The Justice Department has negotiated “bank settlement agreements” whereby banks make restitution to the government for the damage they allegedly did in connection with the creation and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities in the subprime-mortgage crisis.Will future Presidents do the same thing?
Our subject here isn’t, however, whether the sums extracted from the banks (e.g., Citigroup $7 billion, Bank of America $16.65 billion, JPMorgan $13 billion) are proportionate to their alleged culpabilities. Rather, it’s what Justice does with millions of these dollars.
Justice allows banks to meet some of their settlement obligations by directing “donations” to various nongovernmental advocacy organizations that serve Democratic constituencies and objectives — organizations that were neither parties to the case nor victims of the banks’ behaviors.
These donations are from money owed to the government, money the disposition of which is properly Congress’ responsibility.
So the donations are, in effect, appropriations of public money. The pesky Constitution, however, says: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”
Thursday, September 01, 2016
George Will reports:
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:07 AM