Morning project

I’m off to the Elmbrook School district central offices to review the personnel file for Mike Sprinkel. There are supposed to be 120 pages available. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m looking for one thing. I hope it’s there.

Then I need to come home and be the computer geek. Like my blogging buddy Kyle Prast, I’ve got an internet problem. I think I’ve narrowed it down to the wireless router. It is so much easier to have one of the geeky younger Kilkennys manage these things, but alas, I’m on my own here. I suspect I’ll be browsing the Sunday ads to find a replacement if the reset I need to do doesn’t fix the problem.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is on the TV proposing rule changes. I haven’t reviewed the specifics, but it sure feels like the government is acting more like children on the playground. You remember? Every so often someone would throw up their hands when something didn’t go well and say, “new rule!” I rather like the old rules we had: if you can’t afford it, you don’t buy it.

More later.


  1. I agree with you. I think the major problem are people who bought homes and should have known they couldn’t afford them, and speculators who were greedy and bought homes to flip thinking they’d make a quick buck. Anyone who is hollering for a “government” bailout is forgetting that it’s the taxpayers…the ones who pay their bills already…who are being asked to pay for other people’s mistakes. It’s even more insulting to be paying for the businesses who made these loans! Did you notice the huge payout that the CEO of Countrywide is getting? $10 million! The fox is in charge of the hen house! Will the public ever say “enough is enough”? We need a good old-fashioned revolution!

  2. Ah, the revolution. I’m in. I think it’s long overdue. (But certainly unlikely to happen for the 2008 election.)

  3. I agree with both of you–to a degree. I think people should be responsible for their own mistakes and taxpayers should not bail them out.

    However, there is also substantial evidence of widespread “predatory lending.” As far as I know, false advertising is illegal in this country–and so is selling snake oil and calling it a cure-all.

    So my opinion is to make the businesses pay for whatever is judged to be predatory lending.

    The government just should enforce rules that say when you sell me parsley that looks, smells and tastes like weed–you are accountable. Dishonesty in the marketplace is dangerous.

    This is also a good time for businesses to start buying out mortgages at discount, reducing the terms to what the person can afford, and reaping more money than they paid for the buyout.

  4. Yeah, but the tar…and the feathers everywhere.

  5. Oh, no go on a messy revolution.

    Ok, Shawn, I think we can agree that the business should pay. Yes, in some cases that means stockholders will pay. Loss is a risk of doing business and should be factored into the return.

    Taxpayers should not pay. (I’m going to get in trouble for this next statement…) I’m tired of paying for STUPID.

  6. Is it possible to set up a chat room for us? We’re all on at the same time!

    Maybe there’s a way for stockholders to decide to loot the CEO’s bonus and salary to pay for this curmudgeonly behavior?

    Either way, the people who fell for the trick are going to have wounds, and so should the businesses who set the trap.

    Government should be there to moderate and regulate a fair, swift, and clean resolution to this issue, which does (like it or not) have huge implications for the long-term health of our economy.

    If it were as simple as bailing out or not, i’d say don’t bail these people out whatsoever. But with food stamp enrollment at all-time highs, i think there’s a….brace yourself….recession we have to keep in mind.

  7. Interesting discussion on this topic yesterday on This Week. George Will proposed a limit on CEO compensation for any company asking for a bailout. Robert Reich agreed, and proposed ending subsidies to oil & pharmaceutical companies as well, to which Will agreed. Maybe there is a chance for that revolution–a bloodless coup, anyway.

  8. Are you going to leave us hanging on the project? It’s noon already!

  9. I’m back. I’m just not sure how to report the findings. Still thinking.

  10. No one has twisted the arms of those who went for obscene amounts on loans. I call them stupid and they all new they were gambling . For those that were so ignorant and not able to understand the terms of there mortgages they are the ones that should default, go to rent where they belong.

    Land lords have a quick cure for those that default on rent, its called a five day notice.

    Owning real estate has responsibility baggage attached to it. Pay your taxes, pay your mortgage payment , pay your water bill, pay your sanitary bill, pay, pay, pay. Maintain your property Have the income to support all of this pay, pay , pay and have something left over to pay for the other things required to live. Some might even call it budgeting.

    Some where along the road you might even have a target to pay off your mortgage . Lenders foreclose on delinquent payers but they too have to borrow the money to own the foreclosed property through a sheriff’s sale.

    Some people think they are entitled to own a home even if other tax payers have to finance it for minorities. I call it the Democrats dependency program that they so love to do, take from the rich and give to the poor.

    All the 235 housing (super junk) affordable housing that was created along with give away financing.You had to be poor to be able to qualify to be able to fit your body into the coffin of excess debt. Jimmy Carter still supports this program with his houses for humanity. People giving away their time to become enablers to fit some one into the coffin of debt.

    That is how MGIC (Mortgage Insurance Corporation ) got to be as big as they are today by insuring all these people that could not afford a normal avenue to debt. So we give them an extra rap on the the knee cap with an insurance premium that covers there debt when they default on their mortgage. So MGIC also is one of our local institutions that is really also suffering from there gambleing. They are financially sound and are eating it along with their shareholders and the decline in the value of their stock. No problem here we have not had to bail them out. (Yet)

    I have no sympathy for the lenders or the borrowers what they did was an arms length transaction with lots of risk involved for both parties in the transaction. Let the blood run in the streets if it must. I can’t afford to pay for that and the whims of a school board out of control.

    Those of us that pay our bills on time have been taught the lesson of frugality by experience or even were taught that by responsible parents.

    You can just feel the itch of those who want to borrow the 62 + Million $$ for the school referendum to crawl into the coffin of debt. To hell with being frugal. Same mentality of those that have over lent evil dollars to those that could not afford to pay it back. All is fare in love and war, I guess. Tuesday=Normandy Beach day, I am armed with my No vote along with my back up the enforcers No vote. (Wife)

  11. Your against public funds for housing? Your against private funds for housing (Carter) too?

  12. “You’re” I know. Heat of the moment.

  13. I’ve actually been working on a blog on this topic. I will post a link when it is finished.

  14. Kathryn, Not really heat of the moment on the housing thing, I don’t know your age but the 235 thing is from another crunch in the 70’s didn’t do anything but create problems with both cheap and crappy buildings being sold to those who could not afford them to begin with and sticking them on top of every thing else with a lousy product. Jimmy Carter does the same thing, relys on donated material (nothing but the best right, ha, ha, not funny though). Early eighties economic crunch, remember that, Jimmy Carters gift to Reagan. History repeats it self. But no one wants to listen, it usually repeats even worse than before. Who knows ??

    Private lending is getting a lesson taught once again, stupid. Carter does nothing right, loves China.

    Some of the minorities believe “we owe them” that are residents of this country. We will “Owe Them”for ever. And yet you take the legal people that migrate to the United States , go to school, get good grades, go on to school get good grades and do well in business with out being “Owed”something and are happy that they could migrate here. What ever aid has been given to these people has been an aid to step up in life, not coast looking for more hand outs.

    No I do not support public housing for single family residences.

  15. Thanks, Larry. I understand your point about quality. I lived in a 70’s house once. My husband would not even consider a home that reminded him of it! Are there any housing solutions for the poor that you approve?

  16. That was my first house. Aluminum wiring, anyone?

  17. Do you support multi-family residences?

    Single Family has proven to be MUCH more efficient.

  18. Taxpaying sucker says:

    How about the “house of correction”?

  19. I think we’re working with the “house of correction” model now; it’s proving expensive and even counter productive.

    But seriously, as a person of faith I tend run things through a religious filter. For example, “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s” is a pretty good paradigm for a lot of public policy issues; the debate comes down to where is the line properly drawn between public and private, between government obligation and personal obligation to one’s neighbor.

  20. Kathryn, there are no solutions for housing for the poor. I use to rehab 2 family residences in Milwaukee County, go do it all over again a year later. 5 day notices lots and lots of times, even with county support , money went way ward. Why do you think there is such a poor graduation rate at MPS, no home atmosphere in more than one way. Until you get rid of the “Owe us mentality” and the McGee’s or Eugene Kane from MJS the story will continue and only get worse. People like this just love to fuel the fire and contribute to the mess. Run for a political office from Jail, give me a break.

    Expanding the House of Correction is a viable idea, there is still plenty of acreage left in Franklin. I wonder if the District Attorney from Sheboygan would volunteer to train our District Attorney in Milwaukee County to prosecute those that have underage sex the way he does in Sheboygan County. Over 90 % of some households in some areas of Milwaukee have multiple fatherless children living in them.

    Children giving birth to children.

    Shawn, multi family housing has its place depending on the capacity of the school system in the area. As you can see in areas where the participants of multi family housing exist the quality and care of the homes goes down hill in a hurry. I can tell you first hand stories that would make you barf halfway though the episodes.

    Brookfield will never have multi-family housing, the land values per unit are way to high to support any developments. The rent per unit is very high and so that of course weeds out the worst of the rif-raff.

    Tommorow is R day, I voted already.

  21. Boy this thread has taken twists and turns…

    Yes, that’s what the Bible says. But Ceaser didn’t run a government that redistributed wealth. They built roads and plumped up a few bureaucrats. I chose to draw a line a few years ago and realize that part of my (our) income tax was in fact being redistributed. Don’t get me wrong, we still give thousands to the poor, and we take care of several family members, but I no longer feel guilty when I pass every beggar in an urban area.

    We can barely manage a school referendum discussion, now you think we should change the social welfare of the country?

  22. Well, you asked what else makes us tick….

    And you are coming down on the side of personal obligation. Of course, my model goes to h–l when people choose to do nothing at all. I have more of a both/and outlook, which earns condemnation from all sides.

    The Bible also says the poor will always be with us–probably true. I don’t believe in a perfectible society, only that we have to keep at it.

    I think the referendum discussion has been pretty civil, actually.

  23. Cindy I apologize for the digression. That housing thing is a real burr under my saddle after years of dealing with it and all its baggage. There is a lot of junk in the trunk in Milwaukee County and for that matter elsewhere.

  24. Well – I guess I’ll show my inner thinking. I tend to actually do both/and as well. I have a heck of a time when it comes to the poor. I know there are hard tracks other lives have taken that I haven’t dealt with, but I also know that I can scrub a toilet and lots of people pay for that, so I’d keep my family fed.

    The most difficult thing is the guilt I have harbored over the years about whether or not I’m doing enough. We tithed (the traditional 10%) for years, but walked away from that when the Catholic church started having such man-made troubles a few years ago – it didn’t seem to be making it to the poor. So, we added things like United Way. Then the tax rate jumped, and well, it felt like that 10% was being taken anyway. Add to that saving for the children’s college, etc., and I developed my new way of thinking about it all.

    So yes, it’s and/both. No, I don’t like the taxing as much as I do the giving where I can direct a priority. And no, I still don’t have all the answers on this one.

    There’s still this little part of me that says a hand up is much better than a hand out, and if you are getting, you shouldn’t let it become a lifestyle.

  25. Thanks, Cindy. There is plenty to think about in your comment.

  26. My experience is similar to Cindy’s. My better half and I have different expectations about giving because we have very different backgrounds. It was easy to cover both when we had two incomes, no children, and an apartment. It became difficult when we had one income, children, and a mortgage. It appears everyone has relatives….

    Now we have sort of compromised. He feels mostly covered by the taxes we pay, which is in line with his tradition because there is no church/state separation where he comes from. And we shoot for 5% other giving, which is more or less my share of a family tithe–and we don’t put it all in one place either.

    If a holiday requires slaughtering a sheep, we donate one to Heifer International. 😉

  27. Money going for taxes is not charitable giving because it is not given freely as a thanks to God for the blessings he has bestowed on one. I was the church financial secretary a few years ago and the church constitution stated that 25% of funds collected was to go to missions. You should have been in the budget meetings listening to the board make the same kind of arguments that anything not spent internally was “missions”. I never bought most of the arguments but didn’t say much because my giving was between me and God. I have found that my needs have been met every year no matter how much I gave to charity.
    I remember in 1972 the first time the offering plate came by…they almost had to pry the $5 bill out of my fingers. Giving MY money away just wasn’t something I was desirous of doing. As my faith grew I came to see that it’s all God’s and He let’s me have some of it for my needs and He never let’s me outgive Him, so there is even some for pleasure and toys.

  28. “I have found that my needs have been met every year no matter how much I give to charity.”

    Yes, that’s been my experience, too. I’ll loosen up the checkbook again…

    You’re very good at making your point sometimes, El Gato.

  29. If only I could keep my sarcasm out of it!

  30. BrkfldDad says:

    Hey, wait a minute, what happened to Sprinkel????

  31. I’m saving Sprinkel for Wednesday morning. Just in case I need a diversion…

  32. What happened with the personnel file for Michael Sprinkel?

  33. Yes indeed. Very well said Gato.

  34. sorry i just saw your response re this. oops

  35. That’s ok, Janet.

    I have to keep you guys reading after all!