It's all about cronies: That's why Democrats pour money into programs that fail

February 19, 2012 12:00 am

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President Barack Obama's new chief of staff is a multimillionaire, as were his first two chiefs of staff.

Like the recently departed William Daley and Rahm Emanuel, Jacob Lew "made his millions while passing through the revolving doors that lie between the Democratic Party and Wall Street," said Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro.

The fund Mr. Lew managed for Citigroup lost billions. The bank was bailed out by the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Mr. Daley is a banker by trade. Mr. Emanuel, who was paid $16.4 million for two and a half year's work, had no prior experience in business or finance when he was hired by Wasserstein Perella.

New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgensen described in "Reckless Endangerment" how the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) "and the government housing policies it supported, pursued and exploited brought the financial system to a halt in 2008."

Fannie and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) bought bad loans from firms such as Countrywide Financial -- where "fraud was systemic" -- then resold the toxic mortgages to Wall Street.

Mr. Daley served on Fannie Mae's board. Mr. Emanuel was on Freddie Mac's board. Journalists rarely report these facts, because they clash with the narrative.

For Democrats, politics is all about narratives, of which the most important is: Republicans are the party of the rich.

According to exit polls, 52 percent of Americans earning $200,000 a year or more voted for Barack Obama. Fourteen of the 15 wealthiest counties --22 of the top 30 -- usually vote Democratic. The seven richest senators are Democrats.

Republicans who criticize domestic spending programs are selfish, greedy, mean-spirited and racist, the narrative continues.

This slander is despicable, but shrewd. It shifts focus away from whether government programs deliver what Democrats promised.

They don't. Since Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty in 1964, about $16 trillion has been spent on means-tested welfare programs. That's more than double the $6.4 trillion (in inflation adjusted dollars) America spent on all its shooting wars combined.

First Published 2012-02-18 23:15:35

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