America’s Finances: A Deficit of Trust is the State of the Union
President Barack Obama called on our government representatives, in his State of the Union address to repair "a deficit of trust.'' The president was addressing the nation and a joint session of Congress in his first State of the Union address saying that the nation's budgetary deficit is not the only problem confronting Americans. “We have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now,'' Obama said."We face a deficit of trust – deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years”.
And Washington it is not only place where Americans have issues of trust and a lack of faith. It is apparent to most Americans, that there is a “deficit of trust” everywhere we look. There is no trust in the Wall Street investors, no trust in the banking system that was bailed out but still has yet to lend a hand to the average hard working American. There is no trust in the healthcare system we have in this country and now seemingly, no trust in our elected officials to come to an agreement about any steps to correct it.
They say that we have turned a corner on unemployment and that we will see a continued increase in jobs. For many it comes too little, too late, their homes are in foreclosure with bankruptcy the only option left. The question remains: What is being done for the hardworking people who are the backbone of this country’s economy? While I cannot speak for all American’s there is still a wonderful freedom of speech in this country where I am entitled to have my opinion and to voice it along with my personal experience which follows:
Deficit of Trust Poll
In which area have you lost faith?
Deficit of Trust in the Real Estate Market: Foreclosure
Several years ago I finally qualified for my first home of $110,000. Business was good and there was enough money to pay extra on the house payments and to make some minor improvements to the house like a new deck and some paint. With the economic downturn, business last year was about 60% of the previous year’s income. Finally by November it was no longer possible to make the house payment and needed repairs on the house. Unfortunately, I am not alone with this problem….There are 5 families in my immediate family group who are also in a foreclosure situation.
We applied for a modification of our existing loan 6 months ago and have been put off every month by Chase Bank who says they will let us know an answer next month. Finally, we had to stop paying them to get a call back. Chase collectors said, “If you make four more payments, we will let you know THEN if we can reduce your interest rate”. I said I would not fall for that line any longer. I felt scammed by the Mortgage Company and we now have a “deficit of trust,” or as “Cool-hand Luke” would say, “a failure to communicate”.
Deficit of Trust in the Banks: Credit Card Default
Like many people, I have too much credit card debt. My plan to pay it off the debt was to get enough equity in the house and borrow enough against it to pay off the cards. This has been a common American practice. Obviously that will not happen now and hope of paying extra on the cards to pay them off is gone too. I tried to negotiate a lower interest rate with the bank but they only adjusted the interest rates upward as they decreased my credit limits during the “bailout” to ruin my hard earned good credit.
With my credit ruined, I felt that I had nothing to loose and stopped paying. The FIA Collection company called and said, “If I made a payment they would put me through to the bank for a hardship plan” of reduced interest and a 5 year payment plan. Which I did agree to and then they transferred me to hold for 30 minutes…I had to call the bank back. It turns out, I do not make enough money to qualify for the “hardship payment plan” and I did not need to make a payment to do it. The collection company scammed me…So now there is also a “deficit of trust” with Bank of America and their agents.
Deficit of Trust in the Educational System: The Student Loan Scam
Americans have heard that there is money for education in the current economy and colleges are taking advantage by soliciting students on-line. I was contacted as a result of on-line inquires for grant money for school though I am not convinced that education helps get a job in this country. I do know better than to apply for a student loan…I am still paying off my loan from 25 years ago and hope to have it paid off soon since I am applying now for social security. I already have two degrees but have never gotten work in my field; I am currently a truck driver.
I agreed to apply to Grand Canyon University when they called and said that there was grant money for my tuition and books. My enrollment councilor said, “You have to fill out the government loan application to see what you qualify for, but you still have $7,000 in grant money.” For other financial questions he said to talk to the financial department, who could never be reached and would not return my calls. Halfway through my on-line class I finally reached someone in the financial aid department who said the “grant” was actually a discount of $500 per class and that I would owe them $50,000 for my education with them. Scammed again!
It is shameful what educational institutions are charging students for their education today! It is morally wrong that admissions “salesmen” can obligate our children to thousands of dollars in loans before they realize it. Young people mortgage their futures for an education that may not get them the job that they want or even one that pays as much as their education costs them. How can young people understand how difficult it will be to pay back $50,000?
Yes, Mr. President you are correct, there is a “deficit of trust” with Washington; and I might add, with the financial institutions, healthcare systems, and educational systems in place today. Many say that you have tried to do too much but please do not give up! You have said that it will take time and it appears there will also be casualties along the way due to the old systems as well. And it will take Americans who will STAND UP FOR CHANGE and who will not continue with a system that is clearly broken.