The View From 1776
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Buying Votes With Other People’s Money is Costly
The standard Democrat/Socialist reaction to every voter complaint is to spend more money. The voting majority think that benefits are free. In fact benefits are paid for by class warfare
The Price of Political Correctness
By Jeff Lukens
“Silence is the virtue of fools,” Sir Francis Bacon once said. Instead of silence, today Bacon would be referring to a mindless politeness on what can and cannot be spoken in the public arena. We call it political correctness. Yet silence and political correctness may be luxury we cannot afford if we wish to maintain the way of life this country has known since the founding.
It is no secret Congress has been pushing subprime mortgages to disadvantaged people who could not pay for them. In the name of affordable housing, Congress has resisted all attempts at reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and effectively encouraged those organizations to become ever more reckless in their lending policies.
The government does not guarantee Fannie or Freddie, but the widespread assumption has been that they would step in to cover losses. In effect, Democrats were buying votes by giving their constituents a home. The result has been a world wide financial meltdown.
In 1998, Fannie deferred $200 million of estimated expenses to create the illusion of profit to justify enormous bonuses to the management. In 2004, Fannie Mae’s management was discovered to be engaging in a “pervasive misapplication” of its accounting rules. No matter. Fannie CEO Franklin Raines, now an Obama campaign advisor, walked away with millions of dollars in his pocket even with his involvement in improper accounting practices. He should have gone to jail.
While Republicans have tepidly tried to rein in Fannie and Freddie, Democrat Barney Frank has repeatedly said these institutions were sound. In 2005, a Republican reform passed the Senate Banking Committee on a party-line vote, only to be blocked by Democrats from passing the full Senate. If the Democrats had let the 2005 legislation come to a vote, the huge growth in the subprime loan portfolios of Fan and Fred would not have occurred, and the scale of the current financial crisis would have been much less. But that would require some measure of congressional accountability and responsibility. Good luck on that ever happening. Fannie and Freddie top campaign contributions went to Chris Dodd and Barack Obama, at $165,000 and $126,000, respectively.
Another liberal brainchild is the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA. It was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. Words like “affordable housing” and “redlining” allowed politicos to direct where the loans and investments should go. If home prices kept going up, as was the assumption, this would not be a problem. They could paper over the losers.
Republicans were afraid to confront Democrats on it and now we are all in a jam. What brought us to this financial meltdown was their fear of being called a racist. Let’s just call it White Guilt. Will a takeover of our government and financial system by radical socialists be next? It may not be far off.
The CRA has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to intimidate banks to making risky loans. ACORN officially registers voters and supports housing. In reality, however, they employ bare-knuckle tactics to advance their socialist agenda. ACORN personnel are facing criminal charges on voter fraud cased in over a dozen states.
ACORN abuses the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in subprime loans to often poor and minority customers not worthy of credit. Yet risky loans were only part of it. Anytime a lending institution wanted to expand or merge, it had to show it has complied with these community redevelopment measures. Approval could easily be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN. Intimidation tactics, public charges of racism to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to shakedown hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions. That’s no big deal. Twice this year Congress has earmarked taxpayer money to ACORN.
So now we have a financial crisis with earnest Americans losing their jobs and life savings due to Democrat machine politics and Republican timidity. The price of political correctness may be a socialist takeover of our country. This is not about race or racism. It is about what is right and what is wrong. It is about an American way of life that may soon be gone by way of mob psychology.
What deserves greater scrutiny is Barack Obama’s history with ACORN. He was the attorney representing ACORN when they pushed the Clinton Administration to expand the CRA. He served on the board of the Woods Fund with William Ayers when they gave ACORN funding grants. Obama’s hands are dirty with ACORN, and his involvement needs to be accounted for. Of course, his silence on his past associations while running for president plays us all for fools.
Constitutionally minded people must stand and fight this takeover if we wish to preserve our capitalist free-enterprise way of life. It starts now and it starts with each of us. And it is not over on November 4 no matter who is elected. This struggle for our way of life will go on for years to come.
Jeff Lukens is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets. He can be contacted at HYPERLINK “http://www.jefflukens.com” http://www.jefflukens.com