As the pace of fundamental transformation accelerates with every "let me be clear" from our philosopher king, any histories to be written of this period should probably be written now, while the lights are still on and the power button on your computer isn't just a cruel joke. This "quick before it freezes" philosophy extends especially to things that haven't happened yet, since by the time they do occur many of us will be too busy quarrying limestone in Northern Minnesota to worry about much of anything else.
Accordingly, for your consideration, a telegram from the not-so-distant future about government doing to your housing what they did to your health care.
In the aftermath of the rollout and implementation of the wildly successful Affordable Healthcare Act, and as a prelude to immigration reform (unaccountably stalled in the Senate over the question of how much to compensate "undocumented students/visitors/guests" for indignities visited upon them by "law-happy zealots") it was felt that the next economic sector that could benefit from the Obama Midas touch was housing.
Accordingly the Affordable Sustainable Housing Act (or "ObamaHut" as it came to be known) was born.
The bill, whose preamble asserted the right of every citizen to an energy efficient home at no cost (memorialized on "Green For No Green" bumper-stickers everywhere) won wide bipartisan support when Republican consultants reminded their employers of the importance of the green vote, to say nothing of the growing constituency of individuals not inclined to pay their bills or honor their debts.
Among the many provisions contained in its twenty thousand pages (condensed to this size through the judicious use of six-point type and shorthand) some of the salient points that would so arouse the watchdog media -- some of them in as little as five years -- included:
- A mandate on all new houses to be 25% solar/wind powered with a sliding scale up to 75% in 2025A provision that grandfathered existing houses until they were sold or had "substantial" repairs, additions or renovation
- An annual penalty for non-compliance equal to 5% of the appraised value of the home
- A provision that no potential home buyer could be refused a mortgage irrespective of income or credit history
- A provision that all associated costs of home purchasing, mortgage, insurance and tax escrow payments would be eligible for government subsidies based on income level and "other circumstances"
As this new law worked its way through the legislative process President Obama, in a breathtaking departure from precedent, went on the road to sell it with a flurry of speeches and town halls. Against a backdrop of poor people, indigents and an array of doe-eyed children, the President solemnly asserted that if you liked your home you could continue to live in it. The American people, with no reason to doubt him, took him at his word.