Today the Senate voted for an amendment to give a subsidy to rich people. Not the first time, and it won't be the last time. But is a perfect microcosm of today's politics and the politics that got us into the housing crisis. Next time any of the Senate Democrats say anything about "Occupy Wall Street", they should get asked a simple question: if you are so worried about the 99%, why are you subsidizing housing for the wealthy.
Here's what happened. Senators Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer, who represent rich Democrats in New Jersey and New York respectively, offered an amendment to raise the amount of a mortgage that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will backstop. The level that was backstopped by Fannie and Freddie was lowered to $620k, but they raised it again to $729k. So the government will offer a loan guarantee so that people can buy a $720k house. From Bloomberg:
The U.S. Senate adopted a measure that would raise the maximum size of a home loan backed by mortgage companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to $729,750.
Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, offered the increase as an amendment to a spending bill today. The measure was approved less than a month after the limit on so-called conforming loans was automatically reduced to $625,500.
Now in the lefty narrative is that Republicans vote themselves more power and more money, but that's not what happened here. There were 31 votes against this upper-middle class subsidy. All Republicans. Every Democrat voted for more federal money for rich people.