A couple of weeks ago in my post about Obama’s fast-tracking of the latest “free” trade agreements, I asserted that bipartisanship in Washington is actually the worst possible thing for average Americans. On those rare occasions when both parties agree on a particular measure, it is almost always designed to help rich people. The latest sad example of this phenomena was reported by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday:
American consumers and the federal government haven't been able to bail out the sinking U.S. real estate market. Now wealthy Chinese, Canadians and other foreign buyers could get their chance.You hear that, you poor, American deadbeats? You slackers aren’t pulling your share of the load to bail out the construction, real estate, mortgage and investment banking industries, so we have to enact yet another measure to sell out the country from underneath you.
Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would allow foreigners who spend at least $500,000 on residential property to obtain visas allowing them to live in the United States.
The plan could be a boon to California, which has become a popular real estate market for foreigners, particularly those from China.
So who is behind this latest nefarious scheme?
"Many people want to come and live in the United States," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who introduced the legislation Thursday along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). "They will be here spending money and paying taxes, and the most important thing is they'll sop up the extra supply of homes we have right now compared to demand, and that's what's dragging our economy down."I was no fan of former New York Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato, but he had it exactly right during the campaign in which he lost his seat to Chuck Schumer when he referred to his opponent as a “putzhead.” Yes, Senator Schumer is correct that America has a long tradition of encouraging immigration. That’s what all of that windy verbiage penned by Lazarus and inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty is all about. As you’ll recall, it concludes thusly:
The legislation would create a new homeowner visa that would be renewable every three years, but the proposal would not put them on a path to citizenship. To be eligible, a person would have to buy a primary residence of at least $250,000 and spend a total of $500,000 on residential real estate. The other properties could be rented.
The program would come with several restrictions.
The purchase would have to be in cash, with no mortgage or home equity loan allowed. And the property would have to be bought for more than its most recent appraised value, Schumer said.
"Give me your tired, your poor,But you can forget all of that lofty nonsense in an era in which the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has seriously proposed building an electric fence along the southern U.S. border with enough juice to kill any illegal immigrants who try to cross. We don’t want your huddled masses anymore. Just your millionaires—people who can come here and instantly join the 1%. Because who else other than a millionaire is going to have $500,000 in cash laying around to invest in U.S. real estate?
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Let's also recognize who most of these millionaires the "honorable" Senators Schumer and Lee want to bring here really are--Chinese businesspeople who likely made their millions by destroying the natural environment of their home country and exploiting the cheap labor of their countrymen. If you want to see what the "modern" China is really like, watch this horrible video (hat tip: Mish Shedlock)...but I warn you, it is GRAPHIC. China is a country where the average human life has little if any value. However awful America's belligerent foreign policy may be, we haven't sunk to this level on the domestic front...yet.
What really strikes me about this proposal is just how transparently desperate it is. Putzhead Schumer and his Senate colleagues know that the dismal condition of the U.S. real estate market is still the biggest threat to trigger an economic collapse in this countrty. Were Bank of America, for example, forced to open the books on its mortgage-lending portfolio, there is little doubt that America’s biggest bank would instantly implode.
So there you have it. America has become a land of the millionaires, by the millionaires and for the millionaires. As far as your “leaders” are concerned, it no longer matters whether you were born and raised in this country, or whether you went off to fight in its imperial wars. All that matters to them is whether you have a fat bank account and can afford to help bail out their buddies in the financial industry.