November 19, 2008

Cry me a freakin' river

Gotta love James Taranto's highlighting of these "hard luck" stories disseminated by our illustrious MSM:

Debra, a single mother who works in health care administration, is one of millions of Americans who do their jobs, believe in paying their bills and are still facing the threat of losing their home.

Debra, who did not want her last name to be published, bought a home in the East New York section of Brooklyn for more than $600,000 in 2006. The house has plenty of room for herself, for her son and for tenants. She thought that with the help of rental income and refinancing her mortgages that she could carry the load.

"People tell you that you can refinance and get a better deal," Debra explained--an all too common assumption during the housing boom. After a few months, her tenants started to pay their rent late--and sometimes not at all. Without that income, she was stretched too thin. "Your mortgage is your priority," Debra explained, "so you pay your mortgage and wait on the other bills." She fell behind on those bills, then on the mortgage itself.

Yeah, it sure is "tough" being able to afford a house that costs over $600 grand. So, what's the supposed problem with the "refinancing and getting a better deal" bit? I refinanced years ago and got a terrific deal. I'll have my house paid off in a fraction of the time our original mortgage stipulated. Ah, but 'ya see, my wife and I don't rely on fortunes of others to assist us in paying our mortgage and other bills. We actually -- wait for it -- rely on ourselves and our own fortunes (or misfortunes). Reminds me of why I always hated waiting tables and bartending during my college years -- I had to rely on the generosity of others.

In mid-September, Gentile was finally able to land a job that includes health care benefits, but the salary is much less than she was making before. As they work to get their finances back on track, the family has had to cut back on little luxuries like dinners out, trips to the movies and buying new clothes.

One of the hardest decisions was to tell her granddaughter that she could no longer take horseback riding lessons because they couldn't afford it.
"She loved those horseback riding lessons," Gentile said.

Yeesh, how often did these folks go to the movies and out to dinner that they had to "cut back?" And cripes -- horseback riding lessons?? Gentile was probably later quoted as saying "It really hurts now, not getting picked up by our limo service. Taking a taxi sure can be tiring, you know, holding up your arm constantly trying to flag down a driver."

For years, Mike and Kelly D'Addeo planned to use their trove of Intel Corp. stock options to send their son Tony to a top college.

Tony would be a good candidate for any school: He's a straight-A senior at Bowie High School and captain of the football team, with near-perfect SAT scores. He's not interested in playing college football; instead, Tony talks about majoring in computer science or engineering.

"I'd like to have my own business someday," he said. But the plunging stock market has made their stock options worthless and crushed the D'Addeos' Ivy League dreams.

I sure hope Tony's folks aren't Ivy League graduates, 'cause it ain't all-too bright putting their kid's college fund in stock options! But that aside, c'mon -- are we really supposed to wipe away a tear because a kid may not be able to go to an Ivy League school? Especially when so many MORE folks (like me) are wondering if they'll be able to afford college for their kid AT ALL without drowning in debt or breaking the bank?

Posted by Hube at November 19, 2008 05:40 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Guess we were on the same page yesterday, Hube, hvaing had a rant in my own blog. With a couple of minor exceptions I'm pretty much in sync with your commentary.

Posted by: Nancy Cleveland at November 20, 2008 12:17 PM

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