With so many Democrat retirements this year, one might think Republicans on Capitol Hill would seize the offensive in promoting a conservative agenda with the political winds blowing at their back. The public's distaste for all things big government is well-established on issues such as Obamacare, runaway deficits, NSA spying, the IRS, and even the crackdown on overly large beverages. Polls consistently show that voters find 'big government' the most ominous threat to their happiness and well-being.
Fast-forward to the inner chambers of the Senate Banking Committee, which is poised to pass legislation in the coming weeks that creates a monolithic successor to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, funnels millions to a new slush fund to finance liberal community organizers, confiscates private shareholder investments and earned profits, and for the first time ever puts taxpayers on the hook to guarantee trillions in mortgage securities. While such legislation isn't a shock coming from Harry Reid's Democrat majority, the real head scratcher is why some Republicans are championing this bill.
Dubbed Johnson-Crapo for its authors, Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking member Mike Crapo (R-ID), this legislation masquerades as a bi-partisan solution to winding down Fannie and Freddie and getting the government out of the mortgage business. Given the attributes listed above, it's obvious that this legislation does as much for getting government out of the housing industry as did retirement from office getting Bill Clinton out of the media spotlight.
With the housing crash and financial crisis of 2008 still fresh in our minds if not still smoldering on America's economic landscape, winding down and divesting Fannie and Freddie is an idea whose time came ten years ago. A major contributor to the housing bubble which helped sink the economy through easy lending and laws demanding banks make bad loans, Fannie and Freddie were also rife with corruption and mismanagement, paying millions in bonuses to its crooked officers while hiding $5 billion in accounting irregularities and $11 billion in misreported financial statements. Needless to say, few are sorry to see the Uday and Qusay of the mortgage industry join the trash heap of history's failed ideas.