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Apr 6, 2013

Whitehouse satirical post; ‘Helping you budget responsibly’

In a possible effort to inject a little variety into the White House website, or possibly distract people from its own shortcomings, the Obama Administration have moved into satire.  The first post is an offer to help the people to learn the principles of responsible budgeting.
It rather hilariously takes the form of a ‘Presidential Proclamation’ hyping National Financial Credibility Month, which coming from the government has a beautiful irony about it: 
All Americans deserve the chance to turn their hard work into a decent living for their families and a bright future for their children. Seizing that opportunity takes more than drive and initiative -- it also requires smart financial planning. During National Financial Capability Month, we recommit to empowering individuals and families with the knowledge and tools they need to get ahead in today's economy. 
My Administration is dedicated to helping people make sound decisions in the marketplace. Last year, we partnered with businesses and community leaders to roll out new public and private commitments to increasing financial literacy. We released a new financial capability toolkit to help schools and employers as they launch their own initiatives. And with our College Scorecard and Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, we are working to give families clear, transparent information on college costs so they can make good choices when they invest in higher education. Together, we can prepare young people to tackle financial challenges -- from learning how to budget responsibly to saving for college, starting a business, or opening a retirement account.
The idea of teaching the young how to budget responsibly is actually quite a novel one, coming from an administration that has increased the national debt by around 60% in a little over four years and was unable to produce a budget for that time.
Given that one of the current efforts by President Obama is to once again push sub-prime lending, it’s probably fair to ask whether these people have learned anything from the last decade or so: 
The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place. 
President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession. 
In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default. 
Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default. 
Officials are also encouraging lenders to use more subjective judgment in determining whether to offer a loan and are seeking to make it easier for people who owe more than their properties are worth to refinance at todays low interest rates, among other steps. 
Obama pledged in his state of the union address to do more to make sure more Americans can enjoy the benefits of the housing recovery, but critics say encouraging banks to lend as broadly as the administration hopes will sow the seeds of another housing disaster and endanger taxpayer dollars.
Then again; the press release to Washington Post may have been satirical as well.

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