Green Party calls for a nationwide moratorium on home foreclosures
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, email@example.com
Greens urge Obama, Congress to halt further bank foreclosures: Wall Street firms should suffer 'austerity' for the economic crisis they caused, not the American people
Green Party Speakers Bureau: Green leaders available to speak on economics: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-economic-justice.php
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party of the United States called for an immediate nationwide moratorium on foreclosures and urged President Obama and Congress to take steps to halt further actions by banks to foreclose on the homes of Americans in the continuing economic recession.
"An order barring lenders from evicting people from their homes would be a powerful first step towards restoring financial stability and easing the fears of middle- and low-income working Americans," said John Eder, Green candidate for Mayor of Portland, Maine (http://www.johneder.org) and former State Representative in Maine. "The economy might be thriving again for the one percent, but for most Americans, the Subprime Mortgage Crisis and 2008 recession are not over. Millions of families face the loss of their homes, millions are without a job or only semi-employed, millions have no health coverage or inadequate coverage."
Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala, running for Sheriff of Philadelphia in the 2011 election, has pledged not to cooperate with banks attempting to evict residents from their homes (http://www.cherihonkala.com). Ms. Honkala is a long-time housing activist and founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union.
Victims of the subprime scam and Americans facing the loss of their homes deserve assistance instead of eviction (Green Party Platform on housing: http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2010/social-justice.php#1002699). The suspension on foreclosures should continue at least until a determination can be made about which would-be homeowners were offered subprime mortgages by banks with insufficient regard for the ability of the borrower to make good on payments or get refinancing.
Greens across the US are participating in Occupy movements against the greed, recklessness, criminality, and unchecked political power of banks, Wall Street firms, and other corporate elites.
Green Party leaders said that major banks and other financial institutions made billions of dollars by defrauding people who were unlikely to make good on payments into taking out adjustable-rate mortgages, pooling the high-risk mortgages into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), giving the toxic securities high ratings, and taking taxpayer-funded bailouts when the house of cards collapsed. The banks then began to foreclose on homes, often filing fraudulent paperwork for eviction of families.
Democratic and Republican politicians, including Presidents Clinton and Bush, supported the deregulation that made these actions possible and presided over the failure of regulatory agencies to use existing laws against the abuses. President Clinton played signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (repealing the Glass-Steagall Act) and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which deregulated derivatives, CDOs, credit default swaps, and other complex securities, both of which helped trigger the crisis.
"If the federal government can bail out Wall Street firms that caused the crisis, it can act now to protect Americans faced with the loss of their homes," said Terry Baum, Green candidate for Mayor of San Francisco (http://www.terryjoanbaum.com). "When Democratic and Republican politicians talk about austerity, funding cuts for social services, plans to slash Social Security and Medicare, and similar steps to fix the economy, what they mean is that working people must suffer for the irresponsibility and crimes of Wall Street. As the SEC's slap on the wrist penalty for Citigroup's sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities proves, this austerity is one-sided. CEOs and other top staff whose behavior caused the meltdown continue to rake in millions in salaries and bonuses." (See "Judge questions SEC settlement with Citigroup," The Washington Post, Oct. 27, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/judge-questions-sec-settlement-with-citigroup/2011/10/27/gIQAe2D3MM_story.html)
Greens said that President Obama, despite his expressions of sympathy for people facing lost homes and jobs, remains on the side of Wall Street. Recent news stories confirm that he is seeking and receiving fat campaign checks from corporate contributors (http://october2011.org/blogs/kevin-zeese/era-occupy-wall-street-obama-relies-wall-street-fund-his-re-election). Mr. Obama received more financial industry contributions than any politician in US history in 2008. During this campign, he endorsed President Bush's bailout for Wall Street. After taking office, he stacked his administration with Wall Street insiders like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, economics advisor Larry Summers, and Chief of Staff Billy Daley.
"President Obama has offered window dressing instead of relief for Americans hurt by the crisis. He won't risk offending the banks by stopping the foreclosures -- especially in an election season in which his campaign is desperate for stacks of campaign checks from the 'one percent' contributors. He won't consider making systematic changes in how the financial industry operates, such as restoring Glass-Steagall safeguards and breaking up the 'too big to fail' banks. President Obama's token steps toward change have been matched with real steps backward -- the President's recent minimalist jobs proposal coincided with his job-killing free-trade agreement with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. In contrast to the President's lip service about change, Greens are calling for concrete solutions, starting with a moratorium on foreclosures right now," said Mark Dunlea, former Chair of Green Party of New York State and Executive Director of a statewide
anti-poverty organization in New York.
"Most Republican and Democratic politicians judge the US economy according to Dow Jones, profit margins of top corporations, the GDP, i.e., how much the rich are getting richer. Greens judge the economy by how many Americans have living-wage jobs with benefits, are safe in their homes, enjoy financial security and good health care, are moving out of poverty, and how well the environment is protected, now and for future generations. Those are the priorities of the secure green economy we are committed to creating," said Mr. Dunlea.
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Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States (Summer 2011 issue now online)
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