Welcome To The Desert of The Real
Itís also congenitally hard for politicians to get behind ďa serious program of mortgage modification.Ē Those who advocate for this (the NYT editorial page, e.g.) are right, but theyíre also downplaying a very binding constraint. The politics of this idea are deeply wound up in moral hazard. People forget, but it was precisely this actionógiving mortgage relief to someone at risk of default and not to someone who was struggling to keep up their paymentsóthat birthed the Tea Party.
I ran into this "the Tea Party made them do it" argument before - see this. It struck me as specious at the time and still does. But it does point to an important issue- how activists can change political realities. Consider the Tea Party. What was it really? Nothing more than the usual suspect Right Wing Republicans ranting about the same things they always rant about. But not only did the Media pretend it was something new- apparently so to did the Obama Administration. The strange thing about it is would the rantings have been any different no matter what course the Obama Administration chose? I mean if the worries were the Tea Party, how then can the health bill effort be explained? There is a lesson in all of this and I will explore it on the flip.
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