We weren’t the only ones flabbergasted by David Broder’s recent praise for the National Housing Trust Fund. Cato Institute adjunct scholar Arnold King writes at EconLog:

Broder helped ruin my day in a number of ways. First, he reminded me about this program, which I had only seen in early versions of the housing bill, and which I had been assuming was dropped in order to avoid embarrassment. Second, he praised the program effusively, because Congress is doing something about “affordable housing.”

Affordable housing? We have millions of unoccupied homes in this country. Housing is becoming more affordable every day. There is no shortage of houses. If people can’t afford housing, what they need is money. They don’t need a state-run rehab program that adds to the inventory of houses.

Rooting for Congress to do something about affordable housing is like rooting for a thief to find an empty car with the door open and the keys inside. “Affordable housing,” like “family farmer,” is nothing but a stalking horse for pork.

But don’t worry, Arnold, it’s only $4 billion worth of pork. For as much as Broder tries to make it seem Frank is proud of this accomplishment, Frank was extremely dismissive earlier this month, telling Bloomberg: “It’s 4 billion lousy dollars.”