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Force banks to write down the principal

To the editor:

I have worked in the financial community almost all of my life. I am 72. My wife and I ask the Nevada attorney general not to approve this so-called settlement with mortgage lenders. Its details, as stated in the Review-Journal Tuesday morning, sicken us beyond belief. It is like dropping a pebble in the ocean of “underwater housing.” It will solve nothing.

There is a $709 billion “underwater housing” cancer eating away at the underbelly of our economy. A $25 billion settlement is like fighting a forest fire with just one garden hose — the wildfire will continue unabated. The real additional danger is that many people may falsely feel that this settlement is effective and then relax any efforts to truly eliminate the continuing underwater housing cancer.

Nearly 75 percent of Nevada homeowners are under water, compared with 25 percent nationwide. A cancer left untreated will kill the patient. Treatment needs to be overwhelming and immediate.

Today, the underwater home cancer is being treated on a “drip, drip, drip” basis, one foreclosure at a time, one short sale at a time — totally ineffective. Using the “drip, drip, drip” approach, it will take five to 10 years to eradicate the problem — and that assumes that the unintended consequences of such ineffective prolonged treatment do not result in something much worse to the economy.

There has never been an economic recovery that was not led by a strong housing market, as well as a strong commercial construction market. Therefore, until the underwater home situation is solved, there will not be a strong and sustained recovery — period.

The proposed settlement with the banks does absolutely nothing to address the overall housing problem.

Underwater homeowners owe $709 billion more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — left unresolved, this number will increase each and every day. If banks wrote down just the principal (leaving the basic loan terms unchanged) on underwater mortgages to market value, it would save homeowners $71 billion per year. That is $71 billion in consumer dollars available to immediately kick-start the economy.

Bryce Reynolds

Henderson

Dead bodies

To the editor:

I find it sadly ironic that we give medals of honor to our servicemen for killing people and at the same time judge them for disrespecting the bodies of those whom they have killed. Should we not show as much respect for living human beings as for their dead bodies?

PETER EDIGER

LAS VEGAS

No GOP fan

To the editor:

In listening to a Republican debate the other night, I couldn’t help but realize that those guys, with the exception of Rep. Ron Paul, were confirming the opinion I have long held: that the GOP is a party of baby-starving, granny-dumping, warmongering, rich homophobes and racists.

Based on their answers to the questions on various subjects posed by the moderator, I asked myself how any well-adjusted, halfway compassionate, peace-loving, fair-minded, tolerant individual with half a brain and a vestige of a heart could vote for any one of them.

What I got from it was they all were in favor of starving old people, withholding health care from everybody but the rich and throwing everybody else into the streets while picking wars with small countries to prove how tough we are.

They all want to eliminate food stamps, demolish Social Security and Medicare and give Medicaid “back to the states” to give to the premium-gouging, claim-denying, treatment-refusing insurance companies. All this while pushing to amend the Constitution to forbid abortion, allowing more babies to be born so they can starve them to death (the poor ones of course).

Meanwhile, they want to cut or downright eliminate any kind of taxes on the rich.

I agree with Rep. Paul on foreign affairs to a great extent and a few of his domestic law enforcement ideas. But his position on government and the social safety net would never get my vote in a million years. But then, neither would any Republican, because I agree with little or none of their thinking.

DANIEL F. OLIVIER

BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ.

Forced spending

To the editor:

The Democrats want the rich to pay more in taxes — say, by 4 percent. The Republicans oppose any tax increase on anyone. So here is the compromise:

Instead of the rich giving 4 percent more to the black hole in Washington, D.C., require the rich to spend 4 percent more of their disposable income on stuff. Stuff such as houses, cars, jewelry, more houses, going out to dinner, more cars, etc. Requiring the rich to spend more of their disposable income on themselves will create many more jobs than government can by increasing taxes.

Everybody is happy. The rich spend more of their money, appeasing the Democrats. And there are no more tax increases, appeasing the Republicans. The winner? Everyone who gets a job due to the fact the rich are spending more of their disposable income.

Anthony Berkley

Henderson

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