The unhappy Barney Frank is at it again. Like many Democrats, this mean-spirited man from Massachusetts, has such faith in the power of government to right all wrongs that his House Financial Services Committee is moving forward on legislation to expand the reach of the Community Reinvestment Act. Yup, you read that right. So, what if that legislation contributed significantly to last fall’s financial meltdown. Barney’s fellow Democrats think it just needs a broader reach so, his committee
. . . is holding hearings on legislation supported by the Obama administration that would bring insurance companies and credit unions under the umbrella of CRA, placing new lending demands on these groups and opening them up to protests and pressure tactics by organizations like Acorn. As proof that Washington is a looking-glass world where basic values and logic get perverted, proponents of the new legislation claim we need more CRA to rein in the bad practices of the housing bubble, which is sort of like arguing that the cure for alcoholism is another martini. Any review of the history of the affordable mortgage movement in America demonstrates the power that CRA had in helping to shred mortgage underwriting standards throughout the industry and exposing us to the kind of market meltdown we’ve experienced.
It was, as Steven Malanga (who wrote those words above), the CRA who got ACORN “into the mortgage business.” The controversial left-wing group used the Carter-era legislation “as a cudgel to force lenders to lower their mortgage underwriting standards in order to make more loans in low-income communities.”
Andith the CRA, Congress pressured the Department of Housing and Urban Development which, in turn pressure the Government-Sponsored Enterprise, Fannie Mae, to buy up “billions of dollars worth of CRA loans.” Johnson’s bill, Byron York informs us, “would ensure more of that by applying CRA’s lending requirements not just to banks but to non-bank institutions like credit unions, insurance companies, and mortgage lenders.”
I guess for Democrats one financial meltdown just wasn’t enough.
But, it’s not just in trying to expand this one program which had disastrous consequences for our economy where Democrats act as if history begins with their good intentions.
With his call for slashing our nuclear arsenal, the President returns to a policy he advocated in college. Back then, he faulted the Reagan Administration for its intransigence and “twisted logic,” even though the Gipper’s policies have been, in Tom Elia’s words, “vindicated by events.” Wouldn’t a wise man, a new kind of politician, learn from his mistakes and the successes of his ideological adversaries and the policies he once opposed?
But, Obama moves forward as if the Cold War never ended and the Berlin Wall never came down.
It’s not just on national security policy where he hasn’t learned from the past. The President also favors economic policies akin to those with no record of success. He pushes forward on increased government involvement in the health care sector of our economy despite abundant evidence that such involvement will only drive up costs and possibly lead to a rationing of services.
We are regularly assured that unlike their Republican counterparts, Democrats are realists, not ideologues, who study the facts of a situation before reaching a conclusion and offering legislative solutions to remedy any problems they find. Instead, it is they who are the ideologues, certain that any domestic problem requires a government solution and any international problem requires us to be less aggressive and more conciliatory.
And they do so without any evidence that the policies they espouse which sound so good in the abstract (especially when propounded by a gifted orator) actually work in the real world.