From tiny acorns, mighty government debacles grow. House GOP Leader John Boehner on Monday rightly sounded the alarm over billions in stimulus tax dollars that could potentially go to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). But the Republican leadership has only scratched the surface over what amounts to a bottomless slush fund for a bigger coalition of housing entitlement thugs.
ACORN, you may recall, is the left-wing activist group with longtime ties to community organizer-turned-President Barack Obama. The nonprofit, which now takes in 40 percent of its revenues from American taxpayers after four decades on the public teat, has a history of engaging in voter fraud, corporate shakedowns, partisan bullying and pro-illegal immigration lobbying. The Democrats' stimulus proposals could make the group -- and its lesser known but even more radical ideological allies -- eligible for upward of $5 billion in new public cash.
Talk about subsidizing failure. These are the same activists that helped sow the seeds of the subprime meltdown. They aggressively played the race card and pressured banks to loosen standards, throw out down payments and lend to some of the nation's riskiest borrowers. Now, these mobs protest across the country, disrupt foreclosure auctions, threaten bank executives and accuse lenders of, yep, racism for lending to those riskiest of borrowers.
The stimulus slush fund for these housing entitlement thugs is innocuously dubbed the "Community Development Fund" in the House version of the stimulus bill. Some $4.19 billion would be "used for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes." The legislation changes the way the fund would be disbursed and loosens lobbying restrictions.
Previously, affordable housing groups applying for the grants would be vetted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or state and local government agencies. Under the stimulus bill, as nonprofit watchdog Matthew Vadum points out, the middlemen would be eliminated -- "making it easier to get Uncle Sam's largess directly into the hands of the same people who run ACORN's various vote fraud and extortion rackets." Moreover, Vadum reports, "the legislative package provides these funds without the usual prohibition on using government money for lobbying or political activities."