Monday, July 10, 2017 1:00 am
Self-centered Trump undermining our republic
George Washington fought diligently to establish a republic in the United States. Abraham Lincoln did all he could to preserve democracy in America while utilizing moral leadership simultaneously. Franklin Roosevelt was a visionary intent on saving democracy for the entire world.
The current president, Donald Trump, is doing all he can to diminish democracy in the United States. Democracy is contingent upon viable institutions, including the mass media, independent judges, robust political parties and professional public administrators committed to promoting the greater common good. In addition, a diverse array of opinions is essential to the creation of public policies that serve all the people, not just the rich and powerful.
Trump is only focused on himself and winning at all costs, regardless of how his decisions may affect people all across the world. He lavishes praise on ruthless dictators and, in this regard, has achieved transparency.
There is no doubt, whatsoever, what Trump is about. He desires to exercise power in the mode of people like Vladimir Putin. Fortunately for this country, democracy will prevail in the end. And Trump's cruel charade that he somehow cares for working Americans has been completely unmasked less than half a year into his term.
Brian L. Fife
Professor and chair, Department of Public Policy
Housing finance inaction gives Hoosiers headaches
The housing market in Indiana is extremely strong. Home prices are up, demand is surging, and foreclosure rates are the lowest we've seen in years. But, as buyer demand increases, the inventory of homes and the availability of affordable housing options are fading.
This is creating a major headache for potential new homeowners and individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. The reason for this is that the market tends to favor more affluent borrowers.
A major factor in the shortage of affordable housing is the structure of the housing finance system, which is dominated by two government-backed agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (also known as the GSEs). You may remember taxpayers were forced to bail these two agencies out during the 2008 financial collapse. Since then, they have suffocated the flow of capital necessary to address the diverse needs of the U.S. housing market. Congress has had GSE reform on the agenda for a long time, but political differences have yielded little to no action.
Many Hoosiers are being affected by the current structure, which is not acceptable. We need to urge the Indiana delegation to come together and get conversations going again and take immediate action toward reforming the current structure to create a healthier and more inclusive housing finance system.
Hallmark Home Mortgage
JG's anti-voucher bias is getting tiresome
For the umpteenth time in the last several months, the Journal Gazette has fired another salvo in its incessant war on the Indiana School Choice voucher program. Our treat on July 2 was a vague editorial attack based on a four-year-old book written by a husband and wife team at Indiana University and a recently published but as yet unvetted piece done by two other education professors. It is interesting to note that an editorial in the previous Tuesday's News-Sentinel, based on a review of the same sources, reached an entirely different conclusion.
The persistent, recurrent attacks by The Journal Gazette on the voucher program could lead to the logical conclusion that the JG has established a “war room” of sorts, manned by junior staffers and interns with marching orders to mine the internet and other sources for data that can provide any support for the JG's obvious anti-voucher bias.
The purpose of this letter is not to debate the pros and cons of voucher programs, but to beg for a more balanced editorial approach by The Journal Gazette. Readers do not expect editorial objectivity from newspapers. An editorial slant is perhaps understandable, but the incessant, often vitriolic attacks by the editorial board of the Journal Gazette are not. Certainly a more honest, balanced approach to this topic would be welcomed by JG readers, and perhaps keep them from concluding that the JG is just a mouthpiece of the teachers' union.