeowners underwater.

Two US senators have another idea: sell American homes to wealthy foreigners. A new bill would entice affluent Chinese and Canadian buyers to snap up homes in Florida, California, beyond – and throw in a US residence visa for good measure. Is this a good idea? Americans can’t buy American homes, so sell them to rich foreigners?

This hour On Point: American homes, foreign owners.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nick Timiraos, real estate reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Sally Daley, Real Estate Agent, Vero Beach, Fla. with Daley and Company Real Estate.

Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he is Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies.

Susan Wachter, Professor of finance and real estate, University of Pennsylvania. She’s the author of “The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “The reeling housing market has come to this: To shore it up, two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S.”

Mother Jones “A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Interesting turn of events.  But not surprising. 
    $500,000 to buy houses (plural). or just one home??  In some markets, buyers can obtain up to 6 or 7 houses.   Unless they limit it to one home.

    Either way, the US middle class will become tenants to foreign residents, or they will relinquish upper middle class neighborhoods to foreign buyers, while homes in working class neighborhoods continue to drop in price.

    Even so, a foreign buyer with that much cash doesn’t really need residency in the USA, in fact, the USA has been offering the $500,000 residency carrot for foreigners to invest in US businesses for some time… with not that much success.   

    However, wealthy foreigners  just might take the opportunity to pick up a McMansion on the cheap – particularly wealthy members of ousted pre-Arab Spring regimes who are now in flight.   There are more to come.

    • Drew You Too

      Nice comment, I’m really getting sick of the Arab Spring flinging though. It’s not a great catch phrase, not even a good one.

      And this is off topic but the only reason I even caught your comment was because I have been checking every night to see if the Deportation story that was bumped last week in favor of the scarcely covered (sarcasm) Ghadafi story is coming back up. It’s not looking too promising.

    • MoChaMan

      $500K for plural homeS , one of which is your primary residence . if you sell your homes , you have to give up your visa .

      • Drew You Too

        But only if you sell your primary residence, right? And just because someone proclaims a home as their primary residence, that doesn’t actually mean they live in them. I’m sure I’m not alone in realizing that this is a tactic which hs already been used in the past to skirt Capital Gains and keep that money flipping every two and a half years. The Visa ofer is so contemptable it should not even merit consideration.

  • Drew You Too

    Yep. We can sell them to wealthy foreign interests all day long but there’s no way in heck we’re going to try to figure out how to keep Americans and their familes in them. At least not without a slumlord lurking in the wings (and a foreign slumlord at that). Great idea guys (Senators no less)! Let’s let people who will fit right in with the group that created this nightmare buy a visa! This one is going to get downright nasty.

  • bob

    We are number one in shipping jobs and assets out of the country, may as well be numer one in shipping houses out of the country. American exceptionalism.

    • CORY

      Meaning everyone first, except Americans!

      • Brett

        I know it’s early, but that was pretty funny. 

  • CORY

    Everyday Americans have become nothing more than flotsam and jetsom in the current of free-market globalization.  Enjoy!  Anyone for some isolationism?

    • Anonymous

      Isolationism is not the answer. Good banking regulations would be good. Consumer protection from the outrageous usury fees banks and credit card companies charge.  How about some real serious realignment of the mortgages in this country to stabilize this mess.
      Obama’s plan is once again to small and is not going to do enough, just like the first stimulus, to small and it did not do enough.

      I’m thinking of buying a good tent while I still have a job, just in case I end up homeless.

      • Brett

        You know, jeffe, if Ralph Nader were really invested in changing America for the better (sorry, it’s just that your post made me think about this), he’d devote his energies where they would do the most good (and that isn’t running for public office). He was a great consumer advocate (“watchdog” would actually fit him better), and he did a lot of good in raising safety standards for the auto industry. I would like to see him use his abrasive lack of compromise to badger our financial industry/governmental representatives. 

        I’ll have to listen to the show, but loosening up our real estate markets to entice foreign investors sounds like another great way to create a real estate bubble until everyone involved goes bust again, again!  

      • CORY

        I think isolationism gets passed over too quickly.  Base our economy on what we can produce and build.  Trade carefully and selectively.  It is unlikely to see the light of day because many at the top benefit greatly from free trade.

        I agree with you about reform in banking and finance though.  This should happen in either case.

  • JustSayin

    Why not… Foriegn entities buy Congress, the SJC, and the presidency.

      Why not sell them homes built without regard to building codes, with toxic Chinese drywall nailed and plumbed by illegal immigrants, with irretrievable larcenous mortgages chopped up into highly leveraged un-backed derivatives from Americas banking industry…. 

    Give em a full taste of the American dream. 

    • CORY

      Lovin it!  Pithy and to the heart.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    AMAZING!!  The GREEDY rich Banksters are going to make it easier for Mexican Drug-Lords to get into the U.S., by selling them foreclosed McMansions! 
         The bought Congressmen will do the bidding of their corrupt masters, selling the U.S. even more than the Black-robed Senile Court Justices giving EXTRA citizenship to people that may NOT be citizens!!   As if Congress hasn’t sold us out enough already!! 

    • Anonymous

      Where do get the idea that Mexican Drug Lords are going to be buying up houses? By the way don’t you think that criminals of this ilk can buy houses in the US if the wanted too?

      While I do sympathize with your anger I think the comment is a bit far fetched. Mind you I would not be surprised if I read about this happening.   

      • Terry Tree Tree

        My point exactly!!

    • Brett

      While this may be happening and, as jeffe says, reading about a story like this would not be surprising, I doen’ theen that “Mexican Drug Lords” buying up foreclosed McMansions to facilitate the fulfillment of their desire for US residency is even close to being at the top of the list of what may be disconcerting about this trend. And, like jeffe, I feel that a drug cartel leader probably would have the means to buy a house even in a good market, and even without the help of “Banksters” and “Black-robed Senile Court Justices.” (Who wants to see a “Senile Court Justice” NOT wearing his/her robe, anyway? I know I don’t!) ;-)   

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Not sure about the females on the court,  but the guys can KEEP their robes on,for my part, in the isolation mental ward!!  ( Their mental disease is too dangerous and contagious, to NOT isolate!)
             Thanks for the laugh, NOT for the visual!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Wealthy people overseas are already purchasing distressed properties. 

    And they can live much more comfortably in Brasil or India with that kind of money.  However they could speculate on single family homes and rent them in the interim, or have their own kids uses them as college dorms until the market turns upward in a decade. 

    The increased demand could somewhat mitigate the trashy loan portfolios to the BENEFIT THE BANKS.   But this is just another screw job for poorer Americans, because they will be competing for the same distressed properties.   Foreigners are less likely to buy at market prices from underwater homeowners.

  • SteveV

    When Obama showed Elizabeth Warren the door that spoke volumes to which side
    he’s on. Republicans or Democrats, nothing will change. The only chance the
    American public has is to educate itself and vote out most of the incumbents and
    vote in a whole new breed with their best interest in mind. Since that is
    unlikely to occur, through a combination of apathy on behalf of the public and
    collusion by the politicians, like it or not we are on a path to a destination
    we will not find very pleasant.

    • Adks12020

      I’m pretty sure Republicans vowed to block Elizabeth Warren and that was why President Obama nominated someone else for the head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  It wasn’t that he showed her the door; it was that he knew Republicans in Congress would lock it before she even got there.

      I also heard an interview with her in which she stated that she wanted the position but it didn’t seem like it could happen.

      I agree she would have been perfect for it but the politics involved in the situation wouldn’t have allowed for congressional approval of her nomination.

      • SteveV

        I was thinking of the recess appointment of John Bolton to the UN by President Bush. I wondered why Obama didn’t to the same with Elizabeth Warren. I’ve lost my faith in him to do what’s right for the American public while I have more faith in him to do what’s right for Wall Street.

      • Anonymous

        They are blocking the “compromise” candidate too, and promised to block any nominee until they get their way.  So much for bipartisanship.

  • Anonymous

    We shouldn’t be propping up housing values.  The prices should fall to where they are affordable for Americans.  Make the banks start lending instead of selling off the country to the international rich.  At least an illegal immigrant who is working in a field or a slaughterhouse is adding value to the country.  We have enough idle rich here already.   

    • Sam, Buffalo, NY

      Cannot like this comment enough!

      This is not a solution to our real estate market problem.
      This will create a sleuth of problems.

  • Yar

    In a country with a fiat currency, real estate is one of the few things that actually backs our money.  We complain that China has an under valued currency, well ours is over valued in comparison.
    We need a comprehensive immigration policy, we don’t need more foreign residents, we need a path to citizenship for all people living in the US.  
    I believe the crackdown on immigration was the trigger to the housing collapse in the first place.  When we cut off the flow to the bottom rung of the housing ladder everyone above fell down. 
    The market was bound to crash with all of the crooks in the banking industry, but we would have done much better if we had a sane immigration policy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Yar,  you are contradicting yourself.   You say ” we dont need more foreign residents” but you admit that the housing market crashed was due to a crackdown on immigration.”

      The fact is that immigration from the bottom was a BOOM to the USA.  Whether its illegal or legal, is a technical matter that the lower classes of Americans fret over.  Working class immigrants do the labor that pampered exceptionalist pension bound Americans won’t do.   

      The US needs real laborers and vibrant communities ( like latin and asian communities), not overpaid pensioners, TSA goons, technicians, and a sundry of useless federal employees living the highlife in the DC Beltway and elsewhere.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        I meant TSA Xray technicians.   Most other technicians are very useful.

      • Yar

        “we don’t need more foreign residents, we need a path to citizenship for all people living in the US.”

        Maybe I can state my thoughts more clearly, I believe in immigration, but I want a path to citizenship for all who live here and desire to be citizens.  What I meant is: we don’t need more resident foreigners.  Our immigration policies create different classes of citizens. We should change it to were all residents are treated equally. 

    • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

      Nothing “backs” our currency.  The value of our currency is what people will give in return for it.  Nothing need back any currency.

      • Yar

        “we don’t need more foreign residents, we need a path to citizenship for all people living in the US.”Maybe I can state my thoughts more clearly, I believe in immigration, but I want a path to citizenship for all who live here and desire to be citizens.  What I meant is: we don’t need more resident foreigners.  Our immigration policies create different classes of citizens. We should change it to were all residents are treated equally. 

  • http://twitter.com/tati_per Tatiana P

    Tom, can you ask your guests exactly what I’d have to do – or buy – to get US residency? Will this be open to citizens of all countries or just a selected few? How much money will I have to spend and/or how many houses will I need to buy? 
    - Tatiana from Brazil

  • Brett

    Who are these “two US senators,” and where are they from? Is there an “R” beside their names? Hmmm??

    • MoChaMan

      actually, Rice (R) from Utah and Schumer (D) from New York

      • BHA in Vermont

        Based on Capt88bfd’s comment, sounds like Schumer, at least fiscally, is a Republican hiding under a Democrat’s coat.

  • MoChaMan

    While I think this is a great way to reduce the overhead of unsold properties, the end result will be wealthy bankers no longer burdened with foreclosures and our wealthy foreign overlords, er , landlords demanding immediate rent from the American beggers .

  • MoChaMan

    full article :

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203752604576641421449460968.html
    The reeling housing market has come to this: To shore it up, two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S.The provision is part of a larger package of immigration measures, co-authored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah), designed to spur more foreign investment in the U.S.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Why not just sell them citizenship?

    Non US citizens already can, and DO, own homes in the United States.

  • Kevin

    Please discuss the historical perspective: Has this ever
    - been proposed for the US?
    - occurred in the US?
    - been proposed or occurred in any other country?

    If so, what were the results? Did it work? What unintended consequences arose?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

    You could give Americans some money and let them buy the houses, right?  You could underwrite their down payment, at least.

  • Chad Carlson

    So rather than banks sitting on abandoned properties that blight a neighborhood, we will now have rich foreigners—six of one, half dozen of the other. Leave it up to government to come up with this kind of solution.

  • BHA in Vermont

    We would do better if they spent their time coming up with a VIABLE guest worker program.

  • John

    Crash the market, steal trillions from the American taxpayer, cause millions to lose their homes and jobs, depress wages and REFUSE TO LET HOUSING PRICES DROP SO AMERICANS COULD AFFORD THEM JUST SO THE BANKS AND BONDHOLDERS DON’T TAKE A HAIR CUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CLASS WAR IS ON YOU RICH CRIMINALS.

    • CORY

      I prefer to call them “rich bastards”.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        They are LOW-LIFE CRIMINALS!!  They may have been lied to about who their daddy is!

  • Dave in CT

    Tom could you ask your guests why they think we should be trying to re-inflate our housing sector, which was an unsustainable bubble based in monetary policy induced malinvestment?

    Thank you.

  • Mlk9647

    I think this is a great idea (NOT)! Help foreigners buy US property that Americans can’t afford and then give them visas.  Maybe Americans will be able to get jobs cleaning their houses, mowing their lawns and minding their children. That will stimulate the economy!

    • CORY

      Those jobs will be undercut by undocumented aliens, so we won’t get those jobs either.  Betweeen rich foreigners owning them and poor foreigners maintaining them, we may just soon be asked to leave!

  • Ellen Dibble

    This sounds like the Peace Corps in reverse:  bring in some foreigners with the benefits foreigners can bring (money, notably, but also simply occupancy), and let the great American idea of mixing it up take place.

  • Drew You Too

    So let me get this straight, we decrease the supply which will cause home prices to rise. This will make it easier for struggling Americans to purchase a house how?

    • John

      They don’t care about the American struggling to buy a home, who will never be able to as wages drop and jobs disappear.

      They only care about propping up the banks.

      Bring in the drug dealers, bring in the rich Chinese and Saudis to be your landlords and have kids who will be US citizens.

      It’s all good, the rich are “winning the future”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Assuming this passes, what kind of restrictions will be put in place to ensure that foreigners buying these homes are actually on the up and up? Will there be any mechanisms in place to ensure we are not selling American homes to, for lack of a better word, terrorists?

    • BHA in Vermont

      Well, certainly they wouldn’t be sold to the heads of drug cartels. I’m sure they will be well vetted.  LOL

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

        Though I am sure not just anyone would be allowed into country through this program, I would like to know what sort of vetting process is included in the bill.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Got the CASH???  You get a visa!!!  Buy a politician, You get 3 citizenships!!

  • Bill

    There is endless discussion about “illegals” consuming public resources.

    Isn’t this the same thing – other than they pick up a visa for the cost of a $500K mortgage (I assume they aren’t paying $500k cash)? Do they bring their families? Do their kids go to school?

  • BHA in Vermont

    Overbuilt – now there is the crux of the problem. People bought homes without even looking at them because someone else might buy it first. That feeding frenzy WAS the ‘housing bubble’. Buy now, offer more than asking before someone else gets there first or pays more.

    We should NOT be selling access to the country.

  • Sam, Buffalo, NY

    How are they verifying the source of that CASH? The cash that these foreigners put up for buying a house.

    How do we know it is not money coming from illegal activities and inhumane treatments and arms or drug dealers?

    • Sam, Buffalo, NY

      If this was an American buying a house with CASH, they would have to provide the source of their money and would be scrutinized down to a penny!

    • Dave in CT

      Who cares? We are addicted to our inflated bubble economy and want our fix!

  • Dave in CT

    So we fail in self-governing and in holding the schemers in Washington and on Wall St. accountable, and our answer is to literally sell ourselves out?

    I doubt this is a grass roots demand.

  • Kathynew1

    It’s just one more way our government is selling us out to foreign countries.  Absolutely, NO WAY, should this be done.  Enough of our country is owned by foreign entities.  Let the prices fall.  Amercians arent’ buying because they can’t get loans!  If the prices become low enough, then Americans CAN buy!

    • CORY

      I’m told it is unpatriotic not to support free trade.  Are you not a patriot?  A broker, banker, and real estate agent all stand to gain from these sort of transactions.  You can then sell them sandwiches or cut their hair to support your family.  A rising tide floats their boats, dontcha know!

  • Anonymous

    Why not limit this to places like Detroit?  Buying up New York real estate and other desirable locations isn’t going to help.

    • Sam, Buffalo, NY

      The only problem, is at 250K they would have to buy whole neighborhoods in Detroit!

  • Ellen Dibble

    We have too many houses; it seems like a great hunger for rich foreigners we have inflicted on ourselves.  First we send so much of our money to  China; it is no surprise that money might come back and buy our houses.  

  • Anonymous

    Typical response by Senator Schumer to help the wealthy, I can only guess that by looking at his past history of accepting campaign donations and meeting with lobbyists that there must by contributions associated with this policy idea.  This is the same senator who helped in 
    sustaining the favorable capital gains tax rate for the hedge fund managers, he and Mayor Bloomberg released a paper called “Sustaining 
    NY’s and the US’ Global Financial Leadership Services” in January, 2007 where they endorsed many of the business practices which brought into this financial crisis, just recently he backed the big banks on debit card fees.  This is a allegedly Democratic Senator who embodies the “trickle down theory” of Republican economists. A great idea sell off the USA and residency now that we have cheapened the dollar and  created a financial/economic crisis by supporting Wall Streets greed.  Where does the “anchor baby ” argument come into this policy?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Chuckie Schumer is the equivalent of Mitch McConnell,  too compromised colossal dorks who epitomize all that is flawed in the US political system.  The two bookends of cronyism.

  • BHA in Vermont

    “Buy condos BEING BUILT”

    I thought the idea was they were supposed to buy the EXISTING EMPTY homes.

    Sounds more and more like a BAD idea.

    Clearly, based on the realtor comments, the foreign purchasers are coming WITHOUT any ‘assistance’ by Congress. They are already paying cash. The senators need to get back to work.

  • Sam, Buffalo, NY

    Mother Jones “A huge share of
    the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top
    one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per
    household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us?
    $31,244.”

    WOW!
    Yeah, lets not tax the super rich, because it is UNFAIR!!!!

    Lets listed to Republicans and Libertarians and Crazy Tea Party people!

  • Green Card Holder

    Would it jack up the US house price and make it even more un-affordable?

    • BHA in Vermont

      You are quite astute. Sure will. They are a good deal now, rush in before they aren’t such a good deal. The price will go up. New housing bubble in the high end market. Which will drag up the price of houses in the next tier down, and so on and so on. New housing bubble.

       And when it crashes, the little people will get squashed again.

  • Drew You Too

    Is it a coincidence that there’s a three year restriction on the resident Visas? That’s just long enough to fip that money and keep it sheltered from your tax obligation, I’ll have another visa now please.

  • Anonymous

    It is ironic that we are losing jobs to other countries because their workers can work for less, but some of our homes are too expensive for our supposedly well-paid workers cannot afford them.  Hmmm…

    It seems to me that we need to account for the *real* costs of long distance shipping (those cheaply made goods would cost more if they cost more to move across oceans), and then people could more likely afford homes in their own countries.

    We need to have fair wages for everybody, instead of a race to the bottom.  Then the real estate would sort itself out.  Banks need to absorb some of the losses, too.

    Neil

    • Sam, Buffalo, NY

      Not at 7.15/hr!

      Living wage, not poverty wage.

      Sustainable wages! Good wages that people can work for and support their families.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Yeah, I just bet Sally thinks more buyers make a better market. Lets see, sell a $1M home, make a quick $30K to 60K in commission. Yep, certainly makes the market better for the realtors.

  • Ebare007

    Giving people admittance into our country that we would not consider otherwise is a terrible idea.

    Money and investment equal political influence or access to influence Foreign citizens should NEVER have these types of access!!!!!

  • Daniel

    America will not survive if we’re determined to enact policies that keep this country a playground for the wealthy. Raise American wages and you’ll have more American buyers.

  • Whatdoyouexpectfromarealtor

    Asking the Realtor if she is in favor of legislation opening the flood gates of foreign investors is like asking a funeral home director if he is in favor of death.

  • Matt

    Wonderful.  More ways to prop up house prices that were on steroids in the first place. Here’s a novel idea:  Why not let prices fall to where the market obviously wants them to go so that people can afford them again?  Clearly, both sides in Washington are still deaf to the 99%.

    On that note:  Curious as to how we’re ever going to save the housing market with kids graduating with $50,000 or $100,000 worth of debt. 

    This note is from a person who hasn’t dabbled in real estate for almost 15 years because the market has obviously been overheated, and now would love to buy a home but is finding nothing that aligns with my wife’s and my current salaries.  And the best Washington can do is to try to prop up a broken system that keeps real estate in our part of the country unaffordable?  Yikes.

    And you’re interviewing a real estate agent?  For sure, they’ve been bastions of truth and solid wisdom these last 15 years …

  • Sue

    So there will be more foreign workers and residents who pay taxes and can not vote – and in a time when police, fireman and others who work for the community are being laid off.   It might help the economy, but doesn’t seem very democratic.

  • Boboconn

    Tom please STOP using the words ‘permanent’ &/or ‘resident’ visa.
    Visa proposed is ONLY a tourist visa; buyer/s CANNOT work or live in US.
    They will/may be limited to time spent in US per calender year.  THANKS.

  • Mims

    I think it’s so unfair. My husband and I just graduated from college. Me undergrad  and him a phd. Our combined income is a little more than $60,000 before tax. It’s so hard for us to find jobs and even so for buying a house in Boston area. Now rich foreigners can come in and compete with us. The chances of owner our own home is even slimmer. I think as a country, we should figure out ways to increase our own economic power instead of waiting for others to buy out our trouble.

  • John

    Obama doesn’t want to prosecute the banks who don’t even have title to the homes. Oh no, he wants to paper it over so the debt slave American saves a few dollars a month and the banks get off scott free.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I’ll make this short, maybe it’ll make air? I know it’s a bit off topic, but Lord knows we’d like an answer:

    My wife and I did everything right – Modest house within our means, decent rate for the time, FHA backed through Countrywide(Now BoA), 20% down.
     Now I’m long term unemployed, wife is making 2/3 what she was before she was long term unemployed.
      We can’t get refinanced because we did everything right, we’re not underwater, never missed a payment generic mortgage, no Fanny or Freddie.

      Most banks don’t want to refi us because we’re “not profitable enough” (that’s a quote), or they want thousands of dollars so we can save literally as little as $18 per month.

     We, and the thousands like us, could use a break, too!  Why just help the bad players that bought McMasions and houses they couldn’t afford. What about those of us that did the right things but got hammered by the national debacle that the bad mortgage sellers on Wall St caused?  We could use a rate that’s half, or less, too. 

  • Julia

    Tom, the adults buying the house may not be eligiable for citizenship, but if they have children while they are here, those children will be US citizens, no? Not a path to citizenship, my foot!

    • Anonymous

      Where are all the anchor baby screamers?  Are they really willing to sell their principles for a few dinars/rubles/yuan etc?

  • Anonymous

    Wow. So much for lady liberty saying, “bring me your huddled masses.” Bring them, if they are ultra-wealthy.

    Sounds like selling out our country to the highest bidder to me!

  • andrea

    I think this a great idea, a sign of turning to creative solutions to solve a very serious problem that in many people’s opinion, cannot be solved locally or with absent American dollars. Plus, if we can focus on the potential for creating a more dynamic, international community, then where is the harm? Bring in buyers = bringing in cash.

  • Michiganjf

    Sounds like a great way for the Chinese, et al., to house their kids while they attend American universities… nice way to bring money into the country while everything else seems to keep money flooding out.

    • Mims

      not just universities, also our high school, middle schools and elementary schools for free! Because they own houses and pay real estate taxes but no income tax. 

      • Michiganjf

        Property taxes pay for schools… income taxes only help to the extent that federal aid is given.

        … in the mean time, they’ll also be spending money locally and paying sales taxes as well, vehicle registration taxes, etc…

    • Anonymous

      we don’t need to bring money into the country, unlike the Euro zone – we can print our own money as needed….

  • Drew You Too

    “America is on sale.” What a profound statement.

  • Ebare007

    Why do we spend BILLIONS on “National Security” and then even consider the idea of “SELLING” the country’s land/homes/neighborhoods to Foreigners?

    All those tanks, bombs, solders and treaties are useless when someone is holding a deed, political office connections and building a vocal constituency.

  • David

    Really?  We need to give the RICH ANOTHER BREAK?!?!?
    It will be good for us?
    Sounds like what I heard during the bank bail out in 2008.
    Yet another reason the “99%” feel like we get the SHAFT.
    Our rage builds….
     

  • Anonymous

    This is so ironic.  About 10 years, ago I use to joke to my friends about how USA is turning into a 3rd world country.  Just as upper-middle class American would buy houses in 3rd world countries in Central America, like Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica because housing was cheap and cost of living was cheaper, now China and Europe view America in the same vein!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      How is this for double irony? 

      The USA is not only turning into a third world country, but as South America goes socialist, and the Middle East purges their dictatorial regimes and oligarchs,  the future elite in the USA  will be the same wealthy who were exploiting their own people back in the countries they fled from.  

      Americans are going to get a real taste of the very regimes they were sending their sons and daughters to die to protect under the guise of patriotism and spread of democracy.   Karma is a b……..

  • Anonymous

    Consider this idea if they are being attracted to” the lady with the light.”
    Identify inner cities or depressed areas and then tell these rich foreigners to build $500, 000 homes in these urban areas where their property taxes will help support the schools and the services that are being cut back.

  • John

    I think this would be a good program, and I like it, especially within the context of opening up immigration policy.

    On a somewhat different note, I feel that veterans could use more assistance in purchasing their first home.  Rents keep going up and up and my family is feeling this squeeze coming to the point, where I am gradually losing my savings and hope for putting down a downpayment for a first house.

    I suspect that many people, veterans and non-veterans alike are in this in-between type situation.  This situation makes it hard to embrace this idea of throwing open the gates for affluent foreign prospective home buyers.

    Will I wind up paying exorbitant rents to a foreign landlord? I wonder.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It’s hard to find even an American landlord.  Apparently the laws favor homeowners to such an extent it is no longer seen as an excellent way of putting down roots in a community to own a lot of housing for young people who are getting started, starting to find their way.  Nope.  Too easy for renters to sue the landlord.  Too easy for renters with stable income to see better tax advantages in owning.  The laws have to make it more profitable for everyone to see their way to this more city-oriented housing.  Personally, it gets very interesting when a group of tenants has one who comes along who presents an “issue” to the others.  Even a dyed-in-the-wood American fortifies himself with a lot of vodka before going and visiting everyone to smooth things over.  Then he wants to know, “Are you happy here?”  And then he is okay again.

  • Drew You Too

    Get em Tom!!!

  • John

    EAT THE RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • lucy flynn

      too salty

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        High fat, low in moral fiber. . .

        • Terry Tree Tree

          SO LOW in moral fiber!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ULXTHGKOA4TKROVFQT7XFPLI7M Americus Soul

    NO NO NO! NOT AGAIN.

    Follow along to understand.

    Bankers and the Fd Resrv were responsible for our booms and ALSO the DEPRESSION we are now living in.

    They sent all our jobs overseas, waste all our money in wars, keep printing money and inflation is going to WIPE US OUT. We exist in a deficit spending

    Inflation is their medicine for you. Taste good to you?

    How about this – globlistas and banksters now (thanks to our DC GOVT) can come in and buy the land and houses WE ARE SUPPOSED TO GET.

    Do you want to sell your land to China NOW? You already sold them our DEBT. Now you want to sell them our LAND?

    How about we sell them our children too? So they can put them in factories making dime-store clothes.

    • Anonymous

      printing money is all we can do now.  inflation is the only cure for this mess, unfortunately.  print money, put people to work fixing roads and bridges, building parks and schools.  If you have a mortgage, if you owe money – inflation is your friend.  If you’re rich, sitting on a pile of money – too bad….

  • Not on point

    So we’d rather sell our land than sell and tax marijuana something is way backwards here! Not to sound like the dirty hippie, but there are better things we can do than sell our land and resources to the highest bidder, I thought prostitution was illegal.

  • Webb Nichols

    The Us is soon to become a “theme Park”. Now it is Selling houses to Europeans all  part of  empty vacuous stage sets where visitors stroll around the ruins revisiting the American Experiment.

    And Americans wiping “the dream” from their eyes stand on street corners with their real and metaphorical tin cups in hand begging or scamming for breadcrumbs.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me the houses that were being built and bought during the boom were built to be piggybanks, with an eye to resale, not so much to practicality.  Remember the evolution of the livable house here, with each square foot being absolutely necessary.  Think of the shrinking size of the family here, and the fact that the family at its largest is only a smallish balloon in the lifespan of a person which is now not age 40 but age 80-something.  Builders have to think about not only what is affordable but what is needed.  Think of a couple each with a couple of jobs, not exactly having the seven hours a day that I read somewhere are needed to maintain a house.  Who builds for them?

  • Republican$forprosperity

    Why don’t we sell the houses to the Taliban? We can solve the housing market crash and keep a close eye on the at the same time.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That’s what this is about!!!!

  • Bermuda59

    i find it amazing how having national health care can be the bedrock or foundation for saving money and biulding wealth. when you don’t have to worry about getting sick or supporting other family members.
    bill

  • Bonnie

    The U.S. is looking for someone else to pour money into our broken system.  This proporal will infuse some help/cash  into a few key real estate markets but SHEESH why don’t we get the banks to make good on what they did a few years ago?  We gave them the TARP and they are not returning the favor.  Greed and exploitation continue unrestrained…..

  • Jim

    Why would we do this? How about we value homes at a fair price instead of upping the ante so that realtors, inspectors and furniture stores can make money. Where does it end?

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    It took the Roman Empire 200 years to grind to a halt.  It appears it will be just 20 years from 2003 for the American empire to dissolve.

    We gave away our jobs starting in the 1990′s (thanks to Larry Summers & Bill Clinton); then we allowed the big money fat cats to reap short-term profits while dismantling the economy and allowed working Americans to be economically raped in the S&L debacle and the Internet bubble.

    In the 2000′s the fat cats hid the bad economy, with the help of their stooges in the Bush Administration, behind the real estate bubble.  Anyone who looked could see it was a house of cards (hello short sellers). Now we hope that non-existent American buyers, with good paying jobs, excellent credit and large savings accounts, will come back to the market.  These people didn’t exist in 2003, that why the sub-prime market came about (in addition to great profit taking.

    This foreign buyers idea is a grasping at straws by the very lawmakers who have dismantled the economic underpinnings of the US.  This is an idea whispered in their ears by the bankers and will only benefit the bankers who will off-shore their profits.

    The only best buy in America these days is a store by that name.

  • John

    This sick. The corrupt politicians screw the American people every way they can.

    CLASS WAR IS ON YOU RICH CRIMINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Schumer should be run out of town on a damn rail.  First Wall Street sends our jobs over seas.  Then, we allow Indians and Chinese over here on ‘student’ visa’s, who then go to work for multi nationals like HSBC Bank and others, taking what good paying jobs are left that haven’t been sent to China and to India.  Now, we are going to let the damn global rich in to further rub our noses in it?  To hell with the special interest groups…Realtors and Builders….I’m sick and tired of special interest groups benefiting from the hard times of others.  We should be investing in the United States, our government should be investing in US Citizens and US workers and not in the international rich scum that have benefited from the policies of Washington and corporate america that has sold out the middle class.  I am the 99%.  I support the occupy Wall Street movement.

    • Anonymous

      Did anyone hear Tom Ashbrook ask , “Does anyone know if Schumer has accepted senate campaign donations for this policy?”

  • spikethedog

    The more the government tries to interfere with the market then the worse things will get.
    Haven’t we learned that lesson yet from Obama?

    STOP GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE WITHE FREE MARKETS!!!!!

    • Mike

      What are you smoking?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    If rising instability in other countries drives there wealthiest citizens to American neighborhoods, could this then be the trigger for a 21st century equivalent of an immigration wave? No longer is it send us your sick, your tired, and your poor but send us your rich, your healthy, and your wealthy.

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    America has become a third-world country but no one has told the people yet. Dayo, Da-a-ay-o

  • Alitza

    No, No, No, NO NO!!!!! Did I mention NO!? First we shipped all the solid, middle class building jobs overseas, now we are going to sell our houses to the foreigners who built the factories for those jobs? Next we’ll strip off our topsoil and sell that to Asia too! NO!!!!!

    They haven’t noticed Occupy? We’re DONE! (stick a fork in us, we’re done!)

    • Ellen Dibble

      There are places where a $250,000 home is basically a museum that one inhabits as a sort of curator until one can sell it to someone with a better idea of how to use it.  Builders went hog-wild building residences that were maybe overpriced but also much more than was actually needed.  And I’m not sure they were as “green” as the new century requires.  I’d like a lot of infrastructure planners to start to think about how to convert what we in the USA have into what we in the USA need — while they’re “on the market.”

  • Jim

    There are two houses one my block that are vacant and should be condemned yet they are both valued at over $100,000. When we bought our house in 1998 our realtor kept trying to get us to sell and “upgrade”. She said we could double our money and get a bigger house. Why? So she could make a commission? Thank God, we didn’t listen to her.

    • Tina

      Worse yet:  she probably wanted to sell your house to someone who would tear it down and put up a macmansion.  Then, she’d get the commission on THAT property when it sold!  Especially if you have a bit of lawn around your house, in some markets, your house would be seen as “developable”.  Glad you stayed put!

  • Anonymous

    unbelievable!  first we outsource our manufacturing to china where people earn 25 cents an hour instead of $25, now working folks have no jobs and can’t afford houses so we sell them to rich Chinese.

    This is the success of globalization?  We should close our borders and make our own stuff or do without.  Our leaders are turning us into a third world banana republic.

  • Sam, Buffalo, NY

    How about increasing American’s salaries, so that Americans can afford to buy these homes?

    I got my salary cut in 2008 and didn’t see that cut given back to us, all the while medical benefits are costing more and more.

    It’s ridiculous!
    I am making the same amount now, as I did 10 years ago, after taxes and all the deductions.

    It’s impossible to save and buy a home!

  • Fjg47jr

    Americans, welcome to the underclass! Billy Joel said, “they threw an American flag in our face!” Here’s our version for the 21st century. Maybe the right’s anti-immigration push is based on the idea that WE’LL be the menial workers for our Chinese overlords. They call it class warfare when Americans call for a fair share of the wealth they helped create, but it’s good for America to put Americans beyond the dream of home ownership.
    It’s time to OCCUPY AMERICA!

  • American #1234

    So for all those who wonder what are all those crazy Occupiers fighting against and what do they want? Well heres your answer!

  • Drew You Too

    Right on the nose, we don’t need a band-aid to heal our broken bones.

  • Kristina S.

    This discussion shows the desperation of the US to gain short term benefits at the scarafice of long term security and wealth.  Isn’t that the philosophy getting us into this mess?

  • Pingback: Buy a Home, get a Visa

  • Ann Tiplady

    What is it like to have many foreign home buyers?  Talk to people in Vancouver, Canada.  Many foreigners bought there, initially those properties were vacant, but then the people followed, and Vancouver’s economy is just fine.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Out of curiosity, are you any relation of Brittany Tiplady, the actor who played Frank Black’s daughter in “Millennium”?

    • John

      You mean like how they drove up housing prices there so much you couldn’t tell the difference between a mansion and a crack house?

      http://www.crackshackormansion.com/

    • Tina

      As we now know, when an “economy is just fine” does NOT mean that the people are doing “just fine”!  

  • Helen

    What keeps a wealthy foreigner from buying property now?? I am not familiar with our immigration policy in this regard, but I know for a fact that there are people from other countries here already that own property, so why the need for special legislation? And let me guess – there is a tax break connected to it right?

    • Not on point

      Of course there is but dont worry it helps us…

  • Dawn

    According to Senator Bernie Sanders web site posted July 21, 2011:

    The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

    As of the second quarter 2011 according to the Federal Reserve web site, there is about $13.7 trillion in total U.S. mortgage debt outstanding.

    It would be less expensive for taxpayers to pay off everyone’s mortgage than bailout corporate conglomerates and banks.  The banks would get the money they need and taqxpayers would have money to spend to grow the economy.

    If foreigners prop up the housing market, it would help banks, but Americans would never be able to buy a house.  The rest of the country could join the people of my state where, “real Vermonters live in trailers.”

    • Dave in CT

      “It would be less expensive for taxpayers to pay off everyone’s mortgage than bailout corporate conglomerates and banks.  The banks would get the money they need and taqxpayers would have money to spend to grow the economy.”

      So should we be occupying Wall St, or occupying the players who enacted the Bail Outs?

      That is where the Tea Party and OWS can and should get together.

      Are we shocked that Wall St. took the bailouts and have built a political empire and revolving door government that would bail them out?

      How about going after the Bailers?  Too bipartisan for people? Too threatening to comfortable party alliances?

      Going after them, and replacing their plutocratic rule, with a fair, strong, unbiased Rule of Law would be a real Revolution.

  • Kathy in Northampton

    I agree that this is short sighted.  This was a housing bubble — these homes were never worth what people were paying for them and it is unrealistic to think you can get that money back.  This is a painful correction, but completely necessary.   I have a friend who wanted to buy a house — the buyer and seller agreed on a price, the buyer was pre-approved for the amount, and the bank denied the sale based on unrealistic comps!  This is an issue of reasonable credit for Americans from the banks that WE bailed out!

    • Dave in CT

      Careful, you sound like an Austrian-influenced economist, expecting  the market to function within reality. The Keynesian bubble-pumpers who want to continue to manipulate the economy for political and banking gains will be quick to jump on your sober assessment.

  • Dave in CT

    Of course it’s a crutch Tom.  Prices are a mechanistic part of a market. We want our market to “function” again, but we are so desperate and arrogant that we can’t just leave it alone to “heal”, and continue to grasp at any straw we can to deny, and live within, reality.

    “Management” of our markets got us into this, and thinking it will get us out, is arrogant, delusional and counterproductive.

  • Yar

    What effect on home prices has the FED policy to keep interest rates low done to depress  prices?  If we had high inflation, the price of homes would rise and fewer homes would be under water.

  • Infoman

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it – all the comments against the foreign home buyers are the same as the comments against the Japanese purchase of commercial real estate in the 70′s and 80′s.  Japan did not end up owning the USA the and this will not cause any problems in the the long term and some good in the short term.

    • miro

      Those who understand history are condemned to repeat it (to the rest of us).

    • Tina

      Inequality statistics were not what they are now in the USA in the 70′s and 80′s.  

  • Kristina S.

    The cost of Housing (and everything else) is going up.  Wages are stagnent, taxes and health care are going up.  But the quality of what we buy is going down (I would not buy a house constructed in the last 40 years because they build fast and cheap, not right).

    So where is the money going?  Corruption, the Wealthy, isn’t that our fundamental problem to address?

  • Bill

    And America goes on sale to the 1%

  • Doggypeg

    Incredible. Absolutely incredible. People are out of jobs, having their pensions cut, homes foreclosed, unable to buy homes. What do we do? Oh I know, let’s sell houses to rich Chinese.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Yar,

    High inflation will also wreck the economy in ways that would make our current problems look laughable.

    • Yar

      High inflation will draw money out of savings and put it to work, yes it will cause problems for people living on fixed incomes.  Wages will rise, and the home values will go up.  Inflation is a tax on old money.  
      Inflation is coming, we have spent more than we have taxed, it always get expressed as inflation.  FED policy has only shifted the time frame, which means when inflation hits it will be even worse than if the FED had not intervened. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ULXTHGKOA4TKROVFQT7XFPLI7M Americus Soul

    This twisted question and twisted perception is polluting our minds almost as bad as reality TV does. Seeding weed seeds in what should be the garden of our future. FIX IT.

    Fix the politics. TOO. Out. Start getting ready to vote. It’s time for real change.

    Selling American assets to FOREIGNERS with the sole intention being “cleaning up the mess that the FedRes and our Con-gress facilitated over the past 20-30+ years (look it up, PLEASE) has GOT TO END. 

    It’s time to re-Americanize America. Stop selling your country short.

    Stop inviting the buzzards into American to pick on the weakened dream. FIX the dream before it’s too late.

    I hope at least half of you reading this feel like vomiting when you realize what I am saying. I’m gonna vomit if I keep listening to this radio show.

    I can’t believe this question is even being considered. Tom, I don’t know who pays your salary but I have to expect it’s the globalist.

    • John

      Uh I think Tom is trying to sound the alarm not voice approval of the sell out of the American people once again

    • Tina

      Why are you indicting Tom?  He is bringing us information!  

  • http://twitter.com/tati_per Tatiana P

    Rich people don’t care about borders and visa restrictions. If you have enough money, you’re already buying houses anywhere in the world, including the US and getting a tourist visa is no problem at all. This new law wouldn’t do anything at all. This is simply window dressing and headline grabbing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

    Why does New York City need this? I’m going to write Mr. Schumer.

    Housing prices are already way too high for the majority of our residents (myself included). We have 20% of the population living in poverty and it’s a hard task to find a 1 bedroom apartment for less than $10,000 a year.

    This isn’t about being anti-forigne investment: there are tons of forigne communities in the city who are strugglining to get a hold of property. Why are we inviting the global rich in to help raise the prices on those people?

  • lucy flynn

    How about offering homes to the people who pick our vegetables. The price of homes must continue to fall. Why? Because the real price of a house is that it is based on the local economy and not what the rating agencies  Moodys, Standard & Poor or Fitch make up. A basic ranch house in South Kingstown, Rhode Island with no garage, no trash pick up and a volunteer fire department was not and is not worth $200,000, never mind the $350,000. from 2005.  

  • KevinD

    I agree that is mainly helps the banks. In addition, what segment of the housing market are these foreign house buyers buying into? I would guess its not the low end of the market but rather the high end. So again, is this just helping the “1%”? Would be interesting to know what the guests have to say.

  • Alitza

    A slightly less freaked out comment: They are buying the properties already. Why do we need to make it a give away?

    • Dave in CT

      If they don’t legislate it, they can’t get political points for it.

      Big government 101.

      • Plushkin

        best comment of the day by far. 

  • Not on point

    Thank You for bringing up Occupy Wall Street in a positive well spoken way. And actually explaining how it all ties in.

  • Sam, Buffalo, NY

    Increase my salary 20 – 25% and I would be able to buy that 250K house!

  • Dave in CT

    If housing prices are near stability, why insist on these schemes for foreigners to rescue us?

    Realty fees?

    • Tina

      Yes!  Realtors’ fees!  

  • Kim

    Crazy idea to me. These people wont be members of the community; they wont raise their kids here. Is this the best our leaders can do? sell off our property so we can rent from foreigners.

  • John Mason

    Giving out official permissions for a consideration is what Americans in foreign countries have always regarded as bribery. The proposal to distribute residence visas to those who buy expensive houses is to prostitute our tradition of official decency and make the State Department the fall guy. The cables released by Wikileaks show the quality of our diplomats and it is extremely short sighted to offer their services on the open market.

  • Perry

    As a Chinese national with U.S. permanent residency, I know a bit about the new middle class in that country.  The buyers will be the very wealthy and upper middle class; they not only will buy houses but also buy cars, vacationing, etc.  thus creating demand in the economy. This bill does not allow the buyers to work here, so they will not take away American jobs.  If Americans are rightly indignant about Chinese government’s unfair competitive policies in manufacturing and green energy industries, why not using the same policy weapons to fight back?  

    • John

      We don’t want foreigners buying up America while Americans are barely able to afford a rental roof over their heads. You think America is stable? Better think again because the middle class is not going down without a fight.

      • Perry

        John,  I am a middle class in America. I want to see middle class (including myself) better off.  What do you mean by buying up America? Is the inflow of foreign money bad?  Should we then prohibit any consumptions by foreigners?  I know for a fact that College tuition alone brings 6 million dollars to the state in which I live, that’s not accounting for all the rent/car/living spending.  Should we stop that? Who is the middle class fighting against?  I only see Dem’s fighting with GOP here.  I see how American middle class is hurting, but an isolationist stance will only kick them in the teeth when they are already down. 

        • Perry

          addendum: “College tuition from Foreign students”

  • Dave in CT

    Realtors and Banks.  Back at the front of line?  Took all our $ and now going for the foreigners?

    No shame in some “isolationism” until we get ourselves back on our organic, honest market feet.  

  • Ralph in Michigan

    An acquaintance from India who lives in the US was boasting about his luxury homes in Michigan, Florida and India. He hasn’t used the India home in over five years. When asked about the injustice of owning a home and not allowing others to use it when people are homeless or without good housing, he denied owning it limits other people having homes. Not true. Material goods, valuable residential space, energy, maintenance costs, etc., is exhausted on something of no functional use. Plus, wealthy people spending ENORMOUS (as Victor Hugo says, it deserves capital letters) amounts of money for homes drives up the costs for people with less wealth. This type of greed benefits the wealthy, the person making the sale, etc., but does not benefit the common good. Unrestrained greed in this country without regard for the common good is creating ENORMOUS injustices in this country.

    • John

      Time for the homeless former middle class to move into these foreign owned properties.

      What’s he going to do? Call the American paid for police?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I live an area that has lots of seasonal residents with lots of money. They think nothing of spending major dollars on houses that are way overpriced because for them they’re a bargain. The problems are that it drives up the tax rates because average houses are suddenly seen as being worth more, which further drives away average home owners;  and these people only spend a few weeks here, not spending their money here through the year.

    • Kristina S.

      Sounds like what Americans have done buying retirement homes in every beach community around the world.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        True, but at least they’re Americans. Not to sound xenophobic, as I’m not, and I’m while I can understand vacation homes or additional residences for those that have lives or jobs that demand significant time in other places, there should be something to encourage the local population to further invest in the community they’re already invested in. 

          What does this do for legacies of property? There was a big ado around here because local gov’t assessors were basing property taxes on what they THOUGHT a property might be worth to someone (read ” potential wealthy out-of-staters”), based on what the nearest property that was overpriced and sold to the wealthy out-of-starter, and not what the property was actually worth.  They took no account of the fact that the property was being passed down, and not sold, to the heirs; so now the heirs were suddenly having to come up with thousands more in property taxes, and were being threatened into having to sell a home that had been in the family for generations. 

  • Lee

    I’m a 46 year old, educated single woman who owns a single unit in a two family house. The other unit is owned by a Chineese family and I haven’t seen them in three years. It takes everything I have to hold onto my 1000sf. All of the responsibility of the property has been place in my lap with little to no methods of protecting myself from another owner who really doesn’t care about being in the US, they just want to own the property for the bennifits. What will happen to our communities if they are no longer owned by the poeple who make up the community?!

    • Ellen Dibble

      I have always thought condominiums have the disadvantages of ownership (having to stay put, unable to move easily to a more compatible community; having to figure out — collaboratively, how to maintain the place and cooperate) and the disadvantages of renting (I don’t actually know of any, if you’re in the right place).  Renters end up being there by choice, and develop an esprit de corps, and become a small team in a community, not a unit mainly about being a self-sufficient unit interested in increasing their property values.

  • Susie2kqq

    Isn’t there a dissenting view on the program today?  Its no wonder these realtors on the show are benefiting.  Once again the selling of America.  Now not only is everything under the roof from China, the whole house will belong to them now also.  Shameful… 

  • Anne in VT

    Have the “politicians” who are considering the idea of selling our real estate to wealthy foreign buyers carefully considered all the potential consequences of their actions?  Some of those foreign ultra wealthy may be drug dealers, human traffickers, and other very undesirables.  Is ability to pay cash the only criteria for these foreign buyers?

    • Kristina S.

      Could this be the next wave of terrists financing?

  • Larry

    As long as housing is treated as a commodity that is bought and sold for profit, the prices will always be out of reach of the average working person. We need a policy that restricts the buying and selling of real estate for profit. This is the reason the market collapsed to begin with. Our culture is based on advantages v disadvantages. No one can have an advantage unless someone else is at a disadvantage, and the system requires a certain number of disadvantaged to maintain the advantage of others. There are too many people who want to be advantaged for the system to continue to work. Let the system collapse. We should all just stop paying.

    • Ellen Dibble

      A start would be repealing the mortgage deduction on the tax return.

      • Modavations

        My dear,every deduction should be eliminated.Let’s move to flat taxes

        • Drew You Too

          I’m in complete agreement, however I feel the need to reinforce that what is currently being proposed by R. Perry in no way resembles a flat tax. Only pointing it out in hopes that it will help some understand that proposing a flat tax while retaining deductions is not proposing a flat tax at all. Please don’t let us tread further down the path people.

          • Dave in CT

            Perry is a Crony Capitalist to the core. Any GOPers who support him are just more of the same. Tea-O-Con all the way.

            Real Tea Party and liberty folks abhor the Crony Capitalist system.

            I wish a secular, liberty candidate would show up, calling out both parties.  Ron Paul is great on the issues, when/if people make the effort to learn about them, but he is not the most clear or charismatic candidate. And many won’t let him in their brain because he is personally (not Federally) pro-life.

          • CORY

            I like some of what the good doctor says, but I will never believe a civilized nation do away with the social safety net without the result being human tragedy.

          • Modavations

            It’s become a hammock

          • Dave in CT

            Who’s arguing for 0 safety net?  I haven’t seen that anywhere, except maybe in jimino’s red-herring straw man posts…..

    • Tina

      In some markets, realtors used tricks to jack up the asking price for homes (usually markets where “people from away” were moving in, with more money and less sense of the “real” cost of something; altho, sometimes they saw the “value” of something that the local population had lost track of).  I’ve detailed some of these jack up tricks before, no time to again.  But, so far, realtors seem to get off scott free in the discussion; whereas, I’ve seen many of them to be players in the over-pricing that led to bubbles.  

      • Modavations

        Alan Greenspan and Keynesian economics, kept the interest rates too low,for too long and created a bubble.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    It appears that our political system is so broken that we must resort to “race to the bottom” style bandaids in feverish attempts to stop the bleeding. We have no national goal or theme in America to unite behind, no sense of shared sacrifice. At this rate, what will it take to galvanize us into fixing these problems? Does some shop owner losing his business due to high rent and being underwater on his home have to set himself on fire for us to realize that there is no other way out of this than to suck it up, push forward, and hold our representatives feet to the flames?

    • Dave in CT

      Dump the Cronyism, embrace bottom up America again. More liberty, more personal initiative and responsibility, more local economics, less central-management by corruptible elites.

      The more we govern ourselves, the less we need to be governed by others.  We have to choose where want to be on that spectrum, and we need to understand why we even want to be as free, and have power as de-centralized, as possible.

      We have given the power to the corrupt elite, with consumer choice $, and with votes.  Those are the only ways to take it back IMO. Sure they have rigged the system horribly to essentially force us to buy their products, and vote for their 2-parties, but are we going to try or just give up and look for some kind of benevolent dictatorship or angelic central planners to save us?

      Do we believe in self-government or not?

      We need a strict, non-discretionary Rule of Law to protect against malefactors (absent now), but with that, there is no reason for us not to otherwise embrace choices and liberty IMO.

      If people would simply reflect on our origins a bit, and couch their demands for accountability in the language and spirit of liberty, we could have a much bigger critical mass in general agreement, to try and implement change and execute that accountability and move on.

      Non-socialist “Progressives” pitting themselves against anyone who expresses a desire to preserve the American experiment in liberty, and vice-versa, are just maintaining a false divide, that is preventing the unity we need.

      Can’t we start with dispassionate Rule of Law, and haggle over the bells and whistles later? 

  • Dave in CT

    Good ol’ Schumer.  We know who he represents. That’s all we need to know to say NO to whatever he is peddling. He’s a bum that needs to be voted out. Too bad his overlords won’t let him be voted out. 

    • Modavations

      Anything C.Schumer,or the NYT suggests,will be bad for the average citizen

  • Dave in CT

    Race to the bottom!  Put some Grey Poupon on it and it’ll go down fine!

  • lisa

    I’d much rather we make it easier for an immigrant to buy property than some ultra wealthy absentee landlord! Yikes that’s an abhorrent idea!

    Is it possible that our trouble is related to our over-tightening of immigration, making it impossible to grow our economy?

  • Anne in VT

    I’m not suprised that your guests who represent the real estate industry are all for this idea.  It will certainly help line their pockets even though it is not in the best interest of the American population as a whole.

    • Dave in CT

      Cronyland on display. Chuck S. and his special sauce.

  • Kristina S.

    So if Americans can’t afford to buy a house, and we need more jobs…

    Why doesn’t the government pay contractors to tear down houses for sale and build two or three units of smaller houses that americans can afford.  We get jobs and houses in one punch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    American wages in REAL dollars have barely increased in decades, while homes have appreciated by 500%. 

    Most of the posters here agree to let the prices go back down to adjust to real wages.  I agree.  But it will be at the loss of much of the current banking system.  I say Boo hoo and byebye.

    The problem is LOBBYISTS of the BANKS controlling the political system and the Federal Reserve.    There is the enemy.   The OWS is on the right path to the solution.

    • Dave in CT

      Bubble, Bailout Nation.  By design.  On the backs of the masses. Cannot happen without collusion between Washington and Wall St. Banks.

      We have to fight the nexus of Washington and Banking Power with a nexus of the grassroots Tea Party and OWS.

      Divided we fall.

      Many of the Tea Partiers are right about not throwing out the liberty baby out with the Washington Bums bathwater, and wanting to remove some of corruptible Washington’s power, by trying to snatch their purse.

      Many of the OWSers are right about their gut feeling about so many in the Wall St. Banking world being despicable A$$holes.

      Rallying around a liberty-preserving attack on Crony Capitalism should be a possibility.

      Socialism isn’t going to fly, and if we waste our time and energy arguing Socialism vs Capitalism, instead of focusing on establishing a real, enforced, non-discretionary Rule of Law that we need for a fair, free market, we will continue to be taken for the fools we seem to be.

      A Democratic Republic rooted in Liberty and the Rule of Law, should be a natural foe, to those with great designs on power, be they despotic or corrupt central governments, or their conspiring corporatists.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        The problem Dave is that many people, as evidenced on this site,  agree to what the problem is.   However they are confused with affiliations and labels.   Democrat this and republican that.  Its all a charade.   Even socialist and capitalist,   right wing and left wing.  Its all nonsense, and deliberately meant to obfuscate and diffuse the issues with infighting.
        Bottom line,  the banksters control the political process and are exploiting the working people.   How hard is that to understand.  Its even easier to fight once we are all on the same page.

        • Dave in CT

          Exactly. How hard is it to understand?

          I am starting to conclude that half this board must work for the DNC. Why else so many would remain so beholden to the dogmatic BS, and unable to evolve in the conversation, is hard to understand, and depressing.

          • Modavations

            No one has ever seen Ultrax and Barney Frank in the same room.I think you’ve cracked the code

  • SomMom

    In my city (Somerville MA), we still have wealthy Americans paying top dollar for “luxury condos” that were formerly 2- and 3-family homes of the middle class.

    I’d rather see the government focus on helping the middle class to afford their modest homes than see them get involved in selling the luxury condos or McMansions that are now underwater.

  • Anonymous

    People who are underwater need to take the loss.  They paid too much. 

  • Iwannabeaserf

    I’ll sell my place to a foreign investor if they allow me to stay and pay rent with produce from my garden and other manual labor.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I read in the paper that there are companies that will put up solar panels on your roof (for free) and sell you the energy created therefrom.  I’m thinking they want to also channel any excess energy back into the grid someday.  But in any case, if we can’t afford to do this for ourselves, maybe a foreign investor who buys your house could also get those green energies in place with an eye to a greener future.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Hopefully you can then invest your extra money in something that actually INCREASES in value, like a factory or a scientific research facility, rather than a house that if anything depreciates over time.

  • Bill

    Banks and corporations are awash in cash – to the point where they don’t care about the US middle class’s piddly amount of cash.

    They don’t need us to make money anymore – they have a whole world to make money from – and we are running out of money for them to make.

    • lisa

      exactly – we are running out of money for them to TAKE!

    • Dave in CT

      Mission Accomplished. Toilet being flushed.

      But International Big Banking and Financial Elite empowered by Washington false “Free Traders”, and a willing, unaccountable Federal Reserve, is a conspiracy?

      See you in the septic tank.

    • Modavations

      No one wants to borrow ,dude.The friggin world is on the verge of collapse.Europe is about two weeks from disintegration

  • Kristina S.

    How does a foreign home owner take care of problems with the house from such a long distance (and time change)?  Sure they can hire a property manager, but those people won’t take care of things as well as a homeowner.  Is the foriegn homeowner going to have the roof fixed the right way or the cheap way? Now we’re all renting delapdated houses at extremely high prices because of the competition.

    How does the foreign homeowner fight against theft and damage to their property?  Will they pay the property taxes if they are not a US citizen?

  • Rwilcox

    Selling our houses to foreigners is a short-sighted panic move, which we cannot undo later. 

    What we really need in America is to reduce our cost of living, so we can compete globally.

    A better government program would finance homeowners who want to divide their McMansions into 2-family homes.  That would increase the supply of affordable housing for all.

  • Anonymous

    I for one am just happy we can get foreigners to buy up all those houses located in low-income areas that the CRA forced banks to make bad loans on.  All those foreclosed or currently-unsellable condos in NY City, Vero Beach , and upscale Phoenix, Vegas and LA neighborhoods are because of the CRA, right?

  • DM

    Short term answer that doesn’t look at the long term implications.  Foreign buyers can spend more money than the property may be worth…everyome is effected with the “values” of their homes reassessed higher, i.e. higher property taxes.  What happens when “locals” can’t afford to live in their homes?  I’ve seen it happen in the northeast.

  • Modavations

    Quit tampering with the markets.Let prices fall and at a certain point ,a buyer will appear.I wouldn’t be at all surprised, to see the market come down another 30%

  • Stillin

    If the people already making their payments and have not been late, then the ONE PAGE slim line form for refinancing ( discussed on npr earlier this month) would help homeowners . These homeowners MAY want second properties. The refinancing one page program would put money into the hands of people already making their payments. I personally love other cultures but I think THIS culture needs to take care of it’s own on this issue, keeping American homes in the hands of Americans. America has GOT to help Americans. On a side note, I was listening to a phone in speaker mention “unemployment benefits”. I, for the life of me, DO NOT understand how construction workers can milk the system for a LIFE of working, unemployment, working, unemployment. I teach, when I am “off” I do not bet any unemployment. I think it’s a drain on an already broken system.

  • http://twitter.com/JonathanTaft Jonathan Taft

    Every few minutes I hear someone in the media, and your guests, say that they sympathies, but I don’t think they actually understand, people are poor, not middle class. Lose your job and your income and then I will sympathies with you.  They also say there won’t be that much of an impact with foreign buyers, you mean like when they sent our jobs over sea’s, no impact there, huh? You already had one listener say that every time she posts a listing, a foreign buyer wants to buy it. Multiply that by the whole country and you have all foreign owned homes.  I’m liberal but not stupid. You sold out the american dream, now our homes. When will I ever have a chance to own something?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      sympathize
      seas
      effect, not impact
      American dream

      • http://twitter.com/JonathanTaft Jonathan Taft

        sympathize and seas/ agree/  My Opol0gees 4 makin yous edit mine grammers.impact is what I’m looking for, using the language of the guests here.
        american gets a capital A when it stops acting like one

  • Modavations

    The hell with buying houses.I’d give citizenship to anyone who’d bring in a million bucks.

    • Plushkin

      that one has been in effect for years. you’re late. 

  • Modavations

    The absolute god father of Wall St.is Chuck Schumer.Bather Frank and C.Dodd are lesser dieties.

    • Modavations

      Don’t ask .That should read Barney Frank.Whenever I hear a leftist professor ,my wrists go limp and it’s hard to type.Disculpame.

  • Modavations

    There is 10 trillion in gas and oil in the NY-Penn.fields alone.Drill baby drill

  • miro

    Come on! It’s not simply that the political system is stalemated, and both sides are at fault. Lay the blame where it really is.

    It is the Republicans who have been obstructionist all along. They are the greatest threat to our economy (and world financial stability) because their just-say-no tactics and short-sighted political goals (run Obama out of the White House, don’t let unemployment drop before the 2012 election) prevent the US government to act effectively to stabilize the situation.

    They have their hands on the wheel, the car is careening off the road, and they won’t let go because they believe that they will get full control if the ride gets scarier and scarier.

    Obama has been trying to compromise with them all along, but like hostage-takers, they simply increase their demands.

    • Drew You Too

      “Lay the blame where it really is.”

      Or even better still, don’t lay blame at all. Take action.

    • Modavations

      We have a system of c hecks and balances.The Rep.party is obligated to block Prez.Obama if they think his policies are detrimental.They say no.I say hell no.

  • Modavations

    Any one who boosts the OWS movement is a goof ball.The problem is the US Solon.Get out your gas masks and let’s march in Wash..We have created an aristocracy ,who is not interested in anything, but keeping themselves in power.We need termlimits and elimination of the gerrymander.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      You’ve heard of elections?  That’s a term limit.

      • Modavations

        You heard of Gerrymander.

  • Tony, Washington, DC

    Miro, please come out of your alternate reality -
     
    Obama and his democrat allies (Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, etc.) had two years to right the American ship.  What did they do?  Obama ran around the world to feed his ego from cheering crowds from Cairo to Germany.  They spent a year and half chasing the democrat dream of universal healthcare.  What was happening while they were feeding their insatiable thirst for government control, America was bleeding jobs, energy, and hope for the future.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Universal healthcare isn’t just a democratic or Democratic dream.  It works in many other countries.

      • Tony, Washington, DC

        Correction – it is breaking down in every country in Western Europe.  Have you seen the news from Greece lately, or the formerly bankrupt GM.   These programs will eventually fail under its own weight.  The only solution to universal healthcare is personal responsbility for your own health. 

        What good will healthcare do you if one is starving to death from a lack of a job to purchase goods and services?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I don’t recall Greece ever being held up as an example of a good healthcare system.  Perhaps you could explain to me how I’m supposed to arrange my own healthcare, given the current costs for every aspect of it?

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            Greece is not the only country that is failing.  Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, England national systems are strangling their national economies.
            One addresses their own healthcare by being proactive – eating healthy, consistent exercising, moderate to no alcohol, never smoke or stop immediately, never do drugs, get enough rest, etc.  If you practice all of these lifestyle changes, over 75% of all American’s healthcare could be prevented.
            Then you would only need healthcare for major/real emergency procedures.
             

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            And Type I diabetes?  That’s not a lifestyle disease.  What should I do about that, since the total medical costs per month run around $600?

          • Modavations

            Go to your church,or call your family.My insurance in Ma.,with Blue Cross, is $899.00 per month

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I don’t have a church, and what family I do have cannot afford it.  Your solutions are the typically simplistic offerings of the self satisfied.

            Eat some cake, and watch your neck.

          • CORY

            Pitchforks and torches?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Eh, we’ve developed more effective techniques since those.

          • Anonymous

            $899!  At least one of the commenters here would say you need to work on your BMI.   Hit the floor and gimme 50!!

          • Modavations

            right hand or left

          • Anonymous

            Ron Paul’s fans say you die, like his former campaign aid did, then let your family beg other people for the money to pay your bills.  I disagree.

          • CORY

            You don’t have to beg.  A lot of people do bake sales or brat fries.

          • Dave in CT

            Still peddling your red herring smears?  We already now the gotcha debate question was what to do if a young, healthy, financially-ABLE person, DECIDED not to buy health insurance.  Forcing the answer to be either 1) suffer the consequences of your poor choices or 2) Support the notion that we need to take care of everybody, regardless of cost, or lack of personal responsibility.

            Thanks for disagreeing with your own straw man though! Enlightening!

          • Anonymous

            These aren’t red herrings.  It is the core of his political philosophy.  Like his desire to get rid of FEMA.  Every example, you dismiss as a red herring, but they add up to be an extremist view of government’s role that cannot be dismissed. 

          • Dave in CT

            So if a person doesn’t think delivery of “X” by the federal government is wise, let alone constitutional, that means they are against “X” altogether?

            That is a red-herring and it goes on all the time against liberty ideas, which is a shame.

            The old criticism that we are simply not smart enough as a population, or responsible enough, to handle liberty and self-governance, is sadly, looking to be true.

            Don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.

            Most of our systemic problems today, can be traced to our losing touch with our core roots, and succumbing to materialism and consumerism, while handing all our important thinking over to centralized powers that use us as pawns in their power games.

            We are getting what we deserve.  We may deserve to be more like China.

            That people are not bothered by all this is disturbing.

          • CORY

            I think Tony and Modavations would say that your parents should not have procreated.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Ah, let’s change our social contract–licenses for breeding and free guns for everyone.

          • Modavations

            The second amendment is to protect the populace from the leftist Putsch(?)

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            Type I diabetes would fall in the 25% category…

          • Modavations

            Most righteous

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            most honest…

          • Modavations

            I like your stuff

          • Dave in CT

            Personal Responsibility?! How dare you!

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            It’s an ancient concept that once applied to “us” humans.  If we didn’t exercise this ancient concept (personal responsibility), we would be eaten by canivores.

          • CORY

            Instead of creating a better healthcare system, let’s blame fat people and those with various vices. 

          • Modavations

            Go to the doctor,take your BMI and adjust for age.If your fat, your montly ins.bill is up the wahzoo.As you get in shape, your montly bill drops month by month,until you reach optimal BMI.If you’re a slug and refuse to get in shape,you are denied coverage.In one year ,the whole country would look like friggin Jack LaLanes.We’d save so much money ,we’d pay off the debt in 5 years.

          • CORY

            Ugh.

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            That’s not a bad idea – I have to admit I hadn’t considered it…

        • Dave in CT

          American Exceptionalism used to be a celebration of our choice of political-economic model, historically a liberty-based Rule of Law one, that has become progressively corrupted, and eroded due to our lack of vigilance and participation/understanding as individual citizens.

          Now we seem to think that we are exceptional, in not having to live within our means, or within the limits of the physical or natural world.

          We are now USE. The United States of Entitlement.  

          And I don’t just mean Universal Health care, its a much broader attitude based in our materialism and consumerism.

          Getting back to our more traditional roots, and dumping the latter, would go a long way IMO.

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            I couldn’t agree more with you Dave!!!  The entitlement mentality is killing this country and killing the western world.

          • Modavations

            The business of the Dem.Party is keeping poor people poor.Jesse,Al,Cornell,et al., are Capos of the black ghettos

      • Modavations

        The Premier of NewFoundland went running to Florida for a heart proceedure.Fidel went to Spain and they had to call in English surgeons.My uncle, a hemotoligist in Paris,wants to come to the US,because socialized medicine in France, dictates his low salary.It’s so bad in England they have weekly horror stories in the papers.You can now go to private doctors.Ask Lord Moncton what they did to his mum.In Holland and Denmark,if you’re a ward of the state, they give you a “hot shot”,or put a pillow over your face.You want affordable health care, then open the markets to competition.In Ma.we have four providers ,who collude.We need 400 companies,that compete

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Uh huh, the total cost of my healthcare per month is equal to my total income.  Were it not for community programs, I’d be dead.  This is a ridiculous system.

          • Modavations

            Most of the world does not have your”community programs”.Count your blessings and thank us tax payers for assisting

          • Corythatcher

            Tis response seems to imply that Greg Camp does not pay taxes.  In any case, how do you want your thanks?  Smooches on your fanny or miscelaneous grovelling?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Oh, I pay taxes.  I also work full time, even though my college gets to call it contract work.  I often have more than one job.  The nonsense from many in our political discussions is that those who aren’t well off are simply lazy.

          • Modavations

            School Vouchers,so I can free your chattel.The modus operendi of the Left, is keeping poor people poor

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            School vouchers?  Do you really imagine that such vouchers will cover the cost of the genuinely good private schools?  Those vouchers will allow parents to send their children to the lousy ones, but not the schools that the wealthy go to.

          • Modavations

            We pay on $13,000ish per pupil.The education the kiddies get, isn’t worth 5 bucks.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I agree with the statement that our public school system is a wreck, but vouchers for cheap private schools isn’t the answer.  I teach students who come from those schools.  They are often woefully unprepared for the real world.

          • Modavations

            If I were king,I’d arrest you guys for malfeasance.The Boston Globe had a story yesterday about remedial reading in college,I’ve yet to run into a kid who knew who wrote the Bill of Rights.If you miss out on an adequate education,you are doomed.There is absolutely,nothing more impotant,in my books

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            James Madison–I don’t teach American history, but I do use fundamental concepts of American liberty in my discussions.  I can’t blame high school teachers, since I’ve been in that world on occasion, and I know that they aren’t allowed to do what is necessary to teach.

          • Modavations

            That was harsh.Sorry about that.

          • Brett

            Mo-D is just looking for a little price break on his childrens’ private education. 

          • Anonymous

            Constitutionality aside, it would just drive up the costs of private schools as they compete with fancy extras like the student loans have allowed the colleges to do.

          • CORY

            My chattel is free.  I just let him out in my backyard to potty.

          • CORY

            Speaking of church, isn’t it in the bible somewhere that Jesus teaches that we should never argue with a fool?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Alas, it’s don’t call someone a fool.  One of the many reasons that I can’t buy into that book.

          • Modavations

            Parable of the Fish.Don’t hand out the fish,teach them to fish!!!!The business of the Ledft is keeping poor people poor

          • Anonymous

            Wasn’t one of his alleged miracles providing fish?

          • Brett

            Well, that, and a wonderful scallop amuse-bouche, too! Jesus was a hell of a cook, I hear. 

            Anyway, I’ll see you and the guys at the “Ledft” meeting later when we can discuss how to keep poor people oppressed. (I’m bringing coffee crumb cake, btw!)

        • CORY

          Our health system id unargueably great for the jet set.  Joe Sixpack and Charlie lunchbox would probably prefer France, Canada, or Spain.

          • Modavations

            The average lifespan is 80(78 men-82 women).Your whole lives are a crises,and the pursuit of the next crisis

          • Dave in CT

            Immortality and the escape from entropy is a right, not a privilege.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            The lifespans in these supposedly failing European countries is always higher than ours.  I wonder how that happens?

          • Modavations

            They get August off

          • Modavations

            A friend went into the hospital in Paris ,for Gall Stones.When he woke,they’d sown his penis to his forehead.He couldn’t sue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        In fact the United States is alone among developed nations in not having a universal health care system.  
        “The Commonwealth Fund, in its annual survey, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”, compares the performance of the health care systems in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the U.S. Its 2007 study found that, although the U.S. system is the most expensive, it consistently underperforms compared to the other countries.[16] A major difference between the U.S. and the other countries in the study is that the U.S. is the only country without universal health care. The OECD also collects comparative statistics, and has published brief country profiles.[17][18][19]
        The World Health Organization, in its World Health Report 2000, provided a ranking of health care systems around the world according to criteria of the overall level and distribution of health in the populations, and the responsiveness and fair financing of health care services.[3]”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_compared#Cross-country_comparisons

        Though we pay much more (as a percentage of our GDP) compared to the leading countries we only manage to come in 47th.

        The US system is expensive, inefficient and unfair. Obamacare aint perfect (Single payer would have been better) but it is a step in the right direction. Doing nothing (or repealing it as the GOP/TP is threatening) would be a disaster.

    • Modavations

      If his wife and 500 person entourage would stay home,we’d balance the budget in 3 years.Does she get carried around in a liter,with rose petals strewn along her path.

  • Modavations

    In celebration of Halloween(eliminated in Sommerville ,of course)the BMFA has dedicated a special gallery.In this gallery hang the “Dorian Grey” portraits of every Solon, that has served MORE THEN 20 years.Herr Schumer and B.Frank look LIKE Munchs’ figure in “The Scream””,times 10.So many have fainted, that the museum is thinking of closing prematurely.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Is there a point to this comment, or are you using a random word generator?

      • Modavations

        The problems stem directly from the American Ruling Class.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Again, what are you saying?

      • CORY

        Apple car socialism.  Sleep onion lefties aiplane failed Obama presidency.

        • Modavations

          I consultted my dictionary of leftist “gooble de gook”and still can’t figure that one out

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            He was applying your writing technique.

          • Anonymous

            ROTFLMAO

      • nj

        The point of any troll’s posts is, “HEY! LOOK AT ME! GIVE ME SOME ATTENTION!”

        Whenever anyone responds, the troll is fed and encouraged.

  • Modavations

    One of the biggest problems in America, is that the Dem.Party, is in the business of keeping poor people poor.

    • Dave in CT

      You should elaborate on that.  We need common understanding to find common ground.

      • Anonymous

        He wont, because he does not understand what he is posting. He reads this garbage somewhere and then post on here because the moderators have left the building and he gets away with calling decent people nazis. This little mans behavior is puerile on the best of days, and down right nasty on others.

        • Dave in CT

          Not so simple. He throws out alot of one-liners that simply state facts and make points that go against the conventional “liberal” thinking and hypocrisy around here. Just because so many don’t want their world-view challenged, especially by pithy one-liners, doesn’t mean his points don’t have substantive merit behind them if one cared to look.

          If people really think the comments are complete nonsense, it betrays a very limited, and echo-chambered view of our political-economic world.

        • Dave in CT

          Not so simple. He throws out alot of one-liners that simply state facts and make points that go against the conventional “liberal” thinking and hypocrisy around here. Just because so many don’t want their world-view challenged, especially by pithy one-liners, doesn’t mean his points don’t have substantive merit behind them if one cared to look.

          If people really think the comments are complete nonsense, it betrays a very limited, and echo-chambered view of our political-economic world.

        • Modavations

          Amy Goodman was in Mexico, working with Trade Unions to elect the PRD.PRD is Mexico’s Communist Party.Amy has over a million bucks.Ask her how much she donated to charity last year.

      • Anonymous

        He wont, because he does not understand what he is posting. He reads this garbage somewhere and then post on here because the moderators have left the building and he gets away with calling decent people nazis. This little mans behavior is puerile on the best of days, and down right nasty on others.

      • Modavations

        If the Left wanted to help the poor,the first thing they’d do is provide schiool vouchers.Unfortuneatly,as soon as a poor guy makes some bucks,he becomes a Rep.Again,the business of the left is keeping poor people poor

    • CORY

      I never read that in any of their literature!

  • Tina

    I’ve missed too much of this show to really contribute, however….

    Last night on Charlie Rose Show, I think I saw Charlie finally SEE just what is going on (for my taste, he usually does not dig deep enough when he is speaking to power players; last night he was speaking with critics of the power players):  an international corporate/corporations Ruling Power (rather than ruling “class”) that gives NO ALLEGIANCE TO ANY NATION!!  It was chilling to hear this mega-situation described so well by guests Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman (I cannot replicate well enough what they said).  I haven’t described the content of the show well enough because… corporate/corporations Ruling Power does NOT just mean the aggregate of all the CEO’s worldwide — instead, it describes corporate entities and the “logic” of their ascendancy (my words) that are “supra-personal” (my phrase).  I missed part of this Charlie Rose show, too, but I think that the power in the corporate/corporations includes the little shareholder, too, who might be a grandmom in Idaho or a union worker in Michigan; I think it might include all the legalities that allow their power; it includes the power that the public gives them when people genuflect before “low price” without thinking about what valuing that over “high quality” means; it probably includes tax policies and trade agreements; it probably includes the algorithms that Wall Street now uses to describe value — this power may create a disproportionately small yet hyper-privileged class of people at the top, but the Ruling Power that I’m describing is NOT this class of people alone.  I’m not sure that this was mentioned on the show (and please don’t take Hedges and Goodman to task for this piece of mine:  I’m not even paraphrasing them very much — but I want you to HEAR them thru podcast, etc.), but I do remember that I heard that the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations owe a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders — NOT to their workers, not to the environment, not to their country of origin, etc.  I’m inserting this point, but I put it here because I wonder if that is one of the driving factors in this situation?  The corporate/corporations power is like a raging animal whose power is ferocious, yet its head is so small and so far away, that no one knows for sure HOW the animal keeps its power — is it brute force or is there an intelligence driving this creature to eat up everything else?!!!  I fear that the decision back in 1895, or so, that found that corporations had the rights of individuals has come to roost over the years, resulting in this mega-situation better described by Hedges and Goodman than by me.  This topic today, on On Point, describes ONE of the many “structures” caught in the net of this mega-situation.  A recent  NPR show described all the ways in which corporations having “personhood” was a good thing, and the ways in which it is only helpful to a few individuals (real people).  I wonder WHY we can’t tease out these different aspects and make them make more sense for an Equitable Society, because the Terrible Logic of Rule by Corporate/Corporations is truly terrible!  Some of the answer as to Why We Can’t, at least at this point, is the Horrid fake news and fake issues-mongering that too much of our country takes in thru Faux News.  Really:  we are our own worst enemies just when we are up against the most elusive and un-identifiable enemy!  Retirees WANT their corporate investments to make money, young marrieds WANT their children’s college fund to make money; but as we’ve currently interpreted these desires, that means that the mega-corporations are Ruling Us All, and they’ve decided that if we don’t have jobs, it’s No Big Deal, in part because they are Supra-National, i.e., they don’t care about their neighbor or fellow citizen, but care instead that dividends are generated somewhere on planet earth, thru close-to-slave-labor OR thru financial gimmicks like credit default swaps, etc.  We’ve gone and mixed up our Democracy with Capitalism.  We should have PROTECTED our democracy from ALL economic forms of infiltration.  WHY do you think that the Republicans keep screaming “socialist”?!!!  It’s because it is Extreme Capitalism that is overtaking our Democracy, and they know it! 

    • Modavations

      Amy Goodman.Seig Heil!!!!

      • CORY

        I’d drop the Nazi references from your syllabus.  Many of them were bad people.

      • Anonymous

        You are loathsome little man who is crying for attention.
        It’s sad really, quite sad.

      • Anonymous

        You are loathsome little man who is crying for attention.
        It’s sad really, quite sad.

        • Modavations

          You are so pathetic, you go tell la sweet,liittle girl, to die of cancer.I’ll never forget that.I’ve rarely been so embarrassed by my fellow man

      • Anonymous

        You are loathsome little man who is crying for attention.
        It’s sad really, quite sad.

    • Dave in CT

      Now vote for a One-World Currency and Unaccountable One-World Governing Institutions to “Coordinate” our economy, under the excuse of the financial crisis, and it’s Game Over.

      That’s why the liberty message, Rule of Law, and sovereignty are important notions, that need to be re-examined, along with prosecuting the malefactors, before we have totally given away the store.

      Deluding ourselves that the way to fight concentrated international Power held by Governing and Corporate elites, is to just throw more power at them and demanding they Save Us, will be the final nail in the coffin. They reinforce each other.  We have subservient, consumeristic lemmings for too long.

      Take back the Power. Enforce the Rule of Law. Self-govern as much as possible. Stop patronizing the corporate sector if you don’t like it, and support you local economies as much as possible.

      We don’t need a politburo to do that.

      • nj

        Dave seems intent on striving for posts that are entirely constructed of cliches, generalizations, misconceptions (lemmings), and catch phrases. This one comes close.

        • Dave in CT

          What did you disagree with in that post?

          Apart from the fact that I imagine you wholeheartedly support One-World Currency, and the idea of a Benevolent One-World Government to technocratically manage us to our utopian Destiny. Too bad when that is fully corrupted, there is no where else to turn.

          Oh that’s right, we don’t have any power elite problems.

    • Anonymous

      The court is right. Corporations that are publicly traded have a legal obligation to the shareholders. This is why we need regulations to control bad behavior such as illegal dumping or polluting the air, to mistreatment of workers and the conditions they work in.
      This is governments job, to regulate the system. Quite frankly I’m not sure how corporations get away with laying people off and calling that a profit. In my view a profit is something gained after expenses in the sale of goods and services. But hey that’s just me.
      Anyway I love Amy Goodman and her show Democracy Now is one of the best out there. The recent interview with Michael Moore and Cornel West is just one example of this.  

      My take on the Supreme Court is that the recent ruling on corporations was wrong, that he dissented. On Point had a show with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and he made the points much better than I can. I think the Libertarians and tea party folks would be wise to heed his words on the Constitution, “the Constitutions sets very broad boundaries.” How true, but we do need some common sense when dealing with these boundaries. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M3IE6JGESWDNBNYBEGQCZMQANQ Nijaboy Dennis

         The truth is that the American real estate is down and proponents of this bill means well for Americans.
        Really the properties must be sold to anybody that can afford to buy them so that the American economy can recover from that sector.The properties in question are in the USA and they will continue to be in USA and that is why it is real estate.
        Therefore whether it is a American rich buyer ,chinese buyer,Canadian rich buyer,South African Rich buyer ,Nigerian Rich buyer,Brazilian Rich buyer and Indian rich buyer or Dominican rep  rich buyer the properties needs to be sold to whoever that can afford to buy them inorder to reposition  the American economy once again and this will help create a lot of impact in the US economy which will create employment for Americans.This bill by senators is a very smart economics targeted at uplifting the American economy.Any good student of political economics knows that the senators are quite in order

    • Anonymous

      The court is right. Corporations that are publicly traded have a legal obligation to the shareholders. This is why we need regulations to control bad behavior such as illegal dumping or polluting the air, to mistreatment of workers and the conditions they work in.
      This is governments job, to regulate the system. Quite frankly I’m not sure how corporations get away with laying people off and calling that a profit. In my view a profit is something gained after expenses in the sale of goods and services. But hey that’s just me.
      Anyway I love Amy Goodman and her show Democracy Now is one of the best out there. The recent interview with Michael Moore and Cornel West is just one example of this.  

      My take on the Supreme Court is that the recent ruling on corporations was wrong, that he dissented. On Point had a show with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and he made the points much better than I can. I think the Libertarians and tea party folks would be wise to heed his words on the Constitution, “the Constitutions sets very broad boundaries.” How true, but we do need some common sense when dealing with these boundaries. 

  • CORY

    I think more and more about the quote that I will attribute to Josef Stalin about the conflict between communism and capitalism.  I don’t have the exact quote, so I’ll paraphrase as best I can;  “You will sell us the rope we use to hang you”.  We can’t even protect ourselves from our greed anymore.

    • Modavations

      Socialist heroes:
      Stalin,Pol Pot,Hitler,Cuceascu(?),Honecker,Tito,Hoxha,Fidel,Hugo.
      Over 100million butchered in the gas chambers and gulags.I’d drop Stalin from your syllabus

      • CORY

        Politically, Hitler is considered ultra right, not left.

        You also used the classic conservative strategy of not even attempting to address my point.

        • Dave in CT

          I’ll take the Nobel Laureate’s analysis.  He was a contemporary.

          http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/hayeknaziism.html

          • Anonymous

            But not an historian. 

          • Dave in CT

            Did you read the essay? What facts are wrong, and what lessons inferred are misguided, and why?

          • Anonymous

            I’m not an economist and I’m skeptical of the Chicago School.  While there might be some elements of socialist economic theory that were adopted by the Nazis, the vast majority of their political policies and supporters were from the right.  And when people compare the Nazis to the left, they are not talking about certain economic facets but playing the blame of their nationalistic racist aggressions on the left when it sprung from the right culturally and historically. 

          • Dave in CT

            The general acceptance/mindset of Socialist, Central Planning solutions of the era, let the wolf in the front door.

            BTW, Austrian-influenced economists are also skeptical of the Chicago school:

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard43.html

            Alot of it relating to monetary policy, something at the root of our crisis.

          • Anonymous

            That is such an over-simplification. 

          • Dave in CT

            Summary. Hayek’s words lay it out better than I can.

          • Modavations

            They certainly were smart guys,fooling us 50 years later, by naming themselves national,workers socialist party.And Stalin and Mao with all that people’s party stuff.Who knew they were right wingers in disguise.Friggin ingenious.If you were my professor I’s want my money back

          • Anonymous

            By that logic China and North Korea are republics.

        • Anonymous

          Don’t bother going down that path about Hitler with this guy.
          He’s not all there and we all should stop feeding his nonsense.
           

          • Modavations

            I was in Berlin 3 weeks ago and asked my mates.He was a socialist.The Danish Commies,burned the Reichstag,Hitler ,some how jumped in,declared martial law,and became dictator.Moussilini(?) was the editor of the Socialist paper, Avanti,in Trento.

          • Anonymous

            This comment makes no sense whatsoever.
            Vile blueberry communist, burned the Wendy House, someone jumped in, and Peter Pan was a commie. Captain Cook was a nazi.
            The Lost Boys are really Wall street banksters.
            I have to say it is kind of fun to just ramble on without a clue.

          • Modavations

            I’m sorry you are so embarrased by Hitler’s Socialism ,that you now must rewrite history.Only a Lefty would say Hitler was no socialist and give a nod to Stalin,Mao,Pol Pot and on and on.Furthermore we fought you Dems. to free your slaves

          • Anonymous

            This comment makes no sense whatsoever.
            Vile blueberry communist, burned the Wendy House, someone jumped in, and Peter Pan was a commie. Captain Cook was a nazi.
            The Lost Boys are really Wall street banksters.
            I have to say it is kind of fun to just ramble on without a clue.

        • Modavations

          NAZI-National Workers Socialist Party.And only in leftist,revionism is he not recognized as a socialist.

  • Greatidea

    This is great! we just had a segment on NPR this AM regarding the Mexican drug cartels! Let ‘em in! Whoo hoo! great idea!
    /snark

    • Modavations

      CNN said the Mexicans are the hardest workers in the world and the Belgians are the biggest slugs.Welfare costs us about 500bill.per annum and illegals cost us 28 bill.

      • Wm. James from Missouri

        If Mexicans are the hardest workers in the world then why aren’t they the richest people in the world. Does not, hard work lead to a prosperous nation ? Is this just an opium filled sentence for the masses ( or maybe I should say ‘ de Massa’ ).

        • Modavations

          I believe “Slim”is the richest man in the world.I wasn’t making the CNN report up.

        • Peter Tassone

          Hard work in our current system leads to nothing more than a hard working class and  a rich corporate elite.

          • Dave in CT

            You can call me Crony Capitalistic Democratic(?) Socialism

            or you can call me State Capitalism

            or, you can call me Corportatism

            but Don’t call me Free market, rule of law Capitalism

  • Emer

    Market Dictatorship!!

  • Guest

    This is a terrible idea!
    a) The government would be spending millions in taxpayer dollars to administer a program that sells American homes to foreign nationals.  This would only have a marginal effect on the housing problem, and from the sound of things, foreigners don’t need any help with buying homes here.
    b) If wildly successful, it would prop up the artificially inflated housing prices that we saw in the midst of the housing bubble, so that the market loses its chance to correct itself to befit the prevailing conditions in the local economy.
    c) Your guest, Sally Daley, said it herself: a lot of these buyers have no intention of occupying the home (at least not anytime soon), so how is that going to help the local economies where these homes are bought??

  • Adrian from RI

    We are a democracy. So, we get what we deserve, which includes the destruction of our housing market. A destruction caused by government interference in the market; unconstitutional interferences like: FDIC in the 30th, the idiotic notion of Redlining in 1968, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, Fannie and Freddie, too big to fail, adding moral hazards on top of moral hazards, etc., etc. Politicians justified these interferences by the goal of making home ownership possible for everybody even if that everybody did not have a penny to his name.  
     
    Now, our president and our politicians and their armies of officers that have harassed us and have been eating out our substance have a new scheme to “safe” us.  And what is their latest scheme? Let foreigners buy and move into our homes while we move into the street and start sleeping under bridges.
     
    But there is a silver lining, namely, the creation of jobs. The foreigners might hire us a maids and gardeners to service them in the houses we can no longer live in ourselves. Is not democracy great?
     
    Tom, is it not about time we go back to being a Republic? I will get my copy of the Declaration of Independence and study it. I will again study our Constitution. Especially the Amendment X which reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    People from around the world have been buying homes around the world and that is good. However, I find it hard to believe and it pains me no end that politicians are even considering that selling the remains of America in a yard sale to foreigners will safe us.

    • Anonymous

      So you are against banks insuring your money.
      I don’t know I kind of like the FDIC.
      You sound like a libertarian which I always find to be one of the most absurd ideologies out there.

      • Dave in CT

        Was nice of Dodd/Schumer to put Investment Banks and Insurance companies on the list of holdings protected by FDIC in the 90s, beyond the original intent of commercial banks.

        Goldman Sachs, AIG? Too big to fail?  Thanks for saving the bad apples Mr. Dodd!

        “In the fall of 1999, Senators Christopher Dodd and Charles E. Schumer prevented another impasse by securing a compromise between Sen. Gramm and the Clinton Administration by agreeing to amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. ch.16) to allow banks to merge or expand into other types of financial institutions. The new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’sFDIC related provisions, along with the addition of sub-section § 2903(c) directly to Title 12, insured any bank holding institution wishing to be re-designated as a financial holding institution by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System would also have to follow Community Reinvestment Act compliance guidelines before any merger or expansion could take effect.[57]”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_Act#Legislative_changes_1999

        • Anonymous

          I don’t support that deregulation that has occurred in this nation over the past 30 years. I do however, as I said want my small amount of money insured by the FDIC. That’s all I’m saying, do not understand this? Or are you one of those people who want to go back to the banking system we had in 1928.

          Anyway I brought up the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act with you before.

          • Dave in CT

            and how are you going to keep your Democratic friends from betraying you and the rest of us again?  Friendship bracelets?

            Humanity came up with the Rule of Law concept for a reason. It was Progressive before Progressive was hip.

  • SenselessSenators

    Why don’t we go after the banksters and crooks that created this mess and have them buy up all of the overbuilt properties in Florida and LasVegas.  Let them eat their own crap.

    • Modavations

      The culprits are Barney and Chris and that abomination ,called Fannie.Frank Raines,J.Gorelik and Herr Johnson took 100 mill.in commissions

      • RepetitiveWhiner

        Small Potatoes, henchmen, stooges.
          
        Go up the ladder or pyramid – who put them there and paid them off? 

  • Drew You Too

    Yep. We can sell them to wealthy foreign interests all day long but there’s no way in heck we’re going to try to figure out how to keep Americans and their familes in them. At least not without a slumlord lurking in the wings (and a foreign slumlord at that). Great idea guys (Senators no less)! Let’s let people who will fit right in with the group that created this nightmare buy a visa!

    And just because someone proclaims a home as their primary residence, that doesn’t actually mean they live in them. I’m sure I’m not alone in realizing that this is a tactic which has already been used in the past to skirt Capital Gains and keep that money flipping every two and a half years. The Visa offer is so contemptable it should not even merit consideration.

    Is it a coincidence that there’s a three year restriction on the resident Visas? That’s just long enough to fip that money and keep it sheltered from your tax obligation, I’ll have another visa now please.

    These are my initial comments and I stand by every word. It is encouraging in the face of such blatant hypocracy however to read these comments and realize I’m not the only one with my eyes open. Great show On Point, thanks for all your efforts. Have a good day everyone.

  • Cime

    Brilliant!! First we send all the jobs to foreign countries! Now we let them come back here to buy up our houses with all the money they made from our jobs gone to them!! Which is one of the reasons why we can’t afford a new home!! Brilliant!! Way to go USA!!

    • Modavations

      I’d give them citizenship ,just for bringing in a million bucks.Who cares about the house

      • Anonymous

         You don’t get it, do you.

        • Anonymous

          Never!

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      Your 401K investment dollars are also going overseas and are often used to put you out of work. These same investment dollars will someday be used by the Chinese ( and maybe others) to finance an actual invasion of US soil. It is obvious to those who have any sense of history.

  • James Perero, ventura, ca

    There is no way to get the US housing market back on track without swallowing hard, taking our lumps, and letting the houses in this country be AFFORDABLE for the people who live here now.

  • Mia

    Is there a provision in the proposal to prohibit these buyer from renting out the property?  Otherwise, the 99%-ers will just become permanent renters not only for US 1%ers but also world 1%ers.

  • Emer

    Truly anti-American!!

  • StupidIsStupidDoes

    What a idiotic, distracting, diversionary story to be reporting on.

    This is what Senators come up with… Congressman, I could believe… but Senators, I thought they were the smart ones.

    Just another way to sell-off America, sell-out Americans and prop up the Banksters.

    • Anonymous

      Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Democrat Senator Charles Schumer of New York are the rubes behind this crap.
      We all should be flooding their offices with calls and emails against this absurd, idiotic bill.

  • Thirtytwopaws

    Just wondering if these are the same senators who want to build a fence to keep poor Mexicans out?

  • Dave in CT

    D.C. becomes wealthiest city in U.S.  

    Should speak for itself, but you have to be listening.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2011/10/19/dc_becomes_america039s_richest_city_265732.html

    • AndYourPointIs

      No surprise, however…

      The article mistakenly points to the current administration as the main culprit and doesn’t mention the previous administration’s eight years of exploding federal government spending.

      All of those federal employees didn’t move to DC and get their jobs in the one year after January 2009.  But, a lot of those K-Street, TARP and Health care vultures did.

      http://www.aier.org/research/briefs/750-big-government-under-the-bush-administration

      • Dave in CT

        My point is all of the above. Thanks for rounding it out.  

        Washington was supposed to be the capitol of our self-governed nation, housing our citizen-representatives.

        Now the Washington/Wall St. Banking monster is so well established, the money they print is essentially never even leaving the capitol!

      • Modavations

        If Obama were to win another term(he won’t.My guppy could beat him),there’d be no private economy.Everyone would be a govt.hack.

    • twenty-niner

      Here’s how it works around the beltway:

      1) SRA gets a blanket government IT contract with HHS for example.
      2) SRA contracts an 8a firm to build or expand a web site.
      3) SRA got the contract in the first place because of all the 8a  (minority/woman owned) firms it employs.
      4) The 8a firm is actually run by a Puerto Rican guy who looks whiter the George Bush, so no one really understands how the minority thing applies, but anyway…
      5) The 8a firm contracts with a web-development company to actually do the work.
      6) The web-development company is actually just a guy and cell phone who scours Dice to find a team of independent sub-contractors who actually build the site.

      Working back up the pyramid:

      1) The subs make between $60 and $80 an hour. They drive 3-series BMWs.
      2) The guy with the cell phone takes $20 to $30 off the top per contractor because he has mad Dice-searching skills. He drives a 5-series BMW.
      3) The guy who owns the 8a firm takes another $20 to $30 off the top, and he drives a 7-series BMW – he has lots of contracts.
      4) The SRA guys take another $20 to $30 off the top, and the all drive Mercedes SLKs – they have the grand prize – the big blanket IT contract.
      5) The government employees administering the contract are all GS-14s and 15s, and they all make 6 figures for the demanding job of keeping a seat warm. They all drive Range Rovers.

      In the end, about 20 guys all get paid 6 figures, and some well into 6-figure land, to manage 3 to 5 guys who also make 6 figures to do a job that anywhere else would require 1 to 2 guys at about $30 an hour.

      Extrapolate this over a good chunk of the DC-area population and I present you: the wealthiest city in the country.

      • WellEndowed

        Nice example with embellishments.  A little exaggeration proves your point, but not far from the truth.  

        Imagine what goes on with designing and building a military fighter jet; or dolling out a defense or ‘security’ contract; or a ‘rebuilding america’ job’s contract.

        That’s one big teat.  

        • Modavations

          Ma.is # 4 or 5 in military ‘teatism”.While Kerry,Capuano,Frank claim they’re pacfificist,they sure bring home the “war machine bacon”.No wonder their portraits, at the Dorian Grey gallery, are so friggin gruesome

      • Dave in CT

        Voila!

        Nasty.

  • Tony, Washington, DC

    Our politicians long ago established the conditions for the take over of the Western world.  The emerging countries, replete with cash, are spreading it liberally around the world, U.S. included.  They are now buying our real estate house by house, building by building.  We only have ourselves to blame.
     
    By feeding the West’s seemingly insatiable appetite for debt, the emerging world have masterfully manufactured the West’s goods and provided us with the very cash (in the form of loans) with which to buy the goods; they have locked the West into a stranglehold of debt and dependence from which it will be very difficult to escape.
     
    What are Obama and his allies doing about this problem?  They are doubling down on America’s demise so as to remain in power.  They have no power unless the American people are dependent on them.
     
    We must resist-
     

    • twenty-niner

      they have locked the West into a stranglehold of debt and dependence from which it will be very difficult to escape.

      You forget the one trump card the West has. The debt will never be repaid.

  • Tony, Washington, DC

    Our politicians long ago established the conditions for the take over of the Western world.  The emerging countries, replete with cash, are spreading it liberally around the world, U.S. included.  They are now buying our real estate house by house, building by building.  We only have ourselves to blame.
     
    By feeding the West’s seemingly insatiable appetite for debt, the emerging world have masterfully manufactured the West’s goods and provided us with the very cash (in the form of loans) with which to buy the goods; they have locked the West into a stranglehold of debt and dependence from which it will be very difficult to escape.
     
    What are Obama and his allies doing about this problem?  They are doubling down on America’s demise so as to remain in power.  They have no power unless the American people are dependent on them.
     
    We must resist-
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Boughton/1379995701 Edward Boughton

    We should have seized all Adjustable
    mortgages (under Eminent Domain) automatically adjusted the mortgages based on
    ability to pay, or suspend for rent until they could pay. no one would owe more
    that the US government paid. when the economy is stable original mortgage
    holders would have right-of-first-refusal. this would have save the Banks, the
    Home Owners, the Local Governments, most Jobs and the Country and would have
    been FAR cheaper then TARP.

    Use the money for Unemployment
    Insurance to keep workers in their existing job (helping struggling small
    business from firing and/or closing (since we would pay either way). Provide
    more money to educational institutes to reduce tuitions to help keep student
    out of the job market.

    Those on unemployment (which I would
    extended) should have to do community work 3-4 days a week (Litter, Graffiti cleaning,
    Brush clearing, etc.) But I also believe that our immigration
    should be based on Skill, Wealth and Humanitarian need – that is what builds America.  Unskilled job are not the future.

    We should have seized all Adjustable
    mortgages (under Eminent Domain) automatically adjusted the mortgages based on
    ability to pay, or suspend for rent until they could pay. no one would owe more
    that the US government paid. when the economy is stable original mortgage
    holders would have right-of-first-refusal. this would have save the Banks, the
    Home Owners, the Local Governments, most Jobs and the Country and would have
    been FAR cheaper then TARP.

    Use the money for Unemployment
    Insurance to keep workers in their existing job (helping struggling small
    business from firing and/or closing (since we would pay either way). Provide
    more money to educational institutes to reduce tuitions to help keep student
    out of the job market.

    Those on unemployment (which I would
    extended) should have to do community work 3-4 days a week (Litter, Graffiti cleaning,
    Brush clearing, etc.)
     
    But I also believe that our immigration
    should be based on Skill, Wealth and Humanitarian need – that is what builds America.  Unskilled job are not the future.

    • Modavations

      I asked a girl friend in London, how long one could stay on unemployement.Forever, she replied.I give Europe about 2 weeks before the crack up.A friend said there are now more tents ,then people,at OWS Boston

      • Anonymous

        You can’t stay on the dole for ever in GB.

        • Modavations

          That was a direct quote.She also pays 60% in taxes.They used to pay for college,but alas,no more

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Boughton/1379995701 Edward Boughton

    We should have seized all Adjustable
    mortgages (under Eminent Domain) automatically adjusted the mortgages based on
    ability to pay, or suspend for rent until they could pay. no one would owe more
    that the US government paid. when the economy is stable original mortgage
    holders would have right-of-first-refusal. this would have save the Banks, the
    Home Owners, the Local Governments, most Jobs and the Country and would have
    been FAR cheaper then TARP.

    Use the money for Unemployment
    Insurance to keep workers in their existing job (helping struggling small
    business from firing and/or closing (since we would pay either way). Provide
    more money to educational institutes to reduce tuitions to help keep student
    out of the job market.

    Those on unemployment (which I would
    extended) should have to do community work 3-4 days a week (Litter, Graffiti cleaning,
    Brush clearing, etc.) But I also believe that our immigration
    should be based on Skill, Wealth and Humanitarian need – that is what builds America.  Unskilled job are not the future.

    We should have seized all Adjustable
    mortgages (under Eminent Domain) automatically adjusted the mortgages based on
    ability to pay, or suspend for rent until they could pay. no one would owe more
    that the US government paid. when the economy is stable original mortgage
    holders would have right-of-first-refusal. this would have save the Banks, the
    Home Owners, the Local Governments, most Jobs and the Country and would have
    been FAR cheaper then TARP.

    Use the money for Unemployment
    Insurance to keep workers in their existing job (helping struggling small
    business from firing and/or closing (since we would pay either way). Provide
    more money to educational institutes to reduce tuitions to help keep student
    out of the job market.

    Those on unemployment (which I would
    extended) should have to do community work 3-4 days a week (Litter, Graffiti cleaning,
    Brush clearing, etc.)
     
    But I also believe that our immigration
    should be based on Skill, Wealth and Humanitarian need – that is what builds America.  Unskilled job are not the future.

  • Anonymous

    Robert Reich says it better than I can:
    http://robertreich.org/post/11881926504

    However this is dumbest piece of legislation I have ever heard of.
    Well I can think of quite a few, but this one is pretty dumb and Democrat Senator Charles Schumer of New York should be voted out of office as soon as he’s up for election. This man is nothing more than Wall Street hack. He might as well switch parties in my view.

    • Modavations

      Has Robert (third Reich)ever held a job.Has he ever put anyone to work

      • Anonymous

        Well yes he has and does now. Your comments are draconian and well… dumb.

        • Modavations

          He’s never had a job outside the ivory tower.

  • Steve

    The very same people who would build a fence between the USA and Mexico to keep low income immigrants out of our country would give a big welcome hug to foreigners with money. What hypocrisy.

  • Steve

    The very same people who would build a fence between the USA and Mexico to keep low income immigrants out of our country would give a big welcome hug to foreigners with money. What hypocrisy.

  • Terra Firma

    Both aiding refinance and selling homes may be feasible short term solutions, however the core issue is is not being addressed. What must be integrated into policy are regulations to prevent and hold accountable the disfunctional unabated capitalistic system. Unfortunately the large scale banks are not self policing. The expolitation of the average individual is madening while there are still no regulations in place.

  • Anonymous

    Another example of economic insanity as we try to push up the value of American homes, our basic living place, while promising to make the basics of life more affordable to every American family.

  • Bridget

    Good time for everyone to read Grapes of Wrath!  Similar in that people lost their homes to outsiders who had more money.  Just have to replace the weather with the greedy banks as the cause of the decline in home value. 

    Truly disgusting that Obama wants to allow us to borrow more when we’re already knee deep in debt.  That helps no one but the banks.  More disgusting that congressmen are considering letting foreigners come in and buy up the homes, especially since they are the ones who aided and abetted the banks to corrupt the overinflated prices of homes making the Americans who pay TAXES go bankrupt and get foreclosed on.

    I lost my home because my exhusband’s business is directly related to the home values (he redoes kitchens) so half of my revenue was gone.  What will Obama do for people like me who lost everything? What will these congressmen do for people like me who lost everything?  Answer = NOTHING.  Occupy Wall Street and any other big city people. Enough is enough. Learn from history and read the book I suggested above.

    • Anonymous

      Are you aware that you contradict yourself. On the one hand you are not happy with the idea of refinancing and on the other you seem to be asking what the President and the Federal government can do.
      You lost your house to the economy, and I’m real sorry for your pain and loss. However I’m not sure why you are so angry at people who are angry as you are and are on the streets protesting. By the way that what what Tom Joads message was, fighting against the corruption and corporate interest that were ruling the day.

      Maybe you should reread Grapes of Wrath and while you are at it a Tale of Two Cities. 

      • Bmelmeniawy

        I’m not contradicting myself. Maybe I’m not explaining things properly though. I don’t want the Federal government to give me a loan. I’m already in credit up to my eyeballs. I want the Federal Government to prosecute the banks that were given TARP funds yet refused to modify people’s mortages which would have lowered our rates and cut the principal down to a reasonable amount corresponding to our income and the appropriate housing prices in the area. If they are prosecuted fairly, no side deals, they would have to compensate us *at least* for the cost of finding alternative housing and hopefully for pain and suffering from losing our homes. They created the mess to up their profits and compensating the victims wouldn’t even put a dent in their bottom line. It’s the humane thing to do!

        Obama simply lifted the ceiling so that people can borrow more, increasing their mortgage that is already probably too high. Two very different things. This will not work because now these people will have more debt and yet their job security is still shakey. More debt for the people who are already squeazed as tight as they can be is a disaster in this economy.

        Who the heck said I was angry at the protesters? I’m one of them!!! I was giving them a high five for goodness sakes.

        • Anonymous

          Well it sounded like you were being critical of them for some reason.
          I do apologize for the misunderstanding. I reread your comment and I think I just read some of it the wrong way, sorry about that.
           
          However, the idea behind Obama’s new mortgage idea is to lower the debt not add to it. If you’re in fore-closer you don’t qualify. It’s not what you are saying it is. I think what he’s trying to do is to little to late and he’s really sold out to the Wall Street crowd.
          However you are 100% right about how the whole thing has been handled. I just watched Charlie Rose who had on Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges and they were spot on. They put into words this whole situation better than I can. Personally I might have squatted in my house if the bank tried to foreclose. I’ve heard of people doing this.
          Why not.

          http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11961 

        • Anonymous

          Let’s hear one politician – especially the ones that spout spending cuts – offer to give up something themselves. Should they have access to a different health care system to ours? After what term in office are they entitled to a pension?  

          • Dave in CT

            Occupy WaShington

    • Anonymous

      Are you aware that you contradict yourself. On the one hand you are not happy with the idea of refinancing and on the other you seem to be asking what the President and the Federal government can do.
      You lost your house to the economy, and I’m real sorry for your pain and loss. However I’m not sure why you are so angry at people who are angry as you are and are on the streets protesting. By the way that what what Tom Joads message was, fighting against the corruption and corporate interest that were ruling the day.

      Maybe you should reread Grapes of Wrath and while you are at it a Tale of Two Cities. 

  • Anonymous

    That real estate broker from Cambridge is so wrong and is only thinking of his own bank account. Then he goes on to his political leanings, which coming from Cambridge must be a tricky, and it’s the typical right wing rhetoric about class warfare. He should look around in his backyard, Cambridge has a huge working class and lower income community and one can see them being hurt the most by wealthy Chinese or whomever buying up property. This guy was as transparent as plate glass.

  • twenty-niner

    Three factors have driven housing prices higher in the last 30 years:

    #1 declining interest rates. Interest rates peaked at 17.2% in 1982. Since then, there has been a steady decline down to the current low of 4% (and lower). With the amount of printing done by the Fed over the last two years, with (in all likelihood) more to come, expect inflation and interest rates to start ticking up when the economy finally recovers. Rising interest rates will put downward pressure on home prices. If the economy doesn’t recover any time soon, home prices are toast anyway.

    #2 Two-income families. From about the mid-70s on, the wives started joining work force en masse. This caused household incomes to nearly double, especially for higher earners. This trend has peaked as well, and is starting to reverse somewhat, ironically, with men leaving the workforce, with the recession amplifying the effect.

    #3 Loosening standards. Mortgage standards have finally tightened after the insanity seen during the housing bubble. Remarkably, people are advocating that the current standards, which are still historically loose, be loosened further.

    Without these three factors, there’s nothing to drive home prices faster than the pace of inflation, which is the historical trend. In fact there’s no reason to want to verge from the historical trend, because this starts to price first-time buyers out of the market, and then you have to get into the business of lowering lending standards to get these buyers to qualify for loans, and the whole mess repeats itself. Increasing interest rates will push against home appreciation as well. Be prepared for prices to decline (or at best, stagnate in some off-trend markets) for many years to come.
     

  • Kay

    I thought the comment about wealth individuals from other countries fleeing to the United States for stability was interesting.  On one hand many in our country want to eliminate corporate taxes, eliminate taxes on wealth, eliminate environmental regulations, eliminate banking regulations, eliminate social safety nets, shrink government to the size it can be drown in a bathtub etc.  They want the government equivalent of a 3rd world contry.  Maybe this shows what we have here in America is worth fighting for, worth paying for and although not perfect it is worth keeping.
    Kay

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Hey Kay,  the wealthy foreign people are fleeing from dominoes of socialist transitions in South America and the Arab Spring.   These people are members of the regime that exploited their own people in their former countries.     How ironic that the foreign elites, will now dwell above the US middle class, and finally Americans will get a taste of the arrogance that ruled over a huge under-class that the US ignored in favor of puppet regimes. Very same elites coming to America.  Karma is a b…..

      • Hidan

        I replied back to you on the Iraqi thread about our commenter with Sybil Troll Syndrome. Turns out he’s also Arnold Walker as well. He used two email accounts without realizing that one would change. ATM it looks like he’s using around 3 main alts Modavation,ArnoldWalker,Pluskin with some minors alts pluslik, arnold,mira it seems and Guest.

        See Ultra and Buster comments with linking Arnoldwalker to modavation(his main)

        • Hidan

          correction 3 email accounts.

          • Plushkin

            wow. listen Sherlock, aka Michael, aka Hidan aka Independent Internet Professional aka Jihad for life,  let me help you a bit before you embarrass yourself even more (albeit it hardly possible, given your record on these boards) – drop it. You’re not fit for any type of analysis let alone hunting down anyone on the net or anywhere else. Stick to your major: running your mouth and being a laughing stock. This way you’re much more useful. Trust me on that.
            Sincerely yours,
                                    Plushkin

          • Hidan

            Says the unstable Plushkin/Arnold. Switched back to plushkin from Guest? Seems like BanHidan sceen name didn’t work out for you too well.

             Bug off you nasty and obsessed troll.

            Mods take note.

          • Plushkin

            you have no idea what you’re talking about do you? I pity you.

          • Hidan

            Sure you do, seems more like a obsession

            You’re clearly unstable and has some type of weird fixation on following my comments.

            Keep tracking me around it only prove you have issues which also a clear sign of a disturbed person..

            Cheers troll.

    • Modavations

      Most third world countries I travel to, are far more vibrant then this Police State.Go to any large European City and everyones walking around drinking beers and smoking butts.Quite a bit of “gear”to boot

      • Anonymous

        Europe is not what one would call a third world place.
        Have you been to Morocco? It’s vibrant and pretty exciting, but the amount of people begging on the streets is out of control and remind one of the Middle Ages.

        • Modavations

          You ever see Hideous Kinky.That was me and my mate, sitting on the wall outside Marrakesh(not literally)I’ve been everywhere.The most I will grant you is that Western Europe is on par,but 30 % more expensive.And theT.V. sucks.It costs 6 euro to Dry Clean a shirt in Bologna.You ever been to a Dem.run Ghetto.The beggars are legion.I feel far safer in Morrocco.

    • Anonymous

      We have the strongest currency in the world!  Whenever there is an economic scare, people rush to buy dollars. We need to make it stronger even when there isn’t an economic scare. 

  • Schmucksville

    Looks like Chucky is trying to give Mikey a media lesson on gaining publicity attention.

    Career politicians are the worse kind – vote them both out.

    Thought you’d like to know a little more about these two ‘sch-mucky’ senators:

    Michael Shumway “Mike” Lee (born June 4, 1971) is the junior United States Senator from Utah and a member of the Republican Party. He is supported by the Tea Party movement.

    “Growing up Lee went to school with Senator Strom Thurmond’s daughter and lived three doors down from Senator Robert Byrd. He was friends with Harry Reid’s son Josh. Senator Reid was the Lees’ home teacher, a spiritual leader in the Mormon faith. Lee recalls as a child how Senator Reid once locked him and Josh in their garage as a practical joke.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Lee_(U.S._politician)

    Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer (born November 23, 1950) is the senior United States Senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party.

    Schumer’s propensity for publicity is the subject of a running joke among many commentators. He has been described as an “incorrigible publicity hound.”[17] Bob Dole once quipped that “the most dangerous place in Washington is between Charles Schumer and a television camera,… His use of media has been cited by some as a successful way to raise a politician’s profile nationally and among his constituents…

    Schumer’s top nine campaign contributors are all financial institutions who have contributed over $2.5 million to the senator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Schumer

  • Hidan

    Way for Congress to stick once again a thumb in the American people’s eye

    • Anonymous

      I wish it were a thumb, I’m still trying to get the boot out of my butt.

  • david

    Foreigners have taken our industrial base due to their unfair labor and currency values and inturn OUR JOBS.
    We send foreign aide to most of them from OUR TAXES.
    They have stolen our technology and made cheap copies of them.
    We buy their junk and kiss butt to make friends with them.
    We fight their wars because they are too sorry to fight them themselves.
    We have sold our souls to China with our borrowing.
    And NOW!!!!
    We are going to sell them our LAND!!!!
    They will buy it with money made off of us, hold it till home values go up and then sell it back to us at a profit!!!!
    They will laugh at our stupidity!
    Only in America!
    Beware Americans!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      They haven’t taken or stolen anything, we sold it or we gave it away.

    • Kristina S.

      Foreigners didn’t take anything, our government and corporations gave it away for their own profit.

      • david

        The first law of business.
        Money follows the cheapest labor, therefore; in a global economy, foreigners offer the cheapest labor.
        You either compete or you are left behind.
        Dropping our corporate tax rate of 35% would help lure them back.

  • Marcos in Miami, FL

    I tried to call in and make a live comment, but needed some access code. MY COMMENT: Aren’t we paying attention to the albeit not-so-coherent message of the occupiers?: We should create and live in a society where policy is oriented toward PEOPLE not MARKET imperatives. Here we have a propsoal in which BOTH housing and residency, despite being exclusive for so many people already living in the US, is going to be made accessible to foreigners? What is the morality of being able to pay your way to the front of the immigration line? And how about all the people without homes in the midst of peopleless homes??? This is an insult to the dignity of struggling Americans. How come we stigmatize and punish poor migrants as “illegal” but are willing to incentivize the migratino of the world’s wealthy? In Spanish the occupiers are called the “indignados,” the indignant. These kinds of policies is why there is so much outrage growing.

    • Modavations

      A causa los gentes pobres no tiennen los papeles.Su tu tiennes lana ,tu tiennes los papeles.Este es la moda en todo el mundo.

  • concernedcitizen

    THis should not happen until we STOP giving away US citizenship to anyone born here.  Otherwise this is like selling US citizenship:  come buy our houses, get a 3 yr visa, have a baby and it will be entitled to all our american benefits.  STOP THE ANCHOR BABY syndrome before you do this!

    • Sam Walworth

      Do you know anyone personally who has benefited from the “anchor baby syndrome”,???

      This year alone we have hit the highest number of deportation of illegal aliens.

      Secondly it takes years and years (atleast 18 years for the anchor child to be able to “invite” the parents to the US) and after that it takes around 2 years for the parents to get Green Card as a parent of a US citizen, that is almost 20 years!!!!

      To invite your kins, it takes around 10 – 15 years to get them a Green Card based on the family visa.

      Please educate yourself from the USCIS website:

      http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=1d383e4d77d73210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=1d383e4d77d73210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

      Dont be fooled by the idiots who dont know the facts before they speak

       

      • antimatter

        and should we waste so much money and time chasing down brown people when what really need is infrastructure, social systems, a work program, better public education, health care, homes…

    • antimatter

      you are an anchor baby–everyone in this country is an anchor baby–your grandparents, their grandparents.  its not so simple.  babies re innocent.  If a baby grows up in America, oblivious to national borders, and powerless to change it–learning English, conditioned and socialized and cultured as an American–speaking American–how can you just boot them–re you completely heartless.  This child should not be punished for being born.  Would you deport the child?  Can you imagine this babe in a foreign land surrounded by strangers, foreigners, people who don’t speak his/her language, homeless–you’re talking about a death sentence.  These children contribute to American society–they are Americans despite your racism and your politics.  Their love and their patriotism is for America, despite the fact that you live in it.  If you educate compassionately, if you build social welfare systems–of which we have none–despite the idiotic rhetoric that we are a welfare state–that’s a laugh–we have no welfare in America and we are not number one–we are not prosperous–we suck actually if you compare us to other western nations.  Other civilized nations have strong social welfare systems.  And have prospered despite the bull you hear in the corporate fascist media.  Its unbelievable how ignorant many Americans are–they know nothing.  Nothing.  Chinese farmers know more.

      We are a country founded on immigration.  Deal with it.  You are an immigrant.  The problem is fascism–the corporate elite!  They have duped you.  They got a broomstick up your posterior and you like it.

      • antimatter

        sorry–if you build educate immigrants, especially illegal immigrants we will reduce crime dramatically, decrease homelessness and prostitution and other evils–most will become prosperous innovative compassionate adults of which we need and want.  We don’t need anymore cowboys.  Its time we start smoking out their holes the cowboys and deporting them–maybe to Iraq–the country they destroyed.

  • maria

    what about the cost of educating the children who will have residency and will be attending our public universities at the resident rate. not to mention health care if they get sick

    • Anonymous

      Oh no, the GOP will break out in horror allowing these immigrants in while we foot the bill for their care. Yet somehow I doubt that we’ll hear a peek out of the GOP.  It will be interesting to see their response to this proposal. 

    • Dave in CT

      Rick Perry will give them In-State tuition.

  • David

    My wife and I are sitting on the sidelines. We have hundreds of thousands in the bank and I earn a six figure income, but we decided to rent and not to buy when we moved to Cambridge. We just don’t trust this that the housing market won’t crash again and we’ll be left with an underwater mortgage.

  • Tanya

    This is a terrible idea. It only helps Banks, real estate agents and those who are involved in the housing sector, “developers” –  the same people who crated the crisis.
    This idea is just kicking the can down the road and is not looking beyond the next quarter finance report.  Let the houses become cheap.
    Where is the belief in the “free market economy”?

    The long term solution is to make AMERICANS rich, not make them slaves for corrupt Chinese politicians and Latin American drug lords who will inevitably be among the “rich foreigners”. Along with rich Arabs and Russian spies….

    This means education and training for Americans, honest economy, innovation, infrastructure.  Bring Americans to the house, by enabling them to pay, don’t grow the underclass. 

    • Dave in CT

      We are too poor to pull our leaders strings anymore, time for the foreigners to do it.

    • Kristina S.

      I agree, I think this idea only rewards bad behavior and bad decisions.  This is not the way to correct our economic mistakes.

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    1. The way to approach this question is to use the “tit for tat” philosophy. If I can come into your country to buy property for profit, then you can come into my country to buy property. Personally, I would also demand that these people come from a country that has a Bill of Rights and Constitution that are the similar ( in a correct world similar would read “same” ) to the United States Constitution. 2. I would like to know how the US will enforce and collect real estate taxes on these outsiders?  How will these foreigners feel when the States and local governments begin raising their taxes due to the Fed’s inability to maintain its ability to generate needed revenue ?3. What will these foreigner’s do when their property is confiscated due to their tenants use of illegal drugs ?4. How will the U. S. enforce housing codes, etc..
    I wish to add that despite this hard times, hard sell about falling house prices being bad, I say, baloney ! Falling house prices is a good thing. Why would you want to spend more for a house to live in ? True, many are underwater and THAT IS BAD, but the real problem is lack of  real wage growth and a general lack of investment diversification in the general populace. Try to envision a world of little struggle, little toil, and much wealth. The “system” is trying to force you into believing suffering is necessary for growth and economic well being. This is ridicules !

  • Anonymous

    This idea makes me feel like I need to take a shower. It is full of desperation and where do you think those kind of ideas lead? If it were a last resort, perhaps it would be more palatable. But what has been done so far to solve the problem?  It hasn’t really been tackled very forthrightly. The problem will not go away by bringing in overseas buyers. The foreclosures will continue, people will continue to be homeless, hungry, cold and jobless. I think Obama has lost his marbles.

    • Dave in CT

      It’s worth it. Schumer will get the Real Estate vote, and can serve us further, while delivering some more Wall St. support to Obama to help secure his marbles.

  • John

    Don’t
    get it, no shortage of foreign real estate money in US particularly NYC?

    In
    addition there is a federal program known as EB-5 that I believe is set up to
    bring capital in to fund new businesses from other countries that includes one
    person and family who can secure citizenship as a manager of the enterprise.

    I
    understanding E5 am intended to foster technology development but real estate
    is allowed. Chinese investors ($$$) favor real estate because it can be
    evaluated from a distance.

    What
    happened to that program and why is it not sufficient to Sen. Schumer?

    We
    need capital to startup new innovative business that is the engine of job
    creation.

    Regards
    John

  • frustrated

    America is no longer for Americans but for the rich and their corporations.  I don’t understand why it was stated that housing prices have come down. Maybe they have in remote vacation towns. But they haven’t where I live in Boston and they probably haven’t in other areas where jobs are found as well. Average Americans have to live where jobs can be found and these desirable neighborhoods have resisted any housing price corrections. Why would I want foreigners to keep prices high that were artificially inflated during the housing bubble. Wall street helped itself to my tax dollars after taking advantage of us all. The housing prices and banks were all part of that chaos. I need to buy a house in my neighborhood. I’m not asking for handouts. But lets hear celebration for the housing price correction that is long over due so that average Americans can get back to buying homes where they work.

    • twenty-niner

      Just sit tight; prices will be coming down. The Fed can’t sustain the current level of interest-rate balloon squeezing for too much longer. Within the next 5 years, rates will be going up substantially. As rates go up, housing prices go down.

    • Kristina S.

      Prices in the Boston area have come down (maybe around 5%).  But some neghborhoods have expereienced a dramatic drop in prices, it just depends where you are looking.

  • Feored

    That must be the most preposterous proposition ever.
    The law targets – presumably – well educated, afluent foreigners. I don’t see any issue with handing a Greencard to anyone who can provide proof of $500k in personal assets.

    Right now 99% of immigrants have virtually no assets or higher schooling

    Frank, German, living in South Orange, NJ

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

      Give me your poor, huddled masses. 

  • Andy

    They said outsourcing was good for the  US economy. It led to joblessness.
    Now we sell our houses and lands to foreigners – So we live as a jobless poor people as tenants to foreigners in our own country  ?

    • Anonymous

      Give that man a cigar!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

        I’ll still out for 3 times the value of my home and move back to Michigan and buy for 1/10. Somebody has to live in Michigan. 

  • Dan Welsh

    This is a pitiful response to the fact that congress has done nothing to stimulate job growth. The goal should be to get people jobs so they can buy houses. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

      Not the Tea Bagging Rubio congress.

  • andy

    Do they have any idea of how many people in India and China can easily afford $500,000 homes? Even if 1% of those people can afford second homes in the US , it will be 30 million people. From their point of view rental properties in the US are a good investment opportunity, and they will definitely come in droves.

    • Anonymous

      And when you pay rent it won’t stay here!

  • Harryvalencia

    the idea of providing relief to homeowners by refinancing or outright reworking their mortgages and or interest rates has been villified and equated with socialism, yet the greatest beneficiaries of such a program will be folks like myself that pay their mortgage on time since i will be able to maintain my home value and the value of homes in my neighborhood, contrary to what many think otherwise. Also foreign buyers have been buying homes in miami for a long time and and is not a nw idea, the only dowfall to such a program is that these same buyers usually buy here in the US as a way to take their money out of their countries of origen an put in a more stable economy like oursand many times these buyers dont mind overpaying for the properties they are buying, hence inflating prices artificially, which is partlyu what happened in south florida with venezuelans and colombians just a few years ago

    • Cpocraig

      You are so right.

    • Kristina S.

      What if homeowners could get the same interest rates that banks got under TARP?

  • Michi-Kiwi

    As an American who lives in New Zealand, I’m absolutely appaled that the USA would consider sweetening the pot for international buyers to come in and snap up land/homes.  New Zealand allows foreign nationals to freely buy small parcels of property (they are not issued visas, but they buy from abroad as lucrative investments) and it has had devastating effects on the price of property in this country over the last couple of decades.  I think it could serve as a good case study for localized markets within the United States.  Trying to keep property prices from crashing in the short term is a nice sentiment, and an influx of cash does sound pretty nice, but the bottom line is that opening the flood gates to foreign ownership will have the opposite effect.  It won’t just stabilize the property market, it will eventually drive up prices to a level where Americans, especially in desirable areas, are no longer able to afford home ownership and are instead forced to rent from foreign landlords.  Wealthy foreigners won’t be snapping up a few homes here and there.  Once they realize just how cheap housing and land is in the USA they will be snapping up property left and right in greater and greater amounts.  

    In just a couple of decades rich foreigners, particularly Chinese, have snapped up incredible amounts of New Zealand property as investments, and though they don’t live here they rent their properties and make their money from Kiwis.  That’s led to a deficit of available homes for purchase across the country.  The current generation of 20-somethings have no hope now of home ownership because in a struggling economy is it nearly impossible to both pay a minimum US$600/month in rent (up to US$2000/month for a small 3-bedroom house in Auckland) and still save US$16,000 for a downpayment on a US$220,000 mortgage for a tiny 1-2 bedroom hut of a house. So, most upcoming Kiwis are forced to rent, and in the urban areas that usually means renting from a foreign owner. 

    It’s already expensive enough to live in states like California, Washington state, Florida, or New York state.  Try buying a home in ten years when only 1/4 of the usual properties are for sale and due to demand have spiked to half again or twice the price they were before the housing bubble burst.  Not to mention the American buyers will be competing with foreign buyers for those same available properties, and the foreigners will probably be able to pay more and pay cash. 

    It’s also important to think about the always underlying problem of where does the money generated from these investment properties go?  The owners don’t live in the USA, don’t shop in the USA, and certainly don’t pump their wealth back into the USA economy.  Instead they pay a few taxes and then ship the rest of the profit back to wherever they live.  That, most definitely, is not going to help America turn things around. I don’t know what the solution will be to get the housing market going again allowing people to move about and improve their lives, but selling out our land and infrastructure to foreigners is not it.

    • Cpocraig

      I own a condo property in S.E. Florida. If someone wants to give me 2 to 3 times the value for my property….God love them. I’ll sell in a N.Y. minute.

    • Drew You Too

      Nice comment.

    • Drew You Too

      On a side note I have always wanted to visit and eventually live in New Zealand, how did you manage it? It is very difficult from what I have read, unless you know people there who are willing to help you keep your foot in the door long enough to get established.

      • Michi-Kiwi

        Actually, I originally came to NZ to attend graduate school.  When you’ve done schooling down here for two years there’s a scheme that lets you stay temporarily to gain job experience, and if the job you land wants to keep you it becomes even easier to apply for residency.

        • Drew You Too

          Thanks for the response, I appreciate the information.

  • Anonymous

    ” In the voice of Rod Serling” 
    Picture if you will the world spinning to a stop at North America, A sign thrust into the middle of the US that simply says,  FOR SALE
    It’s inhabitants not robed of all they hold dear, Yet.
    “Next up on the Twilight Zone”

  • Cpocraig

    Tom, The Japanese tried to buy America back in the late 80.s and early 90′s. There economy still has indigestion from that. Good luck to the Chinese.

  • Sandy C.

    I’m struggling with one of the premises of this idea.  Why are we not allowing rich people from other countries who want to buy properties here to become Americans?  This should be a REQUIREMENT, not something to be forbidden.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

      At 2 to three time my S. Florida condo’s value? I’ll sell in a heart beat.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

    No Body seems to get it. There is no more middle class. They made the mistake for voting for the GOP.

    • Dave in CT

      Good thing they didn’t vote for Clinton, Rubin, Summers, Frank, Dodd, Fannie Mae……

      ….we’d have to put some of the blame on the middle class themselves!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5PTC3L7IR242ZRUO2EBY7NVXHA Mockorange

    Another bailout for the rich.  we should focus all our attention on the real problem, JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

  • DG

    The real issue is the U.S. Immigration policy. It takes 10 years to legally become a citizen. We need to be encouraging people to come to our country and work and develop businesses and jobs; they’ll buy homes and so will their employees. If students from other countries come to our colleges and universities, I rather they use their talents here, instead of taking their education to help their country of birth, i.e. exporting education. Michigan’s census numbers would be worse if it wasn’t for the immigrants who moved in, starting new businesses and hiring. I am not a fan of selling visas or other short term fixes like temporary residency. The preference is a longer term focus of providing value, to homes, to honest work, and to citizenship.

    • Dave in CT

      Close the borders until unemployment is 3%.

      Yes, we are a nation of immigrants.  But that doesn’t change the fact that most of the immigration policy is there to serve business with cheaper labor, and create a growing consumer base. 

      We will never reform our education or employment issues if we don’t have a market force (labor scarcity) driving a need for US workers to be willing and able to do the jobs of the country.

      And if there are not enough jobs? Even more reason to take an immigration breather.

      If we really want to hit the corporate class, and their Washington enablers, we have to do things that they feel. Consumer choices and demand for big policy changes.

  • Anonymous

    Are we under the delusion that the foreign money that flooded the market and turned into derivatives and other crude instruments will travel on the persons of new immigrants?  We have enough potential buyers right in the United States, yet we’re ceding them for others instead of fixing the banking system and the fiscal culture of Americans.

  • Slipstream

    It used to be: “Give us your poor folks, longing to work hard and live free.”  Now it is “Give us your rich, longing to purchase overpriced real estate.” 

    One thing that did not come up in the show: A move like this would primarily benefit big banks and real estate companies by putting some money into the real estate markets of NY, LA, Washington, SF, and maybe a couple of other major metropolitan areas (thus making it even harder for local middle class folks to buy homes).  It would do very little for Columbus, for Rhode Island, for Camden, for Tucson, etc.  Where do you think rich people from foreign lands are going to want to buy homes?

  • Fnoone_1

    No, this is not a good idea.  It will exacerbate the problems of the divide between rich and poor.  It will be unsustainable.  It is a sad idea.  Refinancing should be easier, and encouraged across the board for all homeowners, even those who seem to be ok and tolerating their underwater mortgage contracts.  The banks need to be shouldering more of the loss, and the responsibility, for the mortgage fiasco.  The banks and financial system betrayed homeowners.  Now they just want to balance their balance sheets.  For what? They need to balance their responsibility to the society to they serve – here in America as well as internationally.  The banks and the financial institutions have public, social responsibilities.  Neglecting to renegotiate mortgages and end foreclosures is irresponsible.  And people losing their homes bear all the loss.  For the US, this will be a scar long lasting.

    • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

      with great wealth and power, comes great responsibility; i love your commentary. the bankers live in the US too – for now….

  • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

    This sounds like the German popular proposal of selling Greek Islands to pay off EU held debt. Perhaps we can start raffling off our real estate to the Chinese for the same? Sure!

  • loc

    If Obama and other world leaders would write off the total global toxic debt, none of this would be necessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

    Why not make it easier for the best and brightest to immigrate to the US (e.g. by using a point system like Canada and Australia do with capital to invest in real estate or, better yet, businesses one consideration)?

  • Ecomsites

    What a total disaster – borrowing from foreigners and future generations to fund our current excesses, waste, and immense corruption, to then pay for it (in part) by selling the most valuable resource(s) we have – the property of the U.S.   Wow.  If “we the people” do not get serious about getting the bastards out of this government (and get some honest true patriot like Ron Paul in, to really turn things around) then we will finish destroying one of the greatest nations that ever was, or could be.  We are losing it all – all you selfish, immoral, greedy unaware idiots out there. 

  • hippirfreak1

    will those scumbags give the chinese 100 homeless americans as slaves to ?

  • William Powe

    solution for bankrupt and forclosed americans, just kill yourself
    and give your house back to the bank and then they can
    sell it to a rich chinaman and that will help to balance the budget.
    its just another way to give your life for your country. lol
    look out hard rain comming baby

  • Metalbagger2012

    Fuck this country,slaves to the fed reserve fucks who purposly destroyed this country.It will only get worst.Be prepaired to loose all your freedoms.The government has sold us out!!!!

  • dsdefg

     The problem with this proposal is that it-along with the tons of other plans to try and “save housing” is that the REAL problem was and still is that real estate- most often in larger metros- is overpriced. The prices should have never climbed to as high as they did and in many places- like NYC, SF, LA, Boston, and so on- the prices still need to come down to levels that real incomes can afford. Somehow this is something politicians either refuse to acknowledge or realize. What we certainly don’t need is to artificially inflate the bubble again. Doing so would only hamper any sort of real recovery by once again putting real estate out of reach for the middle class.

     That said, I’m fairly confident that a bill this ridiculous will never see the light of day.

  • revolve

    in other words sell the country, land rights, property rights and thus power to china–with property comes prestige, wealth, and control of politics, law, and the bitch police.  Not a good idea.  Canadians maybe.  Chinese–NO!  No visa to property owners–again–this is more of the same bull–wealth buys democracy, wealth buys rights.  What about the poor internationals who want a better life?  To hell with the rich (those fascist greedy inept monstrous malicious whoring rich anyway).  Chinese have no respect for democracy, community or empathy–i know form long experience in China.  If you have an American King–he might let you have some semblance of dignity–treat with some hospitality, manners, and personal respect–maybe–A Chinese king will demand your eyes downcast, your worship and will treat like a monkey or a maggot.  I do not want a chinese king.  I do not want a king.  Down with the American elite selling us out to china,down with the Chinese elite hell bent on destroying the planet and undermining democracy. Both demons need to be vanquished!  Workers of the world unite!  Humans of the world unite!  We the 99 percent of the must stand in solidarity!  Bring down the tyrants!  Wealth is not king!  There is humanity in you i can feel it.  Equality, justice, compassion must reign now and forever!  Tear down the filthy governments of the world and prosecute harshly!!!

    • your listener

      Your post is amusing, some are true, some seem fictional, I can’t help but smile and crack up ….  :-) & :D

  • antimatter

    people losing their homes will still be thrown out like the trash–whether its by American rich or International rich.  Fix the problem.  Let people refinance their homes, assist them.  Confiscate the elite mansions set up housing for the unfortunate.  Are we the united states of an anarchy of greedy thugs and cruel demons who piss on each other? You wave flags but its all talk, all for keeping up appearances–and for what?  You vicious patriots should just make your own personal flags and fly them form your serfdom’s–your fiefdoms–your five bedroom homes and your three bedroom homes and your mansions.  We are either a nation under one flag, a a constitution, or we are individual households warring against each other.  The latter is insanity and will perish.  Rendering the flag and all your patriotism absurd–so you might as well burn your precious flag–it means nothing.  And burn your constitution–it means nothing.  There is no such thing as the United States of America–there is only the United Corporations of Freed Trade–an Anarco-fascist conglomeration of meaningless monsters.

  • hippirfreak1

    lets put each one of those senators in rockets and launch them at canada and china ; then turn  their taxpayer subsidized mansions into homeless shelters,,,,

  • Pingback: VISIT USA Act to Empower Foreign Home Buyers « Boston Real Estate Reporter

  • http://www.daleyandcompany.com/ Lia Godwin Peters

    Tapping foreign buyers is an excellent idea! Using their money would only be beneficial to our local and national economy. 

  • lisahinphoenix

    I know we all have free speech, however, can’t like minded people pull together and possibly come up with a constructive plan to make a change for the better? Our family is all for some new legislation to prevent selling off our country to foreigners. My husband and I were just talking about how we believe the USA is the only country that allows foreigners to own property within it’s borders. How absurd! How could that ever be a positive thing, to wake up one day being owned by communist China or even any other country? We don’t know much about politics, maybe it’s time we educated ourselves and did what we can to make a change. Maybe next time we see a “petition table” outside our neigborhood store, we should all plan to stop and take a few minutes to read the proposed legislation, and then sign if we are in agreement. Also, we can independently write to our local politicians expressing our displeasure with the current law allowing sale of US properties to foreigners.

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