Government’s Primary Purpose: Protect, Enable, Backup
Government’s Primary Purpose: Protect, Enable, Backup
By James A. George, American Political System Analyst
The Constitution provides the foundation for American government to help provide a good life for all, ensuring life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with justice for all people.
Everything in American begins from the bottom up. Local communities select leaders and provide for protection. They begin with incorporation and have affinity with county and state governments. They are represented at state and federal levels where “Districts” define areas of responsibility for U.S. Representatives and States define the scope of Senators’ representation.
Protection includes police, fire, and public health and safety at a minimum. Extrapolating and under the Constitution, protection includes domestic security and immigration control as well as foreign security through the Army and Navy military services.
Enable includes making conditions optimal for trade and commerce. This involves the right policies and laws and regulations as well as incentives such as how individuals and corporations are taxed. Enablement extends to include education, science and technology development policies.
Backup means that for people in need, seniors and disabled citizens, the public shares its wealth to ensure a good life for them. When accomplished effectively and acceptably, there would be no children or needy adults living without proper shelter, food, and healthcare.
So, if America were to assess government performance today, there are certain serious deficiencies.
It is imperative for Americans to address the models for what the President, Representatives, and Senators are supposed to be doing.
It is imperative to understand how government is intended to produce essential outcomes.
It is essential to readdress the American economic system because the current capitalist model is failing to provide for American citizens.
This should be a required topic in all considerations for selecting elected government officials.
Pick an issue
The persistent and unresolved housing crisis began with policies by the Clinton administration to provide affordable housing for all people. That should not have meant home ownership for all people because we see now that is not necessarily achievable by everyone. However, the idea was that owning your home is a better incentive than living in subsidized apartments. Poor working people could begin to take stock in their personal asset – their home.
There may have been a number of ways to provide stepping stones to home ownership. But, they were not considered as there was a race to accomplish something big in name, even if it wasn’t feasible. That is politics.
American government, independent from political parties, need to take stock in providing a good life for all as the outcome. If people believe we are all working toward that goal, then incremental progress will provide sufficient incentive to keep working in that direction without breaking the bank.
“We're hearing Republicans in the presidential primary blame the housing crisis on the Clinton-era push to lend more to poor people. In your view, what caused the mortgage crisis and subsequently the financial crash?
Congressman Frank, of course, blamed the financial crisis on the failure adequately to regulate the banks. In this, he is following the traditional Washington practice of blaming others for his own mistakes. For most of his career, Barney Frank was the principal advocate in Congress for using the government's authority to force lower underwriting standards in the business of housing finance. Although he claims to have tried to reverse course as early as 2003, that was the year he made the oft-quoted remark, "I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation toward subsidized housing." Rather than reversing course, he was pressing on when others were beginning to have doubts.
"It is government's fault for offering a housing finance program without making an effort to maintain underwriting standards."--Peter J. Wallison
His most successful effort was to impose what were called "affordable housing" requirements on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 1992. Before that time, these two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) had been required to buy only mortgages that institutional investors would buy--in other words, prime mortgages--but Frank and others thought these standards made it too difficult for low income borrowers to buy homes. The affordable housing law required Fannie and Freddie to meet government quotas when they bought loans from banks and other mortgage originators.
At first, this quota was 30%; that is, of all the loans they bought, 30% had to be made to people at or below the median income in their communities. HUD, however, was given authority to administer these quotas, and between 1992 and 2007, the quotas were raised from 30% to 50% under Clinton in 2000 and to 55% under Bush in 2007. Despite Frank's effort to make this seem like a partisan issue, it isn't. The Bush administration was just as guilty of this error as the Clinton administration. And Frank is right to say that he eventually saw his error and corrected it when he got the power to do so in 2007, but by then it was too late.”
Via the American Enterprise Institute