NEW YORK – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial has taken aim at presidential candidate Michele Bachmann for advancing a completely false and thoroughly debunked attempt to blame the financial crisis on anti-discrimination policies.
"It's reprehensible that a member of Congress would give credence to such nonsense, when she should know the facts don't support it," Morial said. "She's living in a fantasyland."
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Bachmann continues to advance a baseless claim that federal affordable-housing policies, including the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, for the subprime mortgage meltdown.
"Most subprime loans were made by firms that aren't even subject to the CRA, as the Congresswoman ought to know," Morial said. "Because loans made under the CRA are more closely supervised, they are less likely to be approved recklessly. And because their interest rate is lower than other subprime mortgages, they were less likely to be packaged into the securities that resulted in devastating losses.
"The biggest foreclosure areas aren't Harlem or Chicago's South side, inner city D.C. or Philadelphia; Rather, it has been non-CRA regions — the Sand States — such as southern California, Las Vegas, Arizona, and South Florida. The closest thing to an inner city foreclosure story is Detroit – and maybe the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler actually had something to do with that."
Growing income inequality and tax policies which favor the wealthy have sparked growing discontent around the country, Morial said.
"The Congresswoman should be focused on saving the homes of her many constituents who face foreclosure rather than protecting the wealthy interests whose reckless gambling contributed to the crisis," he said.