If economic security and risk-spreading are to be an overarching Democratic theme, then an early candidate for attention might be undoing some of the damage from the new bankruptcy bill. Certainly, a soldiers-and-sailors-protection bill ought to hit the President’s desk within by the end of January. But I think we should go beyond that, no matter what it costs us in financial-services-industry contributions.
If the housing market continues to head South, as I expect it will, and especially if the slowdown in homebuilding leads to a recession, which is at least plausible, lots and lots of people are going to be in a world of hurt. When their Option ARMs reset, they will find themselves unable to make their mortgage payments, unable to refinance or sell because they have negative equity, and (thanks to bankruptcy reform) unable to walk away without having their banks come after them for the difference. Many of the people at risk aren’t Democratic voters … yet.