Bush’s Bailout Plan

BUSH’S BAILOUT PLAN….From today’s LA Times story about George Bush’s new plan to deal with the subprime mortgage mess:

Seeking to gird the nation’s economy against a potential tidal wave of foreclosures, the Bush administration will release a plan today that is expected to block many mortgages from adjusting to higher rates for as long as five years.

Administration officials acknowledged privately Wednesday that the plan was likely to face objections from low-income borrowers who won’t be helped….

Bush’s plan won’t help low-income borrowers? That’s a shocker, isn’t it?

Atrios provides some more detail on what the requirements are to qualify for Bush’s plan, and the two key ones that will exclude most low-income borrowers are:

  • Must not have missed a payment

  • Must own a home worth more than their mortgage

The lower your income, the more likely you are to have missed a payment already, and the lower your income the more likely you are to have been sold a no-down loan that’s already left you underwater due to falling housing prices. Net result: no help for low-income folks.

Like Atrios, I’ve become increasingly unsure that any kind of broad-based bailout plan can work — or work well, in any case — but if you’re going to do it everyone ought to have a shot at getting help. Bush’s plan, conversely, pretty transparently doesn’t care about anyone with a modest income. Not part of his base, I guess.