So among many other things I’m involved in in life, for the past few months my wife and I have had part time jobs as first-time home buyers. We’ve been gathering paperwork, signing more forms than we know what to do with, racking up credit card debt with things like home inspections and appraisals, and living out of boxes in our apartment as we prepare to move. Our closing date was originally going to be on January 16th but was pushed back to February 3rd to allow more time for money for the down payment from my wife’s 401k to come through. What does this have to do with Trump or with politics in general? Besides being an explanation for why I’ve not been posting more on here (believe me, I’d love to have contributed more than the few posts I have thus far), it has to do with the Trump administration’s first act since taking power.
Now, I’m going to be honest here. I don’t know if I can blame Trump for this one, or someone in Trump’s administration, or simply politics. But I know that it happened since he took power, and it would not have happened if Clinton or Sanders had won the election. What I’m referring to here is what’s referenced in this article from CNN, something that just happened and I happen to have a few moments to write about.
On January 9th, a mortgage-fee reduction was announced and was to go into effect on January 22nd. This fee reduction is in regards to private mortgage insurance, which is necessary for those who are putting less than 20% down when buying their homes – that’s pretty much anyone taking out an FHA loan, which is backed by the federal government. Borrowers using FHA loans put down somewhere in the realm of 3% to 5% down, thus making PMI necessary. On average, as the article states, this would have saved homeowners (and home buyers) with these types of loans an average of $500.00 this year. Typically, those trying for FHA loans do so for one of two reasons (or both reasons) – low credit scores and not having enough of a down payment (20% wouldn’t have been possible for my wife and I, so we are the latter in this case). Of course, these home buyers and homeowners are generally going to be the ones who are lower to middle class, the ones who don’t have the ability to buy a home otherwise – the ones who need help. I’m not afraid to admit that without an FHA loan my wife and I wouldn’t be buying a home at this time. I get that $500.00 may not seem like much, but when you’re buying a home for the first time, with all the costs that go into it, any help is a blessing, and that help is being taken away from homeowners and buyers that the Obama administration was trying to help.
What’s truly bothering me here isn’t that the Trump administration’s first act was one that has an effect on my personal finances. This would be bothersome whether or not it was something that would have an impact on my wife and I because it points to the nature of Trump’s presidency. He’s not the president of the people, contrary to what people who voted for him seem to think. What people does this rate reduction benefit? Certainly not people trying to by homes using an FHA loan! No, it only benefits businesses. Those who are offering private mortgage insurance. They’ll make more money thanks to a rate hike, off the backs of those who can only afford to buy a home with government help in the first place. Expect that to be a recurring theme with this administration, one which those of us who have feared the worst from Trump from the beginning have been pointing out. Trump is primarily a businessman, with rampant conflicts of interest, and he’s going to do what’s best for his businesses and for those in business, not for the American people. Some of you reading this are going to shake your heads and say that this isn’t the case with Trump. It’s just one example of what he’ll do, you’ll say, and most of it will be good for this nation and for the people. That may be the case – I sincerely hope it’s the case. But I don’t think it will be the case.
All that I ever heard when Trump was running from his supporters was “at least he’s different than a typical politician, just wait and see what he’ll do.” After he won, it was, “Don’t judge him by his cabinet picks, he’s not in office yet, he hasn’t done anything. Wait until he takes power, then see what he does.” So, while I didn’t like him, and I didn’t like his cabinet picks, I’ve been doing my best to give him a chance. Truly, I don’t want him to fail as president – because his failure is this nation’s failure. Now Trump has taken power, and his administration has taken action. Do I get to judge him on it now?
Surely his supporters will say, “It’s only one act so far, wait and see!” Yet, by way of comparison, let’s look back on Obama’s first acts as president. He issued a proclamation which declared January 20th, 2009 as a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation. Beyond that, he enacted a pay freeze for Senior White House Staff making more than $100,000 per year (that sounds like a fiscally conservative action to me) and he announced new guidelines in regards to lobbyists – guidelines that would improve ethical standards for the federal government.
Judging by his campaign? Trump fails. Judging by his Cabinet picks? Trump fails. Judging by his administration’s first act, particularly when compared to Obama’s? I don’t about you, but I say Trump fails yet again.