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MHI 2013 Annual Meeting and “Big Government is Over”

October 9th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Raise the white flag. Shut your office doors. Empty your bank account while you can.

Some industry pros are saying privately it is "all over." "There is not enough time," and "we don't have enough grass roots action and votes" to get the "Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act" – aka HR 1779 – passed.

GovTrack suggests the same, with their prognosis of:

  • 27% chance of getting past committee.
  • 4% chance of being enacted.


Sorry, but in my world and that of tens of thousands of other business owners, managers and executives "can't hasn't tried enough."

Because in business, "Winners never quit and quitters never win."

Review and Analysis

If too many are apathetic or give up now, you can count on negative consequences, even if you have done 'your part.' If you've acted, great, but then get your peers, team mates friends and relatives to do the same!

Paraphrasing, Tim Williams CEO of 21st Mortgage told attendees at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting in La Costa, CA the following.

21st Mortgage reviewed the loans they made in 2013 and concluded that as the CFPB's guidelines currently read, 47% of those loans won't be made after mid-January 2014 when the new regulations are scheduled go into effect.

Since 21st Mortgage has a reputation for buying "deeper" than other industry lenders and buying more than others too, real harm will be done to retailers, communities and those who serve or supply them. Factories, suppliers, you name it…will be harmed.

As an aside, see why even MHARR is quoting from Tim William's exclusive interview with us, found at the link here.

Should business and association leaders fail in their collective efforts, as the industry currently functions, expect a number of businesses to close at some point as a direct result of fewer loans being made. I'm looking at the most recent message from one of the lending pros we know, he thinks so too.


Further, millions of pre-HUD code mobile homes and millions of post HUD code manufactured home owners will watch their home values drop as access to lending will be cut.

So should we give up? Or rather, should we redouble our efforts?

We Provide, You Decide. © 

Let's look at some facts.

As of early morning on 10.7.2013, HR 1779 has 93 cosponsors (79R, 14D). This is dozens of members more support than we had a year ago. New congressional co-sponsors keep signing on, even during the partial federal shut down that is dominating news and DC politics.

Why are they signing on, if they too think it is pointless?

HR 1779 may be one of the most bi-partisan pieces of legislation moving in the Congress right now! We are told it is the most bi-partisan bill moving related to Dodd-Frank.

That in itself is a major accomplishment. All who are making that happen ought to rightfully be proud, but this is no time to rest on such laurels.

Word has it from a number of sources that multiple U.S. Senators are prepared to contact Richard Cordray at the CFPB and ask for the regulatory changes that would mirror what HR 1779 would do legislatively.

MA Senator Elizabeth Warren is said to prefer seeing a regulatory fix at the CFPB than see ANY bill hitting the floor of the Senate that would "open up" Dodd-Frank. Interesting…

Why are these insights of value? Because more co-sponsors in the House supporting HR 1779 is seen by those in the know as being momentum for either a legislative change and/OR for a regulatory change with the CFPB.

The bottom line? There is NO effort wasted on supporting HR 1779.

  • Have you written your congressman?
  • Called her or his office to ask for support?
  • Has your congressional rep signed on?

  • If so, did you thank them?

The clock is ticking down. We have about 100 days. Can we do it? Yes, but only if you get involved, and then ask for others to do the same.

DC Talk

Shifting gears to the related news out of DC.

Among those in our industry who don't want to do any heavy lifting on HR 1779 are those who say that:

  • the partial shutdown (some 83% of the federal government is open),
  • lack of a CR (continuing resolution, an alternative to formal budget funding),
  • looming debt ceiling issue,

on and on with DC's gridlock are all 'reasons' we can't get HR 1779 done.

Our take?

Repeating, can't hasn't tried hard or long enough. It took me a personal visit to the DC office of my congressman, along with multiple follow up emails and calls before he signed on. Starting in late February, until “mission accomplished.” Here's proof.


If it is worth doing, it is worth seeing through and doing right.

That said, some effort is better than none. Please read the message from Mark Bowersox here, and you can download and use the template he provides. Or put it all in your own words.

Either way, please, just do it.

Looming federal debt default?

China and Japan warn the U.S. against a default, but there are those who say that debt service won't suffer because there is some $225 billion coming in monthly with 'only' some $35 billion monthly on debt service.

House Speaker John Boehner says it "is time to deal with America's problems."

We aren't crystal balling this, but will say that it is self-evident that if Barack Obama was right as a Senator when he voted against raising the debt limit then he must be wrong as President in his current stance. By contrast, Bill Clinton didn't buck up and refuse to talk with the opposing party, rather, he used ju-jitsu! He took what the R's wanted, put his finger prints on it, and came up with a mutual victory.

It is no secret that current Democratic strategists are hoping to 'hook' more and more of the American people on entitlement programs. For those who think this is DC politics that doesn't matter on an MH trade publication, please think again. Question. What is perhaps the biggest competitor that manufactured housing faces in the market place today? Arguably, Section 8 housing and related subsidy programs!

Tragically, this entire movement among Democratic strategists and leaders runs counter to the arguably more nimble politics of Democratic President Bill Clinton, who made the famous deal to cut the welfare programs through entitlement reform which lead to a balanced budget.


"The era of big government is over…but…
Self-reliance and teamwork are not opposing virtues
— we must have both." – Bill Clinton.

Since the Reagan-Clinton era, President Bush "43" promoted programs that pushed bigger government, which now President Obama has accelerated. The balanced budget and surplus created by Clinton's deal with then House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been lost in a sea of red ink that must be tamed.

The reason the era of big government ought to be over is that big, bloated government doesn't work as promised.

It isn't partisan to point out that many of the promises made to Americans before the passage of ObamaCare – lower health care costs, keep your doctor and plan, etc. – are not going to happen. Our pre-election quote from thinker Thomas Sowell made it clear that you can't add a layer of bureaucracy onto an already huge system and expect it to cost less than before. Nor should we think that bloated, big government might work better!

Tens of billions (if not hundreds of billions) of real dollars are wasted ever year in DC. Nancy Pelosi could not be more incorrect when she says that 'everything has been wrung out of the budget' that can be. What nonsense. The proof lies in reports that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has produced that point to huge sums of waste, fraud and abuse that can and ought to be trimmed away.

Our Industry Potentially Holds the Key!

With some 20,000,000+ Americans living in manufactured homes, we have the model for quality, affordable living right before our eyes! In an era of run-away big government, part of the solution lies in supporting our industry, not some Section 8 style program that makes site building 'more affordable' by taking money from tax payers or borrowing to make up the difference between market rent and the subsidized rent.

The obvious answer is having a home which is affordable already!

Our industry has allowed itself to get boxed into corners way too often to not have learned the lesson that if we don't define ourselves and learn to sing our love song to quality affordable living well, no one else is going to do it for us.


MHI Meeting Reports

We've had calls and messages about the 'deafening silence' since the MHI annual meeting. It may not seem so, but we've been hitting the key points from the MHI annual meeting here on the Masthead already.

I've also touched base with MHI, they tell us their report will be out on Friday. Watch for it in our MHI News Module.

We plan a photo report about the MHI annual meeting and awards in our Industry in Focus module. But let me give you once more the executive summary.

It is necessary for pros like you to call, email, fax and meet with your Congressional Representative in support of HR 1779. When the Senate drops its companion bill, that will focus on the HOEPA vs. the LO Comp rule (sources tell us that we are 75% 'there' on getting what is needed on LO Comp from the CFPB), we will want to contact our Senators and let them know too that this is must have to protect millions of manufactured home owners, along with thousands of jobs and businesses.

The era of big government isn't over, and part of the reason is that not enough people like you are standing up and fighting for what is needed to win, regardless of party or politics.

Republicans let George W. Bush – “43” – grow government, and now Democrats lead by Barack Obama are also growing government. Don't let the hype and smoke fool you, the current and prior president share much in common.

European socialism proved to be a failed system. The Chinese communists brought large slices of 'capitalism' into their country to help it grow. The nations here or there that are progressing are using more free enterprise than we now do. Here at home in the USA, states with pro-business governors and legislatures are growing while big government states are often the ones dying fastest in a sea of red ink. The proof is all round us that the era of big, socialistic government ought to be over.

We are not spectators! We are impacted by all of this, and must be part of the solution or we are de-facto part of the problem.


In the Rocky movie series, Balboa's character wasn't the smoothest, most stylish or best fighter. What he did is keep coming, get knocked down, get up, go back into the fray and never quit.

Rocky eventually wins.


Some wins are ugly ones. But winning is better than losing any day of the week. Want to avoid a nasty loss? Want to avoid more businesses from closing or jobs being lost?

Then let's fight to win by supporting HR 1779. Working together, yes we can. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for October and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
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