"The great jurist Sir Edward Coke, who lived from 1552 to 1634, has explained why the term mortgage comes from the Old French words mort, "dead," and gage, "pledge." It seemed to him that it had to do with the doubtfulness of whether or not the mortgagor will pay the debt."
- from The American Heritage Dictionary
IN A BID TO RESCUE UPSIDE-DOWN homeowners from their mortgages, Uncle Sam is contemplating the single largest eminent domain land-grab since the Bolsheviks repoed the Czar's palaces. Called the Ponzi Omnibus Reconciliation & Killer Yard Sale Act, or PORKYS for short, this sweeping legislation is being hailed as the granddaddy of all sweetheart loans not to mention a last-ditch effort to save the American way of life. Under this scheme the Federal government will assume every mortgage in America thereby slashing the onerous debt burden of the vast majority of its beleaguered citizens. For their part, Americans will retain occupancy of their residences in order to take the trash out, watch America's Best Idol and keep the porch-light on as a means of signaling someone is still home.
But first, what exactly derailed America's inexorable march towards capital punishment by homeowners' association tribunals? Suffice to say that, with the Oregon Trail paved over and the West largely won, the descendants of America's pioneers are mailing their keys back by the thousands. The word's out: rootlessness is the debt collector's worst nightmare, or as one indigent wag noted before fading into perpetual vagrancy, "best to keep moving."
Buried in the fine print of the Act is a $30 trillion 5-year ARM with 1 1/2 points which has the mortgage industry abuzz. Countryslide Travesty & Loan is hoping to get a slice of the business, and is elated at the prospect of having its 200,000 properties wiped off the books.
If the housing bubble has taught us anything, it's that there's a dark side to unfettered accountability. In between trips to the suntan booth, the League of Permanently Sustainable and Inter-Denominational Ecstacy (LOPSIDE) president I. M. DeParte seemed to put his finger on all the lost fun: "Moral hazard poses the single gravest risk to our affluent lifestyle. Until people rise up against the homespun notion of paying bills, vacation homes are doomed. I call on all Good Time Charley's --before grabbing their golf clubs this morning-- to contact their congressmen in support of this legislation. Today's sweat equity is tomorrow's child labor. We're well-rested and we're not going to take it anymore!"
Others refuse to see the forest for the keys. Confusing Lockian principles for just another deadbolt manufacturer, one insolvent homeowner complained: "What's the point of private property if you can't get a home equity line of credit? Go ahead John, change the locks! I'm outta here!"
Buried in the fine print of the Act is a $30 trillion 5-year ARM with 1 1/2 points which has the mortgage industry abuzz. Countryslide Travesty & Loan is hoping to get a slice of the business, and is elated at the prospect of having its 200,000 properties wiped off the books. "Frankly we were considering either thousands of suspiciously-set fires or an application for statehood," conceded Countryslide's eminently indictable CEO, Anthony 'Red' Flagg, as he toyed idly with one of those 7-Eleven bolt lighters. "So we're elated Uncle Sam recognized the public policy imperative of being the-dumbest-damned-lender-of-last-resort."
Always quick to scoop up easy money on behalf of his industry, Noam Hohm, President of the Associated Confab of Realtors Everywhere (ACRE) practically jumped out of his goofy yellow jacket with praise for the new legislation. "We're seeing a lot of things to like in residential socialism. First of all, there's no quibbling about commissions. Second, Uncle Sam could care less about the neighborhood as he'll soon own all of them anyway. An undiscerning buyer has always been our best customer. In this era of high fuel costs, it will reduce our members' drive-time, freeing them up for the real business of cashing U.S. Treasury commission checks. This is a godsend!"
With even Heaven primed for PORKYS, it remains to be seen whether the Chinese will buy off on the God-as-Underwriter concept given their longstanding atheistic stance, not to mention their surfeit of little green pieces of paper festooned with an 'In God We Trust' motto.
Speaking of God, evangelicalism is proving no slouch in the underwriting business either. Should America lose either of its jobs as Moral Ombudsman to the World or Senior Purchaser of Crappy Chinese Products, The Big Guy Himself has promised to step in as Ultimate Bag-holder, at least according to the Right Reverend Pat Robertson, a man who wrestles regularly with competing voices in his head. Robertson does not paint a panacea however, conceding there is a 'deluge clause' wherein God can elect to flush the whole 'bricks and mortar thing' down the tubes should the payments become ungodly. "It's the best deal I could work out," confessed Robertson as he scrunched up his face like a constipated monkey simulating prayer. "But with a spike in contributions, I'm willing to press the Almighty for better terms."
With even Heaven primed for PORKYS, it remains to be seen whether the Chinese will buy off on the God-as-Underwriter concept given their longstanding atheistic stance, not to mention their surfeit of little green pieces of paper festooned with an 'In God We Trust' motto. Indeed Sinologists fully expect a debate within Party leadership circles, but only when forty consecutive days of rain can be verified.
One Wall Street financier who wallows in rapacious greed for a living confessed: "Of course if we're ever faced with the unthinkable --a foreclosure of Heaven—there's the Mephistophelean option. That would be a deal with the devil. But the amortization's a bitch and the thirty-year term feels like an eternity. "
Betraying a fondness for Paradise Lost and those insufferable Miltonian quatrains, the Devil was quick with his own trite refrain:
Work. The third-world does it better.
America's the first-world. Why not let her
get about the business of her fun?
The credo? 'Let no daydream go undone'!