Houston: WTF?

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Marathon Girl and I would like to relocate our family to the Houston area in the next couple of years. And since the town’s always on our mind, I take the time to occasionally read about the goings on in that fair city. After the hurricane ripped through the area in September, I was proud to see that Houstonians got together, cleaned up the city and got on with their lives. And when they got a dusting of snow in December, I figured we could live with the occasional cold weather – even if the snow was one of the three things we wanted to get away from.

But then I see a story in the Houston Chronicle like this and it makes me want to reconsider all of my plans about moving out there:

Public funds to pay for private debt

Houston taxpayers could start footing the bill to help first-time homebuyers pay off debts and improve their credit scores, under a proposal before City Council this week.

The “Credit Score Enhancement Program” will give up to $3,000 in grants to individuals who are trying to qualify for mortgages through the city’s homebuyers assistance program. City officials say some applicants fall short of eligibility by only 10 or 20 points on their credit scores, and paying off some debt balances can quickly improve their numbers.

The proposal has aroused critics who say the city should not use public funds to help people pay down car loans, credit card balances, or other debts — even if the slight credit bump would help them realize the dream of home- ownership.

Read the rest of the article here.

I don’t go around asking my neighbors for money to pay off any debts I may have incurred. The last thing I want to do is to be forced to pay off the debts of someone else. Does it even occur to these politicians that maybe if people learned to pay off debts and improve their credit score on their own they just might do a better job of paying off their mortgage once they’re able to obtain one?

Idiotic programs like this are something I’d expect from cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Eagle Mountain (Utah). You know, cities with politicians that don’t mind using tax payers as ATMs for just about everything.

But Houston?

Does that independent, Texas sprit not exist in the state’s largest city?

Someone please tell me this is a joke.

If not, I’ll have to consider relocating San Antonio, Dallas, or some other place in the Lone Star state that actually is run by politicians that believe in freedom and personal liberty.