I’m certainly perplexed to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor‘s grammar, but I’m even more perplexed to his
deep-throated full-throated defense of offending mortgage lenders.
This was the slightly misnamed Cantor (by one extra syllable, and one wrong vowel), on Fox Sunday, responding to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s call for a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures:
CANTOR: I’m just perplexed to that answer, Bret, because what we know now is that Debbie and her party [inaudible] for the last couple of years, and what we’re seeing is if you do that, if you impose a moratorium on foreclosures what you are telling people and institutions that lend money is they do not have the protection to take the risk they need to, to extend credit for people will get a mortgage. You’re gonna shut down the housing industry if that is the case. Government’s got to pull back and stop intervening and what we’re talking about, Debbie, is you’ve got ten percent – if that – of the population who are now in a foreclosure situation, or perhaps in a mortgage that they’ve been unable to meet the obligations. [...]
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Through the reckless disregard for regulation that your administration–
FOX HOST: Here we go again.
CANTOR: Now, come on, people have to take responsibility for themselves.
CANTOR: We need to get the housing industry going again. We don’t need government intervening–
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: We need to strike a balance.
CANTOR: –in every step of every aspect of this economy–
See, people have to take responsibility for themselves. But no matter what the Supreme Court said when it came to the Citizens United case, corporations are not people. And the corollary to Cantor’s People Responsibility Principle is that corporations never have to take responsibility for themselves.
For example, when mortgage lenders engaged in predatory lending on a scale that almost bought the global economy crashing down, none of the corporations involved had to take a shred of responsibility. The people, on the other hand, did have to take responsibility for shielding all the corporations involved from any and all negative consequences of their reckless behavior. (I have it on good authority that the Republicans had immediately circulated a super-secret memo that read: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the parties involved.”)
So when the same mortgage lenders embark on an industry-wide binge of what are fraudulent and/or faulty foreclosures, how can there be any question of holding these corporations responsible? Their right to institute foreclosures has to be protected at all costs. Because if rampant foreclosure abuse is allowed to lead to temporary foreclosure moratorium, mortgage lenders will simply stop mortgage lending.
What I love is the way that if institutions that lend money do not have the protections they need, the mortgage lending market will come to a crashing halt. But if people who borrow money are deprived of the protections they are surely entitled to, that does nothing at all to the mortgage lending market.
People, apparently, have a compulsive need to borrow. No matter how badly corporate lenders screw them at the front end, or the back end.
Whereas if you don’t mollycoddle mortgage lenders just right, they will just take their billions home and sit on them. Because people, you see, have needs like food, clothing and shelter. But corporations don’t have to eat, corporations don’t wear clothes, and corporations don’t have families to take care of. Or executives to pay super-sized bonuses to. So mortgage lending corporations wouldn’t think twice about bringing their mortgage lending operations to a grinding halt. Rap them on the knuckles for wrongly throwing out hundreds or thousands of people from their homes, and they’ll just hold their breath. And not just till they turn blue, either. Because corporations don’t need to breathe.