November 27, 2012
Civility through hard times

In an article in the NationalJournal, Johnny Whitmire tells a story of how public and private institutions derailed an American’s dream: In 2000, he bought the $40,000 house with no money down and a $620 monthly mortgage. He made every payment. Then, in the fall of 2010, his partially disabled wife lost her state job. “Governor [Mitch] Daniels slashed the budget, and they looked for any excuse to squeeze people out,” Whitmire says. “We got lost in that shuffle—cut adrift.”

They successfully applied for a trial loan-modification through an Obama administration program, and their monthly bill fell to $473.87. However, the modification was canceled after three months. Their mortgage lender reinstated the higher fee and billed the family $1,878.88 in back payments. He and his wife had to file for bankruptcy and moved out of their home, leaving the keys on the kitchen counter. “I don’t believe in a free lunch,” Whitmire says. “I thought the bank should have them.”

A year later, City Hall sent him a $300 citation for tall grass at 1900 W. 10th St. “The city dinged me for tall weeds at my bank’s house.” After another pull from the water bottle, Whitmire kicks a steel-toed boot into the ground he once owned. “You can’t trust anybody or anything anymore.”

According to the article, seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed. Only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business. Less than half the population expresses “a great deal” of confidence in the public-school system or organized religion.

Read the rest of the article In Nothing We Trust, here.

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