Gibbs corrects the record on the President’s housing plan
February 20, 2009
06:49 PM EST
06:49 PM EST
Today Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked during the White House press briefing about criticism of President Obama’s housing plan from some talking heads and Wall Street pundits, who have claimed baselessly that the plan is geared towards helping irresponsible home buyers at the expense of others.
"[T]he American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgage, stay in their job, pay their bills, to send their kids to school, and to hope that they don't get sick or that somebody they care for gets sick and sends them into bankruptcy," said Gibbs. "I think we said a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader that it was good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that."
Gibbs reiterated the President’s explanation of how this plan will help responsible homeowners, who are struggling to make their payments in a tough economy and who have seen their home values plummet, through refinancing and standardized loan modifications. Then he ended any misconceptions:
"Here's what this plan won't do: It won't help somebody trying to flip a house. It won't bail out an investor looking to make a quick buck. It won't help speculators that were betting on a risky market. And it is not going to help a lender who knowingly made a bad loan. And it is not going to help -- as the President said in Phoenix, it is not going to help somebody who has long ago known they were in a house they couldn't afford. That's why the President was very clear in saying this was not going to stop every person's home from being foreclosed."
And just as HUD Secretary Donovan argued in this space this afternoon, Gibbs said Americans need to learn about the plan and see if they can take part: "every American with a mortgage payment should call their lender and see if they can refinance right now."
We have done our best to help homeowners get that information, and Gibbs encouraged everybody who might be able to get help – along with anybody else who wants to learn more about it -- to read the plain-spoken documents posted prominently here over the past few days: