Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I Scratch Your Back and You Scratch Mine

In the US, the Department of Housing and Urban Development concluded following a yearlong review that Fannie Mae used its regional partnership offices to "engage in activities that were primarily designed to obtain access to or influence members of Congress."

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that "Fannie used its partnership offices largely through its American Communities Fund, an affordable-housing program, to finance a disproportionate amount of projects in certain congressional districts. About half the ACF projects reviewed by the Journal were in the home districts of House and Senate lawmakers who sat on the banking committees that directly oversee Fannie, or the appropriations housing subcommittees that fund its federal regulator." Read the whole thing here, subscription required.

Have you ever wondered why your tax bill is increasing most if not all of the time, but you do not seem to get any benefits from those hard-earned dollars. The story above should explain why. Tax-payers' money is not being channelled to whereever there is a greater demand for affordable housing. Rather, taxpayers' money is being directed to areas where the popularity of those in Congress who have the mandate to oversee Fannie will receive a big boost because of increased spending.

And if the story cannot convince you tax is theft, I don't know what can.

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