Backdoor Bailouts Begin


All the bailouts were horrible.
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The Treasury Department’s release of $100 million from the Hardest Hit Fund last week amounts to a federal bailout of five Michigan cities without congressional oversight or approval.

The Hardest Hit Fund, part of the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, was intended to provide assistance to homeowners in states particularly hard hit by the economic recession and housing market downturn. Treasury released the $100 million in the name of fighting blight, but local officials will actually use the funds to demolish homes and buildings.

Never mind the irony of using funds designated to prevent foreclosures and keep people in their homes to instead tear down homes. If lawmakers truly want to fight blight, they should be focused on preventing more people from leaving their homes rather than leveling the remnants of those already abandoned.

Across the country, cities and states that have long pursued poor economic and fiscal policies—including high taxes, big government, irresponsible borrowing, overcompensated employees, and underfunded pensions—are now nearing the end of their financial lifelines. Their last easy recourse is a federal bailout, whatever form that may take.



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