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A New York Times article (Sept. 30, 1999) reported Fannie Mae Corp. eased credit requirements on loans it purchased from other banks and lending institutions. Fannie Mae was under pressure from the Clinton administration to expand mortgage loans among low- and moderate-income people. Eighteen percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, when only 5 percent should have been made in the conventional loan market.

Fannie Mae took a big risk because many borrowers had credit below what underwriters require. When it failed, the government once again had to step in and bail out the industry just like it did in the 1980s with the savings and loan industry.

Under Fannie Mae’s program, a borrower who qualified got a 30-year fixed-rate loan of less than $240,000 for 1 percent above the going rate, and if they made their payments for two years the percentage premium was dropped.



Fannie Mae is the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages. It does not lend money directly to consumers. It purchases loans from banks made on the secondary market in an effort to spur banks to make loans to unqualified borrowers. It was intended to increase the number of minority and low-income homeowners who tended to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Homeownership exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990s. Hispanic mortgages jumped 87.2 percent in a 5-year period (1993-98), African Americans who got mortgages to purchase a home increased 71.9 percent, and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 percent.



Obviously, it failed and now we all have to pay in what is termed a bailout. A problem that was initiated under a Democratic administration and failed under a Democratic do-nothing Congress. Let’s put the blame where it belongs.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

On Oct. 9, Stan Rachesky gave us his latest Obama-hates-America rant, digging deeply into distorted anti-Obama e-mails and Fox News for his information. Among other quotes: “Obama, deep down, actually hates the U.S. Don’t forget, his roots are in Kenya, a country that is very Muslim and very poor. The word capitalist is not in his vocabulary.”

The new attacks of the right are the same old attacks. “Be afraid, be very, very afraid.” Turns out, on Friday, Oct. 10 (the next day), Stan’s standard bearer, John McCain, was booed by his own followers for rebuking a man who said he would be “scared … to bring a child up” if Obama was elected president, Agence France-Presse reported. “I have to tell you he (Obama) is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States,” McCain said.

At a Palin rally in Florida, someone yelled, “Kill him.” Now McCain has to spend time actually defending Barack Obama. I hope he has realized he let this spiral out of control. The sad thing is John McCain could have called off his attack dogs a long time ago, before the threats became serious. Using terrorist innuendo is beneath the bar of mudslinging. Or so I thought. I guess desperate times deserve desperate measures.

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle

Who uses RFTA? Four hundred thousand riders each year are riding the RFTA buses. Some are visitors, most are residents from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to Rifle … and beyond.

Who benefits? We all benefit. Employers benefit from a system that allows their workers to access convenient and reasonable transit. We all enjoy cleaner air, faster commutes, less fuel use, less wear and tear on your home-based vehicle, fewer cars on the roads, less road rage … you decide why it works for you.

Who rides the bus? Preschoolers going to the park or the school or the museum; seniors who ride free; guests of the Music Associates of Aspen and Aspen Institute who choose to avoid the parking scramble near the Tent; students from K-12 and Colorado Mountain College; all who wish to avoid night driving or driving on our winter roads; those who enjoy a day at the Hot Springs Pool and are too relaxed to drive home; skiers, snow boarders, bike riders (RFTA now services its guests with a “Bike Bus” for convenience); and employees and their employers throughout the valley. And this includes most of us.

Feel good about yourself, feel good about doing what is right for the environment. Ride the bus. Then vote “yes” on 4A to support RFTA. In Silt, vote “yes” on 2A to become an active participant in RFTA.

Dorothea Farris

Carbondale

Despite all evidence suggesting the last eight years of bad government have been a disaster both at home and abroad, it will be more of the same for another four or eight years. The Republicans will win the White House once more because they have most of corporate America and most of the very rich on their side, having favored them in all decisions, including tax loopholes, tax reduction, allowing the shipping of American jobs to other countries without tax penalties, lack of immigration control to supply them with cheap labor, relaxing environmental standards in favor of industry, and generating fantastic war profits for those who supply the military-industrial complex.

They assume most voters can be controlled by emotional manipulation rather than intelligent discussion of important issues and therefore have become expert at using fear tactics and character assassination (Rovism). And they present all problems as being black and white with no possible gray area in between: the good guys versus the bad guys, the right answer versus the wrong answer, the right religion versus the wrong religion. They present a simplistic view of the world that unfortunately appeals to the majority of people. Furthermore, they have residual racial and religious prejudice on their side, and have chosen a woman vice-presidential candidate to take advantage of all women voters who favored Hillary Clinton simply because she is a woman.

And so, the McCain-Palin ticket will win, and McCain, being at the age of mortality, will most likely die in office, leaving Palin as our president. She can bring in General Petraeus as vice president to advise her on the five wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Pakistan) and re-activate the draft. The depression we are now entering will be a perfect setting (as it was in the early days of Nazi Germany) for what lies ahead for that great but short-lived experiment called democracy: fascistic theocracy.

The first book to be banned will be Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here.” It can and it will, if that’s what most of us want.

Clay Boland Jr.

Carbondale


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