Housing Plan Faceoff: Who's Right?

One housing plan. At least two opinions.

Power Lunch anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera doesn't like the new plan to help homeowners.

On The Money anchor Carmen Wong Ulrich does like it.

Who's got it right? The following are what CNBC.com readers are saying ... share your thoughts below:

The socialist hits just keep coming from this guy. Joe the plumber has no ivy league degree, but he sure had it right. This country is going to hell in a handbasket. Heading offshore. Maybe Puerto Rico.... They are already socialist but at least the weather is good. I'll be back in 4 years after this debacle has ended.
Denise, New Jersey

Avoidance of financial pain or loss always leads to deeper pain and loss.
The unintended consequences will be brutal with this temporary patch.
Steve, Pembroke, N.H.

Michelle's viewpoint and the majority in the poll is typical of conservatives who resist helping people in economic trouble because they assume it is totally their own fault. That view ignores the massive mortgage broker fraud and rampant ignorance of the risks related to the go-go Wall St. leveraging of it. Michelle wants to transfer blame and ignore the major source of our problems because they land in her back yard.
Warren, Apache Junction, Arizona

The responsibility falls on the purchaser.If these people are that ignorant they do not deserve to by a home. Let them go under.
Charles, Spokane, Wash.

FAIR!!!. We should erase the word from the dictionary. This is sheer socialistic behavior. Soon, we will all be paid a loaf of bread for a family of three. This is ridiculuos. Where were they when the markets were rising relentlessly every year and the same speculating public was making money hand over fist. They should be punished. Let the market work its course and do not reinflate the bubble. Its gonna burst even stronger. I agree with Michelle. Kudos.
Narain, Miami, Fla.

I have been renting for 7 years now, waiting for a buying opportunity as I was well aware that I could not afford what I was being told by the lender. I have read others mentioning revolution or backlash against our government, and I will do my part. Once this begins, I will no longer pay taxes into a system that is rewarding failing banks, business, and individuals with my hard earned money. I would rather lose my job, and receive government assistance as well. I will be declared mentally ill, although that is what I declare our government!

Why not put all this money to good use by fixing Social Security and Medicare?
Dan, Syosset, N.Y.

I fall into the new "responsible homeowner" category. I have never missed a payment or even been late on my various homes over 38 years.

However, I bought a larger house in 2006 (20% down)just as the housing market was collapsing, and now I am stuck with a $600,000 fixed rate mortgage at 6.75% that I can't refinance because my equity has been "marked down" when comparable homes in my area sold for less, and my loan was a jumbo.

My taxes leaped up as well because the house is new and taxes had been underestimated, and my payment soared $2,000 per month to recover the escrow. Citimortgage up to now will not let me refinance, as I am not within 3 months of foreclosure ( I could fix that by missing some payments and ruining my credit. ) I was making my payments fine, and will try to keep doing so, but I just need to refinance down to current interest rates and I will be all right. Otherwise I am stuck as I can’t sell in this market.

Michelle, what is wrong with that? — Dennis, Des Plaines, Ill.

Socialism is never "fair" when you look at it the way you do. This is for example also the case for the very good social security scemes, and universal health care that we are all enjoying in Europe. But still 95% of all europeans can not believe how you have organized health care and social security in your much "fairer" country. By the way, have you thought about the "fairness" of bankers getting 5 million dollar bonusses and have you thougt about the "fairness" of all the gifts from the bush administration for the wealthy americans? Come visit Europe and we will show that things can be done a different way, and still work very well! — Harm, Zuidermeer, Netherlands

I totally agree! Its complete BS that I pay my bills, go to work, and acted smart. In return my taxes will go towards somebody I have never met. Its ludacris.

Nice article Michelle — Charlie, Maryland

I think we need to get used to the idea that the housing bubble has burst, home prices are going down, and in the long term that is a good thing. The people who gambled on ever-increasing home prices, and lost that bet, need to accept the consequences. Instead of rewarding them by paying down their mortgages, I would offer them a 40- or 50-year mortgage at a fixed rate determined by their credit scores. If they really want to stay in their homes, that's plenty of incentive. I would REALLY like to see some prosecutions of both mortgage brokers who lied, cheated and stole to close bad mortgages, and some homeowners who did the same. That would do wonders to restore confidence in our banking system! — Gena, Bay City, Mich.

I may sound like a whacko, but this is stuff that revolutions are sprouted from. Rewarding the irresponsible gluttons and greedy lenders, and screwing the frugile saver is WRONG ! — Al, Albany, Oregon

Do the right thing & get smacked in the face for it. My wife & I bought a very modest home in 1997 with plans to purchase a vacation home in Phoenix at some time later. We paid our mortgage on time, saved and lived in less of a house than we wanted so that we could buy our vacation retreat. We knew, even through the housing boom, that prices would fall eventually. We resisted the temptation to buy a home sight unseen with no money down & an interest only loan (as a real estate agent was pushing us to do) and waited until prices fell and we could afford a place in Phoenix. Now, we are ready to purchase, and some irresponsible person who did exactly what we didn't do will have their home saved by my tax dollars, which will in turn drive up the cost of my vacation home.

Do you know who I'm really mad at? Myself. — Peter, Medford, Mass.

Americans live beyond their means and this plan will encourage more debt. Americans do not want to work hard and save for their homes and possessions, they want government hand outs. I am with you Michele and Mark Haines.

ps. my husband and I just bought a home 300k below the builders price with a view of Folsom Lake! We do not live beyond our means and have profited from it. — Diane, Auburn, Calif.

Wouldn't it just be more efficient for the government to just buy up all these homes and turn them into public housing? Isn't that where we're headed? I weep for the future! — Chris, Marshfield, Mass.

I would only slightly feel better about this -if- these homeowners had to PAY BACK this assistance when they sell the home at a profit. Otherwise its just a giveway and re-enforces irresponsibility. — Coe, Seattle, Wash.

This is what I feared when I voted for Obama. A far-left ultra-liberal policy that transfers wealth from the responsible to the irresponsible. I've been a long-time renter that didn't participate in the housing bubble because I couldn't afford to play the real estate speculation game. Now that housing prices are declining back to affordable levels - prices where THEY SHOULD BE HEADING - we get this plan that takes money from me and rewards the greedy and irresponsible, all in the name of propping up home prices. Trust me, I know plenty of people who will qualify under Pres. Obama's new loan cramdown and modification plans that bought primary residences hoping to cash in on ever increasing home prices. One doesn't have to be rich to be greedy. While they lived in the home, it was as much an investment as a stock or bond purchase. — G., New York, NY

I'm Waiting for the US to take the lead and start showing the world what made the US a great Country. That is the ability to Succeed or Fail by the personal decisions you make. Why is a home different than any other purchase. Is the government going to help me because my retirement investments have decreased. No, Should they No.

The decisions the US are making today in my mind is very Un-American and is the exact opposite of what has made your country great. — John, Calgary, Alberta

The Obama plan is unjust. I don't understand why Government keep forcing people to keep the house they can not afford, at our expense? Is renting so bad?

Let the market handle it! — Gary, Fremont, Calif.

We want to know what you think. Is the plan good? Is there a better one that should be implemented? Take our poll, then share your thoughts. We'll post some of your opinions here throughout the day.

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