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An Open Letter to President Obama (and Congress)

Dear Mr. President,

It was great to hear you talk about your vision for our country recently. Your words touched me:

So this is our vision for America — this is my vision for America — a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and we provide rising opportunity for our children.

I just hope that you and all the representatives on both sides of the aisle realize that homeownership is a key component to making this vision come about.

I liked the fact that you talked about sacrifice. Our country has always been about sacrifice. We sometimes sacrifice financially to help victims of international disasters like we did in Haiti after the hurricane and Indonesia after the tsunami. Our sons and daughters, time and time again, have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to guarantee that people in our country and others around the world remain free and safe.

Mothers and fathers have traditionally made financial sacrifices to guarantee their children received the college education they believed they needed. Wives and husbands have made the same financial sacrifices to allow their spouses to follow their dreams of owning their own businesses; a cornerstone of American prosperity.

My wife and I sacrificed so our two boys could go to the college of their choice. At that time, we didn’t have the means to reach into a savings account. We tapped into the equity of the home we owned. It cost us more each month in mortgage payments but we never questioned our decision to invest in our children’s future.

My wife was willing to sacrifice when I came to her and asked her if we could once again use the only savings we had – the equity in our home – to start a new business. It was a risk that worked out well for our family.

I worry today that the government fails to realize the importance of homeownership. The concept seems to be under attack. I don’t understand why. If not for homeownership, I’m not sure my boys would be college graduates today. I know for a fact that I would not have had the capital to start a business which has enabled my family and the families of my employees to lead lives of prosperity.

Mr. President, I too believe this is a great country. Let’s not forget the important role homeownership plays in its history.

Sincerely,

Steve Harney


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11 replies
  1. Nancy Carlson
    Nancy Carlson says:

    I was moved by this post, and am also concerned that our government appears to fail to understand the importance of home ownership. Although not everyone is financially able to own a home, those who have managed their finances to enable them to buy and keep a home should not be penalized for their efforts. The attack on the mortgage interest deduction, for example, is just one more way to penalize the conscientous.

    Reply
  2. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    What kind of banking reforms or legislation are you asking for? I don’t understand…Yes,we need to keep the mortgage interest tax deduction,but we also need some serious changes to help support qualified buyers to buy.

    Reply
  3. LORRAINE DEGNALL
    LORRAINE DEGNALL says:

    OH FIGURES THIS GUY WOULD BE IN REAL ESTATE. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THIS COUNTRY IS KEEPING PEOPLE WORKING SO YOU CAN FEED YOUR KIDS KEEP A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS PAY FOR A DOCTOR WHEN NEEDED AND LIVE LIKE HUMAN BEINGS. WE ARE SO BUSY FIGHTING OTHER PEOPLES WARS, HELLO OUR COUNTRY IS IN DEPT, HELLO MY GRANDKIDS HAVE TO GIVE UP SPORTS AND BAND BECAUSE THE TAXES WE PAY ARE NOT EHOUGH. I GREW UP IN AN APARTMENT, ITS NOT THE AMERICAN DREAM BUT WE ALL HAD A GOOD, DAD WORKED AND WE WERE FED AND EDUCATED. HEY AMERICA GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT

    Reply
  4. michael weiss
    michael weiss says:

    home ownership in not a right. for the people with the financial wherewithal it is a choice. the government and the taxpayers do not have the obligation to sponsor home ownership for those that can not afford it.

    Reply
  5. Dewey Linville
    Dewey Linville says:

    Good morning Steve,

    Blogs like this one are the reason I am a member of Keeping Current Matters.

    Traditional American values come through loud and clear. And….it is coming from a guy who knows what he is talking about.

    Thanks, keep up the good work.

    Reply
  6. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    I read the blog,and I agree.The government must to some degree,still help support the housing market.Raising the Qualified Residential Mortgage requirements,such as higher minimum FICO scores (690+),and 20% down payments,would severely cripple many people’s abilities to finance a home.
    It has been the American dream to own a home,and I hope that we can remove more obstacles than produce hurdles to reach the personal goal and achievement of homeownership.

    Reply

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