Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” But what if you haven’t forgotten because you never had a clue?
TODD: Secretary Clinton, we’re going to talk about housing. You brought it up, it’s been brought up, it’s a big problem here in Nevada here. This was the top state in the country for foreclosures during the crisis. Francisco Morales here has a question for you.
QUESTION: First of all, I’d like to thank you for your lifelong commitment to the Democratic party, and comprehensive immigration reform.
CLINTON: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
QUESTION: But, as you know, many Hispanics, for many Hispanics, achieving home ownership is synonymous to achieving the American Dream. Many of our families were hit particularly hard during the great recession and housing bust. What would a Clinton administration do to ease the fears of home ownership among our community?
CLINTON: Well. I know how hard hit Nevada was. I think the highest rate of foreclosures? You still have a lot of houses underwater, meaning that, you know, the value is not equal to what you had to pay for it, and what the mortgage principal and interest are.
I take that very seriously, so here’s what I want to do. I want us to move in any way we can in the federal government to help relieve the burden of already existing homeowners. I don’t want the kind of wave of foreclosures that struck this state ever again to happen.
Secondly, we want to provide more help so that more homeowners, Hispanic homeowners, African American homeowners, those who want to be, have access to better credit, and better support.
You know, credit has tightened up in ways that are just not fair, you know? You are three times more likely to be able to get a mortgage if you’re a white applicant than if you’re black or Hispanic, even if you have the same credentials, and you’re presenting it to the people who are looking at it.
That has to end. I will go after that kind of discrimination and bigotry with everything I’ve got using every housing authority, the Justice Department, the U.S. attorney. We’re not going to have this kind of bigotry.
You know, I’m running to knock down all the barriers that stand in the way of people getting ahead. So we’re going to make that possible.
And, of course, we’ve got to get incomes up so you have more of a chance to save for that down payment, and you have got a better chance to actually get in a home and stay there.
That last sentence isn’t as bad as the rest.
So I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to make that dream a reality again.
QUESTION: I actually purchased a home six months ago and I can relate because the amount of hoops that I had to jump as a 24-year-old Hispanic were just unprecedented. So thank you for that.
Can you rent a car at age 24?
CLINTON: Yes. And I’m telling you, if you were not Hispanic, you would not have had as many hoops. That has to end. It’s not right and fair.
DIAZ-BALART: Thank you very much.
And here’s George W. Bush at the White House Conference on Increasing Minority Homeownership, October 15, 2002:
How’d Bush’s plan to add 5.5 million minority homeowners by loosening up on down payments and documentation work out anyway?
By the way, one consistent pattern when you read up on the history of the Housing Bubble is how central Las Vegas was to what I called in 2008 “The Vegas Decade.”