Don’t Let ‘Do Something’ Become an Excuse for Waste and Risk

Conn Carroll /

The agreement reached by the Leadership in the Senate to bring housing legislation to the floor is both good news and bad. It is good news in that it is important that Congress be able to move forward with the people’s business. Perpetual deadlock may keep bad things from happening, but it also prevents good legislation from being debated.

Unfortunately, there is little chance that anything good will come out of the housing debate. Congress can do very, very little that will will help the housing sector generally regain its feet or that will ease the financial straits of families struggling to afford ill-advised mortgages. But there is a great deal that Congress can do to waste taxpayer dollars, to risk taxpayer dollars with risky bailouts of irresponsible borrowers, or to push for tax credits that do little more than build up the downpayments of already credit-worthy borrowers.

Sadly, it appears that Congress is more consumed with a desire to “do” something about housing than to do something useful about one of the many other issues where congressional action could make a real difference.