Aside from the President's general approach to space policy I haven't liked many of Obama's ideas, but here's one I can get get completely behind: wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Eliminating these pseudo-governmental corporations will go a long way towards cleaning up the mortgage market and reducing government corruption.
He proposed to "wind down" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for the first time outlining his approach to overhauling the two giant mortgage-finance companies that were taken over by the government when they failed nearly five years ago. The companies, which Mr. Obama described in an appearance here as "not really government, but not really private sector," recently began to repay taxpayers.
"For too long, these companies were allowed to make big profits buying mortgages, knowing that if their bets went bad, taxpayers would be left holding the bag," the president said. "It was 'heads we win, tails you lose.' "
Since early 2011, the administration has voiced support for overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which long benefited from an implicit government guarantee. Years ago the companies came to symbolize a self-dealing Washington culture beneficial to both parties, and especially Democrats, but Mr. Obama's remarks on what comes next were his most specific. For several years, the administration held back from revamping the mortgage-finance system for fear of rattling a weakened market.
The President also made some good observations on the long-time government emphasis on home-ownership:
"In the run-up to the crisis, banks and the government too often made everyone feel like they had to own a home, even if they weren't ready and didn't have the payment," Mr. Obama said. "That's a mistake we shouldn't repeat," he said. "Instead, let's invest in affordable rental housing."
As a homeowner myself I obviously want the demand for houses to be high, but we will all benefit if we can avoid another government-created housing bubble.