Sen. Chris Dodd is pushing through a bill that would require banks to provide easier credit to consumers, perhaps having discovered a penumbral constitutional right to flat-screen TVs and Ford Expeditions. Meanwhile, the Pew Hispanic Center celebrates that fact that homeownership among minorities grew faster than that of whites during the recent housing boom. Of course, subsequent foreclosure rates have also risen fastest among minorities, thanks to federal rules pushing banks to give out mortgages to minorities who couldn’t afford them. In response to minority foreclosures, bills banning “subprime” loans regularly slosh around Congress.
Am I missing something here, or have our elites already erased from their consciousness the fact that easy credit and the lack of responsible budgeting by consumers contributed mightily to our current economic mess? In the fourth quarter of 2008, 13.9% of consumers’ disposable income went to servicing credit-card debt, reports the Wall Street Journal. No shortage of credit there.
Apparently the self-righteous glow that comes from forcing capitalists to make bad bets on preferred victim groups is too strong a legislative addiction to be reined in by the prospect of further economic collapse.