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Obama’s $10 Billion Foreclosure Prevention Fund is History (Update)

John on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm

It sure looks that way to me. Slate’s new campaign website tracking software notes numerous changes to Obama’s Economy Page: There were four major proposals previously identified as:

  1. Additional Tax Rebates to American Workers ($20 Billion)
  2. $10 Billion Foreclosure Prevention Fund
  3. $10 Billion Relief for State and Local Governments
  4. Extend and Expand Unemployment Insurance ($10 Billion)

Those have now been replaced with a single item identified as:

Provide $50 Billion to Jumpstart the Economy and Prevent 1 Million Americans from Losing their Jobs.

Notice that the total cost is the same, still $50 billion in “stimulus.” So at first glance it may appear Obama has just rolled four initiatives into one (plus introducing a new “Windfall Profits Tax” on oil companies). However, scrolling down the page it appears at least one proposal is actually gone. First there’s this paragraph, which may be a reference to the Dodd bill that the White House agreed to about a month ago. Maybe this is now considered moot?

New FHA Housing Security Program: Barack Obama strongly supports the efforts of Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd (D–CT) to create a new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program that will provide meaningful incentives for lenders to buy or refinance existing mortgages and convert them into stable 30-year fixed mortgages. This plan provides an important federal backstop – not a bailout – to this growing national problem. Neither lenders nor homeowners would receive a windfall from this plan.

But this other proposal a bit lower that seems to have vanished without explanation:

Create Fund to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosures: Obama will create a fund to help people refinance their mortgages and provide comprehensive supports to innocent homeowners. The fund will be partially paid for by Obama’s increased penalties on lenders who act irresponsibly and commit fraud.

Note that this used to be Obama’s #2 bullet point. He rolled out this proposal in a speech at the end of May, as this CNN story attests. Here’s another CNN page comparing the two candidates response to the lending crisis which also touts Obama’s $10 billion fund. Just two months later it appears to be gone without comment. That’s quite a chunk of change to be putting on and off the table within 60 days.

Then again, he’s still spending the $10 billion, so I guess it’s only the program that’s off the table.

Related: Not the first time Obama has dropped statements from his website without much attention.

Update: Talk of the fund has also been removed from his Family page. Also, the Slate page notes that his plan to extend unemployment insurance is also gone, that was bullet point #4 at the top of his Economy page. And sure enough, it seems to also not be part of his new $50 billion plan.

This seems like a pretty significant post-convention rewrite.

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Category: Politics |

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