A modest proposal

The Obama administration has performed in the mode of bread-and-circuses more or less since day one. The 2010 elections put a crimp in its style, but with the 2012 election looming, its creative juices are flowing again. The latest giveaway scheme is another mortgage refinance plan that promises free money for qualifying borrower. CBS News laments the plans’s dim prospects in Congress. Those damn Republicans!

The plan is carefully crafted to avoid adding to the deficit: “The administration wants to pay for this with new fees to be levied on financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets. In his State of the Union speech Obama said doing this ‘will give those banks that were rescued by the taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.'” That “deficit of trust” — is it bigger or smaller than the budget deficit we’re running this year?

Despite the bill’s dim prospects, CBS News is not entirely distraught: “Although the plan’s failure could be bad news for some homeowners in need, it could still be good news for President Obama’s re-election efforts.” You see, there is a bright side after all.

Next up, the Obama administration will take a leaf from ancient Israel. It is hard at work on a proposal to make 2013 a Jubilee year — to be financed by adoption of the Buffett Rule. I’m sure the administration can make the math work out. As an added bonus, it would raise constitutional issues knottier than Obamacare’s.

Although the plan’s failure would be bad news for debtors in need — there’s never a shortage of those — it could still be good news for President Obama’s reelection efforts. One downside: it might be tough to get a loan the rest of this year.


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