Arnold Kling  

The Wheels of Housing Regulation Grind On

PRINT
Quibble with Crook on Health C... How Liberty Runs in Families (...

A news report begins,


The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has sent to the Federal Register a proposed rule to establish a framework for affordable housing goals for the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks). The proposed rule implements provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 that require FHFA to establish housing goals for the Banks' purchases of mortgages consistent with the housing goals established for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taking into account the unique mission and ownership structure of the Banks.

The Federal Home Loan Banks were obsolete decades ago, but nobody ever bothered to shut them down. I do not think there is a soul outside of Washington who is in favor of "affordable housing goals" for mortgage lenders.

But I would bet $100 that even if Tea Party sympathizers won a Congressional majority in November, this regulatory train would not be stopped. You have no idea how hard it is to change things in Washington. They just have a completely different mindset in this town.


Comments and Sharing


CATEGORIES: Political Economy



COMMENTS (7 to date)
El Falcone writes:

If at first you don't succeed, try try again. yikes.

Rebecca Burlingame writes:

Apparently Washington is convinced we are rich if everyone gets to live in their own house, since property tax collection is stable while other tax collection is down.

fundamentalist writes:

There is a story, which I don't know if it's true or not, about a guy hired to direct MP's away from the wet paint in a stairwell in Parliament during WWII in London. The position became permanent and decades later there still is a guy doing the same job, though no one can remember why.

True or not, it is true that once the state begins doing something, it is impossible to get it to quit doing it. I would imagine you can find buggy whip inspectors somewhere in the federal government.

fundamentalist writes:

PS, Texas has a commission that does nothing but look for old laws, commissions and agencies to kill. Also, its legislture doesn't meet every year, so they pass fewer regs.

rpl writes:

fundamentalist,

Regulatory agencies are the means by which a legislature handles the details it doesn't have time to see to personally. Therefore, isn't a less active legislature likely to mean more reliance on regulatory agencies, not less?

John Fast writes:
But I would bet $100 that even if Tea Party sympathizers won a Congressional majority in November, this regulatory train would not be stopped. You have no idea how hard it is to change things in Washington.
I completely agree with you. The question is what causes this -- and how we can fix it.

I will also add that if I were in Congress and trying to make a difference, I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. I would work on reforming or abolishing the half-dozen programs with the biggest budgets or otherwise biggest effects. I wouldn't worry about the Federal mohair subsidy or the tea-tasters' commission. And that means I wouldn't worry about ending individual earmarks, but I'd work on all earmarks as a single concept.

Ed H. writes:

More like a no-mindset. November will bring change but two years later the ship will be righted. Hopefully, it won't be too late by that time.

Comments for this entry have been closed
Return to top