It shouldn't be hard for Chicago and Illinois pols to turn the humongous housing bill that passed the U.S. House last week into a pot of gold for their cronies and themselves.
Even a naif like me could figure out how to convert to personal use Chicago and Illinois' share—yet to be determined—of the $4 billion expressed from Washington to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed homes. Someone from the Department of Rising Neighborhoods or whatever local agency administers the plan would call his cousin and say, "Hey, Jake, old buddy, I've got a great deal for you. We just bought a foreclosed home for $200,000. I'll make sure we sell it to you for $150,000. You can then turn around and sell it for $200,000, or whatever you can get, and we'll split the difference."
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) outlined this plausible scenario in detailing his opposition to the housing bill that will rescue homeowners, banks, financial institutions, brokers and others troubled by the housing bust. -- Dennis Byrne
I have a deep dislike for Roskam because he ran a filthy campaign against Tammy Duckworth, but he's right about this just as Byrne is right about this. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow morning, local pols will help their friends to piles of taxpayer cash. That's how it works in Illinois.