Another Claimed Bush Accomplishment Bites the Dust

One of the key planks of Bush’s “Compassionate Conservative” agenda in 2000 and his “Ownership Society” agenda in 2004 was closing the gap between white and minority home ownership. And minority home ownership has risen, for which he’s taken credit, pointing to his tax cuts as the impetus for the closing gap. Not only is that bullshit, but minorities are now experiencing a significant rise in foreclosures.

President Bush cites rising minority ownership as a milestone achievement under his "ownership society" programs.

But hidden behind such success stories lies a disturbing trend: in the last several years, neighborhoods with large poor and minority populations in places like Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta have experienced a sharp rise in foreclosures, in some cases more than a doubling, according to an analysis of court filings and other housing data by The New York Times and academic researchers.

The black home ownership rate even dipped slightly last year, according to the Census Bureau.

The increase in foreclosures could be the first of a wave of financial distress for many minority homeowners, experts say, because they are twice as likely as whites to have taken out expensive subprime mortgages, most of which will jump to higher interest rates in the next two years, according to an analysis of data that lenders disclose under the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act…

Some housing experts worry that the minority foreclosure rate could worsen if the economy or the housing market, nationally or regionally, hits a rough patch as it has in industrial Midwestern states like Ohio…

Over the years, Ms. Roberts's monthly expenses rose because of repairs to a dilapidated porch and the birth of two grandchildren, but the $880 a month she takes home after taxes from her job as a home health aide did not.
Wage stagnation is a big problem for homeowners, especially those who have bought used homes, and the necessity of repairs and replacements of big items like furnaces and roofs start kicking in after a few years. Another problem, not mentioned in the article, throughout the Midwest is the rising cost of property taxes to make up for state and local budget deficits. Even homeowners with fixed mortgages can succumb to these issues.

The result is foreclosures, which leads to vacant homes, which leads to neighborhood blight, which leads to decreased property values, which leads to more vacancies and more blight, which leads to crime.

Wage stagnation and rising property taxes are directly attributable to Bush’s dire handling of the economy, specifically his belief that tax cuts are a panacea for any and every economic woe. And that’s not even to mention his resistance to addressing predatory lending practices or his signing of the ridiculous Bankruptcy Bill. So much for compassionate conservatism, eh?

George W. Bush: Worst President Ever.

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