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Mortgage bailout plan sparks anger

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Tess Vigeland: Banks, of course, are but one facet of this crisis and recovery attempt. Earlier this week President Barack Obama unveiled a new foreclosure prevention plan to generally positive reviews from economists. But never mind them. Even though the plan could help as many as nine million homeowners, some of the other millions have a little something to say about that. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer has that story.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: Yesterday CNBC’s Rick Santelli was at the Chicago Board of Trade. He started complaining that Obama’s plan rewards people who took out mortgages they knew they couldn’t afford. Then he turned to the traders.

Rick Santelli: How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand!

Santelli seems to have touched a populist nerve.

Mare Runge: Those of us who did buy within our budget and bought something we could afford, we’re the ones who are getting screwed now.

Mare Runge is upset that she can’t sell or refinance her Chicago home. She doesn’t qualify for government help. Neither does Margo Miller of suburban Detroit. She wants her loan downsized.

Margo Miller: Lower the principal for everybody and make everybody even.

There are no polls yet on Obama’s plan. But in December, the Pew Research Center asked if the government should help homeowners facing foreclosure. Pew pollster Michael Dimock says 49 percent of the respondents said yes — 43 percent, no.

Michael Dimock: They don’t like bailing people out of problems they dug for themselves and I think that’s where you’re finding the mixed reaction to this.

Dimock says there’s no shortage of opinions because this issue hits very close to home.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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