You can't turn around without hearing the pundits and commentators weighing in, like sportscasters calling a football game, about whether the stimulus plan will work, whether tax cuts will help or hurt, whether nationalizing the banks or car companies would save them or destroy capitalism as we know it.

The diversity of opinion is a good thing, and when people can find it in them to be respectful and civil in expressing their views, it enriches the national conversation.

President Obama is in Phoenix today, where Jamie and I live, because we have the third-highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Whether you voted for him or not, whether you like how his administration is handing the economic meltdown or not, we hope you can appreciate the direct, adult conversations he is having with the nation's citizens. 

After explaining his plan for addressing the mortgage crisis, here's how he closed the speech he gave at Dobson High School in Mesa today:

 "Our housing crisis was born of eroding home values, but also of the erosion of our common values. It was brought about by big banks that traded in risky mortgages in return for profits that were literally too good to be true; by lenders who knowingly took advantage of homebuyers; by homebuyers who knowingly borrowed too much from lenders; by speculators who gambled on rising prices; and by leaders in our nation's capital who failed to act amidst a deepening crisis.

"So solving this crisis will require more than resources -- it will require all of us to take responsibility. Government must take responsibility for setting rules of the road that are fair and fairly enforced. Banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practices that got us into this crisis in the first place. Individuals must take responsibility for their own actions. And all of us must learn to live within our means again..."

Throughout his speech, he exhibits several of the qualities we talk about in our book, but the thing that really gets our attention is that he is taking the message directly to citizens and talking to us like the adults we are.

Most importantly, he doesn’t sugarcoat the difficult issue — we are ALL responsible for this big mess and therefore responsible for helping to clean it up.