Republicans are blaming poor people and Democrats for the foreclosure crisis. The basic contention is that the use of Fannie and Freddie to facilitate home mortgages for people who would otherwise not be able to afford home ownership ("minorities and risky people," as Fox news' Neil Cavuto put it) is at the heart of the sub-prime collapse.
I've spent a few days looking for statistics relating to this. Specifically, I've been looking for average price of foreclosed properties to see whether mortages on low-end housing -- the kind of homes "minoritiees and risky people" would buy -- are really the problem. My suspicion, given that high-rent places like Orange County, California, lead the league in foreclosures, is that it's not Fannie and Freddie's lending to the lower middle class that is driving this crisis.
Tonight I found this, which is, admittedly, a year old. Still:
This means, doing a little math, that the value of the average foreclosed home is just over $300,000. The average home sale price, according to this, is $212,000, which means the average foreclosure value is more than 140% of the average home price.
This would seem, on the surface, to indicate that government-induced lending to poor people isn't really the heart of the problem.