The Bucks County Courier Times featured some actual, honest-to-goodness reporting here from Mikey the Beloved’s designated scribe Gary Weckselblatt (someone fetch the smelling salts – I may faint)…
Back in March, following a fundraiser at a Florida resort, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick introduced legislation to eliminate the cap on the number of reverse mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
Donations from reverse mortgage brokers proceeded to flow to the 8th District Republican.
Earlier this month, as Roll Call reported Wednesday, Fitzpatrick introduced several bills to suspend tariffs on chemicals to help a local business. The online publication that covers Capitol Hill said eight of the 12 proposals would benefit United Color Manufacturing Inc., a Newtown company whose owners have donated $26,000 to Fitzpatrick in the last decade.
The story caught the eye of Public Campaign Action Fund, which is in favor of publicly financed elections and campaigns to hold elected officials accountable for opposing reform and for the special favors they do for their political contributors.
“Voters send people to Congress because they think they’ll do what’s in their best interests,” said Adam Smith, spokesman for the watchdog organization. “Then you see legislation like this introduced and it raises real questions about who these members are working for in Washington.”
In the matter of reverse mortgages, the following should be noted from here…
The formula used to determine how much equity you can take out of your home in a Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, reverse mortgage is based on home value, a value cap that varies regionally, the interest rate and the borrower’s age. Under typical conditions, the average reverse mortgage represents roughly 50 percent of a home’s value. In some circumstances the loan costs can eat a substantial percentage of the loan.
The joint concepts of equity ratios and appreciation are the foundation supporting reverse mortgages. When you first take out the loan, you will be given about half the equity in the home and the property retains the other half. Then, as time goes by, the house appreciates, producing more equity still. The annualized historic home appreciation rate is 8.6 percent, which would result in a doubling of home value roughly every 12 years. Between the initial equity and likelihood of future appreciation, buffered by insurance provided by the FHA, banks are confident that they can recapture the loan balance upon sale of the house. The banks, however, have no interest or concern in what equity remains after the loan is repaid. If home appreciation does not match the historical rate, as it most certainly has not during the period from 2007 to 2010, banks will still be repaid by a combination of the house sale and the FHA insurance. In these instances, however, there will be no equity remaining in the estate. The building might be left to a son or daughter, but it would be worthless to them.
As to suspending the tariffs on chemicals, that primarily benefitted a guy named Tom Nowakowski who, in addition to giving Mikey $26 grand, gave $150,000 to the Repugs over the last six years, as noted here.
So what does he have to say? As the Courier Times tells us…
He said he approached Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, both in 2009 and again this year about the (tariff) issue. He has not donated to Casey, who introduced legislation similar to Fitzpatrick’s.
And of course, Nowakowski doesn’t see what the fuss is about. And yes, it is all legal (and he didn’t even have to donate to Sideshow Bob to get our senator to help him out – “free” is the best return on investment you can get).
And get a load of how our U.S. House rep responded…
Fitzpatrick’s campaign refused to comment on the issue without a response from his opponent Kathy Boockvar, who was unavailable.
Ummm…does Mikey seriously expect Kathy Boockvar to be available for a public comment every time he screws up?
No guts, no glory, Mikey.
Because, as far as I’m concerned, this still doesn’t pass the smell test, particularly when, as noted here, Mikey criticized former rep Patrick Murphy two years ago for accepting $19,000 from Dem U.S. House Rep Charles Rangel, who was under a congressional investigation and was later censured. Despite that, Mikey had no issue with pocketing $20,000 from fellow House Repug Spencer Bachus, who was also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Oh, and as long as I’m talking about our PA-08 U.S. House rep, I’d like to point out that Fitzpatrick forwarded an Email to Le Manse Doomsy yesterday in which he asked your humble narrator to go to Mikey’s Facebook page to tell everyone how we feel about Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin’s decision to take his U.S. fortune and become an “expat” (the Repugs’ non-jobs agenda drags on – you can go here to speak out elsewhere if you wish).
If you’re as tired of Mikey’s antics as I am, click here to do something about it.