Presidential powers are substantial, but they are not unlimited. So among the tools a president can use to some effect is the bully pulpit. That’s the power of spotlighting a topic via a public forum.
In a speech, President Donald J. Trump raised the profile of a once-famed factory-based home builder he knew. The video of that part of his speech, is shown below.
The president’s family business has also had direct ties to an upscale factory home builder, Revolution PreCrafted Homes.
The 45th president clearly has personal knowledge of factory-crafted home building, as well as of conventional housing construction.
It is worth noting that Vice President Mike Pence hails from Indiana. Industry sources tell the Daily Business News, that then-Governor Pence understood manufactured housing (MH), used the proper terminology, and was supportive of the industry.
In Senate testimony, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MD, has called modern manufactured homes “amazing.” Meanwhile, Secretary Carson labeled the regulatory regime of the Pamela Beck Danner era as “ridiculous.” Dr. Carson did so without mentioning her by name.
Levittown and that builder named by the president was an example of factory-based home building were included in HUD’s report on Operation Breakthrough, linked below. The linked reports on Operation Breakthrough – along with other linked resources from this article – can be read later, for additional details, and a deeper understanding.
A HUD’s PD&R report linked below are one of the sources that demonstrated via university-level research that modern manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing in urban infill settings.
The full implementation of two existing laws – manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption and the Duty to Serve could unlock two trillion dollars in additional growth, without the need for massive federal spending.
“Enforcing the law” has become a Trump Adminstration catch-phrase.
Enforcing the two laws linked here and above could pave the way to home ownership for millions, which in turn would spur the personal wealth of many, including blacks, Hispanics and all other demographic groups.
As Secretary Carson reminded the nation last year, home owners have an average net worth of $200,000, while renters only have an average net worth of $5,000 dollars.
There are debatably few other items that the Trump Adminstration could do than enforce those two existing laws, which would:
- cost the federal government less tax payer money over time,
- yield more wealth for millions,
- all while creating more good jobs,
- and higher domestic economic growth.
Virtually everyone, save perhaps a few monopolistic forces, would benefit from enforcing two laws already on the books regarding manufactured housing.
Posturing vs. Doing
The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has attempted to claim credit for the passage of the MLO rule when S 2155 was signed into law. The Masthead predicted that this dubious MHI claim would occur from the Berkshire Hathaway dominated association, prior to the signing of the bill.
It was the Trump Administration, not MHI, that made the MLO rule passage possible.
Note that then candidate Trump pushed for such a bill, by campaigning for reforms of Dodd-Frank.
By contrast, Warren Buffett backed Hillary Clinton pledged to do what Barack Obama did. Chairman Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway used their manufactured housing mouthpiece, MHI, to posture reforms of Dodd-Frank for years. But that reform of Dodd-Frank was only accomplished under President Trump.
Buffett publicly supported President Barack Obama, who pledged to veto a bill that included a similar provision to S 2155. MHI’s now exited government relations Vice President Jason Boehlert admitted in writing that the passage of MHI’s bill, Preserving Access was unlikely while President Obama was in the White House.
While commentators will be picking over the remains of the 2012 elections for weeks to come and discussing what the political landscape will look like over the coming year and what impact the elections will have as Congress prepares to return for a lame-duck session, MHI wanted to provide members with some feedback and analysis of the immediate aftermath and outlook for the coming weeks.
By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said early on in the Trump Administration that the industry could not ask for a better president in the Oval Office that Donald Trump.
Once understood, its an apparently classic case of what President Trump has called “a rigged system.”
Examples of a Corrupt, Rigged System?
The Washington Post made it clear that it was MHARR, not MHI, that worked with the Trump Administration to exit the destructive regulatory steps Pam Danner, JD, caused manufactured housing operations during her tenure at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).
MHI EVP Lesli Gooch specifically told the Washington Post that they did not weigh in on the Danner controversy. That confirmed months of MHProNews reporting on that subject.
By contrast, Mark Weiss, President and CEO of MHARR, was cited by the Washington Post as specifically pushing for the removal of Danner as an Obama Administration holdover, who was working contrary to President Trump’s regulatory freeze order.
The fact-patterns appear to be stark, and clear.
The Buffett/Berkshire dominated MHI was allegedly posturing reforms of Dodd-Frank and HUD, but in fact supported for president, first Barack Obama and then Secretary Hillary Clinton. That’s Mr. Buffett’s right, but then it is debatably unjust for MHI to claim that they were trying to mitigate regulations.
In fact, regarding the Department of Energy (DOE) plans for manufactured housing under the Obama Administration, MHI was promoting heavier regulations, while MHARR stood alone among MH industry associations in Washington D.C. to stop them.
Marty Lavin, JD, bluntly said on the record that MHI was working for “the big boys” and their interests.
The MHI award-winning Lavin has previously said “pay more attention to what people do than what they say.” In hindsight, isn’t it clear that MHI said they wanted to make certain reforms, but in fact Buffett’s “big boys” – such as Berkshire owned Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – were working to maintain or even increase regulatory burdens?
Because heavy regulations are both a barrier of entry to new businesses, and are also a force that can crush existing business operations. It is part of Buffet’s strategic “Moat” philosophy.
Using the established principles that high taxes, and high regulations harm smaller business, the Buffett tool of MHI was de facto aiding in the consolidation of manufactured housing companies. These are points President Trump has often raised in a general way in his speeches.
Sources on- and off-the-record have leveled charges that MHI was working against the interests of smaller companies, while Berkshire Hathaway owned brands and some others in manufactured housing were “consolidating” – or killing off – smaller independents for years. MHI’s own data reflects the trend.
While MHARR has raised such issues in their own fashion, only MHProNews among the industry’s trade media has spotlighted these concerns. Long-time readers will recall that MHProNews editorially supported and endorsed President Trump during the 2016 campaign. That support drew the attention of the presidential campaign, which for months had one of this writer’s articles on the Donald J. Trump campaign website.
While industry’s bloggers and MHProNews competitors were often shilling or cheering MHI and Berkshire Hathaway owned brands, MHProNews and those who support this platform stood alone in the industry’s media to warn the industry’s members against the complex, and tortured ways MHI and Berkshire Hathaway were killing off and/or “consolidating” companies at bargain prices.
Every single one of us is a time traveler. We go through space and time, one moment at a time. Then minutes, days, weeks, months, and years at a time. We can learn from others, past and present, about their experiences in time. How do we make the most of our lives?
Marty Lavin, a manufactured home industry success story in his own right, has said “follow the money.” People are entitled got their own opinions, but they are not to their own facts. MHI can claim to be working to mitigate regulations, but where is their evidence? Why did MHI VP Rick Robinson dodge questions and debate in Deadwood in 2017? Or why did MHI President Dick Jennison dodge questions in Louisville in 2018?
The Trump Administration is doing their part. They are striving to undo the damage of years of crony capitalism in Washington, D.C., step-by-step.
If Brian Montgomery and Secretary Carson will avoid the trap of appointing a MHI candidate to be the non-career Administrator of OMHP at HUD, it could be another next step forward for millions of Americans.
Based upon reports from industry sources, MHProNews has supported Vic DeRose to replace Danner. DeRose could be someone that holds to the regulatory philosophy of the president, to administer the manufactured housing program in a way that could benefit industry and consumers alike. “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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