Like me the WSJ thinks it's outrageous that the Democrats are trying to find money in the bailout to keep their friends in ACORN well nourished:
Acorn has promoted laws like the Community Reinvestment Act, which laid the foundation for the house of cards built out of subprime loans. Thus, we'd be funneling more cash to the groups that helped create the lending mess in the first place.
This isn't the first time this year that Democrats have tried to route money for fixing the housing crisis into the bank accounts of these community activist groups. The housing bill passed by Congress in July also included a tax on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise an estimated $600 million annually in grants for these lobbying groups. When Fannie and Freddie went under, the Democrats had to find a new way to fill the pipeline flowing tax dollars into the groups' coffers.
This is a crude power grab in a time of economic crisis. Congress should insist that every penny recaptured from the sale of distressed assets be dedicated to retiring the hundreds of billions of dollars in public debt that will be incurred, or passed back to taxpayers who will ultimately underwrite the cost of the bailout.
Update from Clarice Feldman:
Tom Maguire catches how outrageous the Dodd payoff plan to ACORN is:
Jim Lindgren points out multiple problems with Chris Dodd's original draft. My only reassurance - the current plan has moved beyond that.
And his insight on the housing slush fund is an eye-opener -- the original Dodd language called for 20% of the profit on each sale to be diverted to the Dem slush fund; this is far different from 20% of *net* profits. In a net profit scenario, losses on some sales would offset gains on others. Under Dodd, any profit is immediately subject to diversion, regardless of whether there are other, greater losses. That is not taxpayer protection. What it is is absurd