While I have a strict policy of not dancing on the graves of people who are in trouble through no fault of their own, Sen. Mike Lee, let’s say it right up front, should have known better.
I mean, who the H buys a top-value house while the housing boom is crumbling all over? Or even while it is still going on?
Seriously, this article (click) discusses his being forced to short sell (read: stick it to the bank) his home which, the article says, he bought “at the height of the housing boom” in January of 2008.
Actually, early 2008 was not the height. The bubble was already deflating. Anyone who read the news knew that. Even Fox news. I have a brother who sold a house around then and he got out by the skin of his teeth.
But even if it were the height, so what?
Sen. Lee projects himself as a fiscal conservative — the nation should eschew debt! The nation has to balance its books!
But he blew more than a million dollars he didn’t have on a fancy house which, by any measure, was way way way overvalued. Housing prices everyone in the nation were — and all the real fiscal conservatives knew that and stayed out.
That’s why they didn’t get bit, and the people who bought under the idea that houses never ever lost value did. You want to find a real fiscal conservative? Go knock on the door of one of those homes in Ogden’s middle income neighborhood where an older retired person lives who bought the place 40 years ago, paid it off, and raised five kids in two bedrooms.
The place is probably still paid off. Real fiscal conservatives stay out of debt, and when they do have debts they pay them.
The housing bubble was so obvious even I saw it coming, and it is one of those times I really wish I had the wherewithall to bet against the housing market because I could have made a killing.
But people like Lee claim to be smart. So why didn’t he see that housing values that had tripled, while national income levels had stayed the same, was trouble?
I wouldn’t mind it nearly so much except this is the guy who is wandering all over Washington DC now, telling us that the way to fiscal sanity is to cut taxes, increase spending on the military and do away with federal programs that help the poor. Whining to the bank to help him out of his own bad fiscal management does not lend confidence.
Complete irony: a short sale essentially socializes his debt/loss — it sticks it to the bank, which of course holds your and my money, which is federally insured, and it is that federally insured money it loaned to Sen. Lee, so the ultimate guarantor of his loss is the taxpayer.
And now he hangs around DC condemning government and preaching fiscal responsibility to the rest of us.
Must be nice.