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Obamacare worked so well some Senators want to do the same thing for the real estate industry.
Top Senate Banking Committee members released plans this week to wind down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a complicated apparatus disturbingly similar to Obamacare. While the proposal by Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD), the chairman, and Mike Crapo (R-ID), the ranking member, was announced with great fanfare, it simply follows the outlines of another bipartisan bill, offered last year by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA). The idea is to get rid of the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that provide mortgage financing today for most American homes and replace them with a system of private lending with securities explicitly backed by the federal government.
In going through contortions to reinvent the housing finance system, the senators have avoided the obvious solution: keep the basic platform that has generally served American homeowners well but reform it to reduce risks. Instead, Johnson and the others have come up with a contraption that resembles the Affordable Care Act in its convolutions and its potential for unintended consequences.