Below is a letter-to-the-editor written by Chris Krehmeyer – CEO of Beyond Housing – published in the December 4 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the letter Krehmeyer provides context to the current economic crisis by emphasizing that individuals and families are in need of government support, which has yet to materialize.
Another day, another headline about the economic need to save a company that is “too big to fail.” The government — taxpayers — now might buy credit card loans, student loans and who knows what else. The intent, as explained, is to foster more economic activity.I am not an economist, but it strikes me that the genesis of our global financial meltdown with $31 trillion lost worldwide was started by families losing their homes to foreclosure. I am dumbfounded that with all the billions of dollars targeted to “fix” the global problem, stabilize financial markets, unfreeze credits markets, blah, blah, blah, that not one dollar has been directed to actually stop a foreclosure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. proposed a plan to do so, but it appears the Treasury Department did not like it and indicated that it only wanted to make “investments” that would spur economic activity.
I would rather see my tax dollars go toward keeping a family in its home, children in their schools, keeping property values up and the keeping local tax base strong.
This idea of getting Main Street help is not a talking point; it is about real people and their lives. Regardless of the reason it may have occurred, I cannot imagine a more stressful, difficult thing to happen in one’s life than to lose your home. Programs are in place today in St. Louis and all across the country to work with families and their lenders in an effort to stop foreclosures. We need more resources to do this work, more resources to allow families to live up to their financial obligations, more resources to keep financial institutions strong, more resources to keep neighborhoods intact and more resources to make the statement that we truly care about our neighbors.
These times are challenging but we have a real opportunity to make a sound fiscal decision and an incredible difference in the lives of families in crisis. Let’s not waste the chance.
Chris Krehmeyer | St. Louis
President/CEO, Beyond Housing