Weekend Editorial Roundup
Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:
The New York Times chided Jim Bunning for holding up a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and COBRA health coverage until it is paid for. They pointed out how "Mr. Bunning didn't seem to have a problem blowing up the deficit for the Iraq War and tax cuts." Also, The Times called for unemployment benefits to be extended until the end of the year, so that lawmakers aren't able to shove other things into extension bills.
The Washington Post lamented the fact that the Obama Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program has seriously lagged behind the need to cut homeowners' monthly mortgage payments and may have only delayed foreclosures rather than prevented them. They claimed, however, that there is a silver lining: the delay of foreclosures prevented all those houses from entering the market at the height of the recession, when the housing market would have been less able to handle them.
The Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled "$126.9 Billion and Counting," called out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for their continued losses at the expense of taxpayers; the taxpayer support so far totals, you guessed it, $126.9 billion. They also criticized Treasury for delaying reform of the two companies until next year, even though they are currently trying to pass reform in other parts of the financial services industry.
The Washington Post's Robert Samuelson blasted both sides of the aisle for playing "make-believe politics" with the Federal budget, ignoring the reality of our growing deficits. He slammed conservatives for wanting to make the 2001/2003 tax cuts permanent when those revenues are needed to close the budget gap, and he slammed liberals for continuing to add new spending to the Federal budget when spending reductions are needed.