There are far too many backseat drivers out there.
The pundits and ne'er-do-wells
the very minute President Barack Obama outlined his housing rescue plan.
Some critics say it's too hard to distinguish the "good" homeowners who need help from the "bad" homeowners who don't deserve it. Others argue the opposite, that the plan is too targeted and only addresses part of the problem.
Shut up -- all of you. You're not helping.
I'm not trying to be Obama's apologist. But at this point, none of this sniping is useful.
It doesn't do any good to divide the homeowners into camps that get help and those that don't. When a "bad" homeowner goes down in foreclosure, the "good" homeowners suffer collateral damage as property values decline.
Something has to be done to end this spiral. The Obama plan needs to be considered as part of the greater effort to shore up the economy. We have to hope that the stimulus plan will also do its part on the job front. Because the housing crisis will only get worse as more Americans join the unemployment lines.
It seems like every day we hear about another company planning to fire tens of thousands of workers. Yesterday,
outlined plans to cut 47,000 more jobs.
slashed as many as 20,000 jobs recently.
is cutting 4% of its workforce.
is cutting 8,000.
is working on a major restructuring that will include job cuts.
It goes on and on.
Included in the growing list of unemployed Americans are many homeowners who may lose their homes because they lost their jobs.
It's a vicious cycle. Companies cut jobs because consumers aren't spending and that results in even fewer consumers with money to spend. Homeowners are part of that consumer base. Yes, even the speculators and flippers who profited from the boom time in housing prices and contributed to the mortgage frenzy that kicked off this entire financial crisis.
We had to do
We've spent trillions trying to help banks such as
Bank of America
, insurers such as
, and now the carmakers, too. But the consumer is the true heart of the economy.
Is the Obama housing plan perfect? Is the stimulus perfect? Is the banking bailout perfect? No. None of this is perfect. But at least we are finally trying to do something for the consumers.
They are, after all, the very taxpayers who are paying for all of this.
By the way, nobody likes a backseat driver.
Hall is the editor of
. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at
The Orange County Register
and as a news manager at
in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at
in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
International Herald Tribune
. Hall received a bachelor�s degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and has taken graduate management science courses at Boston University.