The Baltimore Sun

Take responsibility for housing fiasco

The torrent of "who could have known" comments from almost every person I hear interviewed about the drop in the housing market must stop - i.e., Dan Demeria, owner of Potomac Heritage Homes, asking, "Who in the real estate market believed that this market would drop as it has?" ("Short, sharp fall," Feb. 22).

It is time for a mea culpa from the myopic, greedy people who saddled us with the inevitable results of their delinquent behavior. It would be nice to see someone - a bank executive, a regulator or a homeowner who knew he couldn't afford the mortgage he asked for - own up to his part in this disaster.

It is ludicrous that anyone assumed property values would continue to rise at a meteoric rate and that loans that required no income documentation would not end in ruins.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear someone say that her or she acted with greed and avarice while ignoring common sense, risk and any concern for the possibility of a downturn in the market?

We would still be in the same terrible financial situation, but at least we would know there was one person who realized the error of his or her ways.

Daniel Goodman, Baltimore

Punishing effort with higher taxes

In response to articles about President Barack Obama's stimulus package and budget, I would like to state my objections to the direction in which our country seems to be headed ("A budget gamble," editorial, Feb. 27).

No longer will citizens be rewarded for working hard and saving and investing for the future. They will instead be punished with higher taxes on earnings and capital gains. And the tired rhetoric about ending "tax breaks for the rich" is getting old - especially if you consider that those making more than $200,000 include people who sacrificed to own small businesses that employ a large percentage of the country's workers.

When people are given entitlements from the government, they lose their incentive to work and earn money the old-fashioned way.

We should not feel entitled to a house unless we save our money until we can afford it, or expect the government - which is us - to bail us out.

I hope all of this government spending, including the earmarks, can be stopped before it is too late.

Elizabeth G. Brown, Woodstock

Keeping his promise to spread wealth

With the unveiling of President Barack Obama's new budget plan, another of his campaign promises - no earmarks - has been broken ("Budget is bold 'first step,'" Feb. 27).

The president, however, is keeping one of his campaign promises: the promise to "Joe the Plumber" and the rest of us to spread the wealth around.

Living up to his reputation as the most liberal member of the 2008 Senate, he is now in the tax-and-spend mode most favored by the Democrats.

R.W. Kocher, Churchville

Tired of Republican rhetoric of division

I am sick and tired of the Republican naysayers who continue to put partisan politics above America's need for confidence in restoring our crumbling economy ("GOP response raises profile of Gov. Jindal," Feb. 25).

The "Tragic Trilogy" of dominant Republican spokesmen, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Michael S. Steele and Rush Limbaugh, are but comic caricatures of the failed GOP policies over the last eight years of divide, dissent and destroy.

What we need now is unity, hope and a constructive attitude if we are to restore America's rightful position of respect in the world.

It is time for Republican politicians to lead with better solutions, follow in good faith or, best of all, get out of the way.

Jim Williams, Baltimore

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