Larry Elder

Waters, the California CBC member, before the recession demanded that banks lend to "underrepresented" borrowers -- even if the applicant could not come up with a down payment: "We ought to be encouraging our financial institutions to have more products where you have no down payments. When you look at the philosophy behind down payments, it just does not make any sense anymore. There are people who will never have a down payment (saved), who make their rental payments on time, and they would be just fine if they could get a (mortgage)."

Then came the crash. On what does the CBC now blame for the higher-than-national-average black unemployment and the number who face foreclosure? Racism, of course.

"The black community is experiencing a great recession," said CBC member Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. "And all of the growth in the past 30 years, we see it slipping away. From home ownership, the middle class; it's slipping away from our hands. And it has a lot to do with ... racism."

Meanwhile, Rep. Carson stood by his tree-hanging comments. "The tea party," said his spokesman, "is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities. We are talking about child nutrition, job creation, job training, housing assistance and Head Start, and that is just the beginning. A child without basic nutrition, secure housing and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life."

Carson is right: A child needs basic nutrition, secure housing and quality education. This is the job of the parents. People have no business breeding if he and she cannot provide these basic needs. The question that Allen West uncomfortably brings up is whether the "anti-poverty" policies endorsed by the CBC, including public welfare, actually encourage bad behavior by subsidizing and rewarding it.

Public policy expert James Q. Wilson said to avoid poverty one must do three things: finish high school, delay marrying until after the age of 20 and marry before having a child. West believes CBC policies create perverse incentives to do the opposite.

Is the CBC rattled by West's threat to leave to the point of reconsidering some of its policies? Please. "Rep. West," members will happily say, "don't let the door hit you on your way out."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.