Would that it were this easy -- and yet it is still a sensible thing for a U.S. congressman to say.
First the details: There are nearly 1.9 million U.S. homeowners floundering in foreclosure despite federal rescue efforts to bail them out. The housing market, like the labor market, has proven to be too enormous a problem to solve with just good intentions, willpower or even billions of dollars.
As if to prove that tossing money at a problem does not -- at least in theory -- solve most problems, but just makes the symptoms go away, foreclosures continue to undermine home prices, clog up the courts and upend families.
That said, this is one of those quotes that is like a politician pitching to himself. Like a group of 9-year-old kids playing baseball, but without enough players for a full team, the kid at bat is assigned the dual role of batter and pitcher. He holds the bat so it rests on his shoulder and softly tosses the ball vertically with his other hand. As the ball floats into position, he then grips the bat with both hands and says this:
"The best foreclosure mitigation program in America is a job."
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said that this past week.
Too easy? Very much so. This week, if Hensarling mentions the best mitigation program for unemployment, then he'll be on to something.