Rule du jour
Always read Henninger. Today, I found this gem:
Analysis of the caucus voters makes clear that Mitt Romney holds the Republican vote that most values electability, defeating Barack Obama with whatever works. Nothing wrong with that. Winning matters. There’s much to like in the Romney candidacy. But no one doubts that Mr. Romney’s strategy is counting on two things: electability and inevitability.
The problem is that any campaign running on a mixture of electability and inevitability this year is by definition filling the atmosphere with a lot of cynicism. Electability is self-limiting, though, if Mr. Romney never closes the deal with the angry Republicans who gave their votes to Messrs. Santorum, Paul and the others. It’s a lot of votes.
And Obama is gunning for 2012 with both barrels; Obama’s January Surprise? Mass refinancing of mortgages. The details?
Under our plan, every homeowner with a GSE mortgage can refinance his or her mortgage with a new mortgage at a current fixed of 4.20 percent or less. … To qualify, the homeowner must be current on his or her mortgage or become so for at least three months. … Other than being current, we would impose no other qualification or application, except for the intention to accept the new rate (that is, no appraisal, no income verification, no tax returns, etc.).
Cost to the taxpayers? $121 billion.
Bottom line: Talk about a political and economic game changer in this presidential election year. Obama could offer a trillion-dollar stimulus — as measured over a decade –that would directly and immediately impact tens of millions of Americans suffering from the housing depression. Cash in their pockets. Imagine the electoral impact on key states, such as Florida, suffering from both high unemployment and devastated housing markets.
Buying an election with our tax dollars. Genius.
I’m now completely depressed.