...Or Could Debtors' Prisons be the Answer??

Cheney Outlines New "Security for
American Mortgage Borrowers Initiative"

Vice President Cheney this morning announced a new initiative to "aid those made homeless b
ecause they defaulted on their mortgages." In a major speech to an association of mortgage lenders, the VP announced a program to provide free housing and "three squares" a day to Americans whose homes were foreclosed on by members of the banking and loan industries.

Under the S.A.M.B.I. program, adult members of families who lose their homes will be provided with compulsory housing at state-run institutions and facilities for periods of time from one to 20 years, depending on how much they owed the lending institution at the time of their default. "We have yet to work out the details," Cheney said, "but we're thinking in the neighborhood of one year for each unit of $50,000 lost by the lender." While being housed, these adults will be offered the opportunity to reduce the balance of their debts by working at tasks assigned by the facility at the prevailing minimum wage. Those who decline the opportunity to work could find their sentences extended indefinitely. "These people obviously lacked the discipline required to function effectively in our society," Cheney explained, "and this will be an excellent chance for them to learn that discipline."

Minor children of defaulters would be enrolled in "excellent residential education facilities" designed to teach them "vocational skills that will prepare them for their roles the future global economy." Among the examples offered by the Vice President were environment recovery efforts in formerly military and industrial tracts, variable and seasonal agricultural harvest skills, meat processing professions with an emphasis on animal intake activities, and a variety of domestic personal service disciplines.

The Vice President summed up the initiative this way, "This is the logical next step after our No Child Left Behind and our bankruptcy reforms. It is the very essence of compassionate conservatism."

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