Mortgage Bailout Bill Shreds Property Rights, Fleeces Taxpayers
An enormously costly mortgage bailout bill passed the House 272-to-152, with strong support from liberal lawmakers. It will soon pass the Senate by an even bigger margin and become law. President Bush, following the advice of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, has wimped out and dropped his threat to veto it.
The bill will bail out the mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which has used intimidation and deceit, and spent millions of dollars on high-priced lobbyists, to thwart efforts to rein it in, even after its management engaged in a massive accounting scandal that rivaled Enron.
The bill will add at least $42 billion in new expenses to the federal budget, including $16.8 billion in new taxes for taxpayers, and new deficit spending, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will include billions of dollars in new pork for "community development" and "mortgage counseling," enriching groups like the scandal-plagued ACORN, which engages in vote fraud, and La Raza.
As John Berlau notes, such funds may end up being used to seize homes for the benefit of politically-connected developers, a controversial practice permitted by the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 Kelo decision, over a dissent by four conservative justices. (Some slums came into being after the government seized homes from working-class people as part of misguided redevelopment efforts that failed, as government planning often does). The final version of the bill negotiated with House banking chairman Barney Frank of Massachusetts strips out protections for private property rights that were in an earlier Senate version of the bill, substituting much weaker language.
The Fan/Fred Bailout Is a Scandal
Americans who work hard, pay taxes and play by the rules can't seem to get fair representation in Washington, D.C., these days. In the current debate over a government bailout of speculators, irresponsible banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the responsible majority has once again been pushed aside in a legislative rush to "do something."
This should have been a perfect opportunity for Republicans, struggling to regain some standing with the American people, to rise united and demand real accountability and reform. Remember how Democrats put the collapse of Enron and the subsequent losses to shareholders at the feet of the Bush White House? Freddie and Fannie are like Enron on steroids. There's a well-documented history of accounting corruption to benefit senior management; hundreds of millions of dollars spent lobbying against oversight and reform; and myriad connections to both Democratic committee chairmen and subprime lender Countrywide Financial.
Actions by Fannie and Freddie management and their regulators this year precipitated the current crisis. Under pressure from the Democrat-controlled Congress, the Bush administration lifted Fannie and Freddie's portfolio caps in February and reduced their capital reserve requirements in March. In this year's stimulus bill, Congress went further and nearly doubled the size of the loans that Fannie and Freddie can purchase or guarantee.
As a result of this reckless expansion, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) now touch nearly 70% of all new mortgages. At the same time, they are insolvent by most measures. The ostensible purpose of Fannie and Freddie is to provide liquidity to America's housing markets. In practice, they are the source of systemic risk and instability in a time of need.
Much more here
Brookes News Update
Obama's economic policies: the road to ruin: Obama's economic policies would be disastrous if implemented. It's not just his bad maths but the fact that the so-called economics upon which the policies are based are complete rubbish. Opponents need to grasp the fundamental economic theory that exposes these policies as dangerous economic quackery
Oil prices, monetary stability and credit expansion: Over the last few years there has been a massive increase in bank credit. This credit fuelled the boom and drove up the demand for energy. So great was this expansion that surplus bank credit in the form of deposits started to emerge world-wide. Our economic pundits immediately labeled these deposits surplus savings, adding another fallacy to their erroneous views
Plastic bags v. greenie bigotry: Now that plastic shopping bags are in danger of being banned it is necessary to determine how such a great boon to consumers has been successfully demonised by fanatical greens and dense journalists
Into the Deep Green Yonder: A Response to the Green Paper on Climate Change: Not even the IPCC claims an ability to forecast the weather beyond a few days, but the CSIRO has sullied its reputation by pretending they can project temperature and rainfall 30 years into the future
Scientist is abused for exposing global warming as fraud: A highly qualified and experienced scientist who developed the climate change models that are a basis for the Rudd Australian Government's 'green house' policy calls this policy outrageous and typical sophistry. When he provided evidence against green house hysteria the Government went silent and its pet scientists resorted to abuse
Foreign Policy: Is Obama a puppet?: Why does Obama needs 'bullet points' to tell him how to answer the most basic foreign policy questions? And who is writing these points? And why are entities such as the Associated Press are doing everything in their power (short of rewriting the English dictionary) to do Obama's dirty work for him. Remarkable
The Left: transfiguring the disaster: The promise of salvation has been the constant and essential refrain of the international Left for a century, and we see no sign of any leftist mentor having any conscience problems with this. Au contraire, all of them continue to promise the solution to maladies, while having readied in their portfolios the future legitimization of the enlarged maladies
Democrats playing (bad) politics with oil: The Democrats have adopted the insane policy of driving up energy prices by strangling oil production. To defend themselves Senator Schumer argued that increasing oil production in the Middle East would lower prices but increasing oil production in the US would not! Obama opposes raising domestic oil production on the absurd ground that 'It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years'
When is Obama not lying?: when is Obama not lying? When he blurts out his real opinions in private. Fortunately he is so undisciplined and overconfident that he'll do that often enough. And Obama's wife Michelle is a genuine PC Commissar, straight from the Russian steppes, who just cannot think outside of the racial resentment box. A woman who visibly seethes with hatred and resentment
The New York Times camouflages the news for Obama: Surprise, surprise, the liars at the New York Times have been caught bending a phony news story to cover up Obama's disastrous Iraq policy
THREE toons on OBAMA WATCH today.
Huge downer for British Labour Party: "British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's worst nightmare was realised today as one of Labour's safest seats was lost in a key by-election. Labour's disastrous run of electoral setbacks continued when the Scottish National Party 's John Mason achieved the enormous 22 per cent swing required to topple the longtime stronghold of Glasgow East. The nationalists overturned a Labour majority of 13,507, triumphing by 365 votes, after polling a total of 11,277 to Labour's 10,912. While Mr Brown is not under immediate threat, it was the worst possible result as he prepares for a summer holiday and tries to chart a plan for his own and Labour's recovery. The result will intensify doubts among Labour MPs about Mr Brown's ability to win a general election and could spell trouble at Labour's conference in the autumn when a weakened Prime Minister will have trouble getting his way on a range of policy issues."
Puzzling Republicans: "As I consign more Republican fund-raising letters from yesterday's mail to the trash can, maybe someone who understands better than I do how Congress operates can help me out here. If (as the WSJ's editors explain) the Democrats won't even allow a discussion (forget about a vote, just a discussion) of drilling for more oil, why are Republicans not blocking the reprehensible housing bail-out? And why on earth is the President going to sign it?
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)