Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has a habit of redoubling her efforts when her ideas fail. That’s especially true given that she now chairs the House Financial Services Committee. One of her top priorities is bullying banks into boosting mortgage lending to marginally qualified borrowers based on race or ethnicity. And her main vehicle for that now is a proposed subcommittee on diversity and inclusion. In a prepared statement on January 30, she declared, “I am proud to say that this will be the first Subcommittee of its kind in Congress.” One hopes it will be the last. For if she gets her way, the outcome, taken to its logical conclusion, may be a financial meltdown rivaling the one a decade ago.
In response to General Motors’ intention to close American assembly plants and effectively move manufacturing offshore, President Trump should seek repayment of costs associated with the auto bailout. The direct loss to taxpayers when the Treasury sold the last of its GM shares in 2013 was approximately $10 billion.
There is precedent for requiring direct bailout costs to be paid back. In January 2010, President Obama proposed a new fee on the banks that took TARP funds, even though TARP funds were already in the process of being paid back, and with interest. Obama said, “We want out money back. We want our money back, and we are going to get it.”
In 2013, the National Legal and Policy Center asked then-GM CEO Dan Akerson to repay the $10 billion, prompting his widely publicized refusal during a speech at the National Press Club.
The rationale for the bailout was to … Read More ➡