no country for old men

Both Sides of Congress Want Foreign Drug Lords To Buy U.S. Foreclosures

Oh, you look like a FINE addition to the American Housing Economy!The serious proposals for fixing “the housing crisis” in this country have so far amounted to a) Alan Greenspan suggesting the federal government burn down the millions of vacant foreclosures across America and b) an actual government program that allowed Goldman Sachs to buy foreclosures in bulk for pennies on the dollar and then rent those same houses back to the financially ruined people who were evicted by the banks. But now there’s a new plan hatched by a Democrat and Republican in the Senate: Let any foreigner have a three-year residency visa as long as they spend half-a-million dollars, cash only, on some U.S. real estate. This proposal is foolproof.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced this insane bipartisan plan yesterday, to great acclaim:

It would grant three-year residence visas to homebuyers, their spouses and minor children if they spend at least half a million dollars — cash deals only — on housing and live here half the year.

“Many people want to come and live in the United States,” Schumer said. “This will not allow them to become citizens or to vote or get benefits in any way, but they will be spending money and paying taxes. And the most important thing is they will sop up the extra supply of homes we have right now.”

There must be a very long line of very wealthy people in the world who would like to take a three-year vacation to another country where they’ll have no rights and no benefits other than the protection of U.S. law from, say, rival drug gangs or opium syndicates or Russian whore trafficking operations.

America is so incredibly fucked at this point, we will not be at all surprised when the next great proposal for saving the U.S. economy/banking system appears in the night sky over Wall Street: the Bat Signal. [Las Vegas Review-Journal/Los Angeles Times]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
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183 comments

    1. Beowoof

      As Louis Black once said, "a democrat had a bad idea, and the republican said don't worry I can make it shittier".

  1. JackDempsey1

    Good.
    I hope some Tony Montana wannabe buys the mansion next to mine and helps me "renegotiate" my cable bill.

  2. EatsBabyDingos

    This will not allow them to become citizens or to vote or get benefits in any way, but they will be spending money and paying taxes.

    So, they will be painted black and sent to South Carolina and Alabama?

  3. x111e7thst

    As a plus these rich people will support Chuck in his ongoing fight against bike lanes.
    Win Win!

    1. Chichikovovich

      And at least $10,000 of that has to be in singles. Just in case anyone in Congress happens to be passing by a strip club and needs to use their copy machine.

    1. Dok-cupy Everything

      No, no, not at all–they want to let the illegals stay as long as they give the government some nickels.

  4. Dok-cupy Everything

    Is this one of those "magnets for illegals" that the R's are so het up about? Oh, they're rich Foreigns? OK. JOB CREATORS, YAY!!!!!

        1. Limeylizzie

          Well,as nearly all my family are from there, I will be kind, but it is very post-Industrial Revolution so I would say it's more like Michigan, lots of racial tensions, gorgeous countryside and heroin-infested depressed cities.

          1. prommie

            I heard there were 10,000 holes somewhere in Lancashire, are you from the place with the holes? Are they memorialized in any way, are they a tourist attraction?

            Heroin-infested depressed cities? Sounds like Trainspotting, which, when I saw it, sounded like fun, I wish I could go on the dole, or even be an illegal Polish plumber or something.

          2. prommie

            I'd do anything to escape lawyering, anything; kept sex toy for some wealthy and beautiful woman, single malt taster,drug mule, though if I had a choice, I have narrowed it down to a top 3 of Idler, Loafer, and Flaneur.

          3. Limeylizzie

            10,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. I am not from there, I am from Eastbourne, East Sussex…Showplace and Suntrap of the South.

          4. AJWjr.

            Heartwarming story: came to Canada City in the mid-1800's, then onward to Kansas, then back to Canada City 2 years later. Even in the 1860's, there was something wrong with Kansas.

      1. Dok-cupy Everything

        I'm a 100% American Mutt (adopted, but of mostly Irish-Welsh-English-? extraction, I'm told), although my real cultural touchstones are Captain Kangaroo, Gilligan's Island, MAD Magazine, and whatever the public schools managed to shovel in my direction. No idea where or when "het up" entered my vocabulary.

  5. baconzgood

    "This will not allow them to become citizens or to vote or get benefits in any way, but they will be spending money and paying taxes."

    Mmmmmm I think I recall somthing about representation and taxes that someone said….Ahh screw it who's winning in the NASCAR Polls.

  6. Mumbletypeg

    TAGGED: No Country for Old Men

    From wikipedia: "At age 40, Lee is the youngest U.S. senator."

    Adorable. Anchor babies were chastened by the shallows of a Texan pea-brain; now, huzzah, bipartisanship turns lemons into lemonade with strategery that predicates upon …anchor tenants. By god, it's genius. Where have the Republicans been hiding this latent Young Gun?

      1. Chichikovovich

        But remarkably, the Senate is a mathematical anomaly: A finite set with no stupidest or wingnuttiest element. (Since however stupid or wingnutty a given Senator may be, you can always find a stupider/wingnuttier one.)

  7. memzilla

    1000 furriners could buy Detroit and Cleveland both, with cash left over for Fresno and Victorville. Win!

    1. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

      Your proposal would fail as none of those cities is in red state. Throw in Birmingham and you got a deal.

    2. chicken_thief

      I was thinking the same thing…. does setting the minimum home price at $500k not indicate just how out of touch these fuckers are? Oh, ya, every overpriced suburb of our major cities are dying to have cash laden furnirs move into their gated grounds.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Maybe for future evil tyrants we could add that if someone spends $750,000 on housing they can not only live here for 3 years, but we won't kill them while they're on U.S. soil. Make it arbitrarily renewable, and we could be looking at tens of millions from Assad alone!

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Just like Saudi Arabia, plus you can have a hell of a lot more fun living in the U.S.
        Qadaffi's fate should be a lesson to them on the importance of retirement planning.

  8. Come here a minute

    The "burning down" proposal would work very well, if it includes a great deal of training and PAYING firefighters.

      1. chicken_thief

        Inmates can learn OJT. Gotta tighten the belt, you know. And if we lose one or two….. meh.

  9. SorosBot

    But of course, we can't have the government rescue people from bad mortgages, because our political class has decided that being tricked by the banks into taking out a mortgage you can't afford is some sort of sin for which people must suffer; but the banks themselves are blameless.

    1. Chichikovovich

      I am so going to the Taliban party. A bit disappointing on the babe front compared to the Columbians, but oh, so relaxed.

    2. chicken_thief

      RSVP already sent confirming my attendance at the pool party the Russian female sex slave trader down the block is throwing.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "What happens in the U.S., stays in the U.S."
      They can print this on the U.S. dollar.

      On second thought, might as well make it the $100 bill.

  10. Goonemeritus

    Drug king pins don’t want to retire in the United States they hate the food and find the politics to mean spirited.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Little known fact – in the director's cut of Scarface, that was actually the homeowner association that Al Pacino was fighting at the end.

  11. Dok-cupy Everything

    By importing lots of very wealthy Foreigns, this clever plan will force those scruffy OWS hippies to change their slogan to "We are the 98.5%."

  12. memzilla

    Say, you know who else happily took furriner's money for land, without privilege of citizenship… ?

  13. samsuncle

    Of all the bills that were proposed and defeated because of partisan politics they decided to get together for an insane proposal like this one. What a bunch of do nothing douchebags.

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      Yes, because they really need to rub that salt into our wounds about how they foreclosed on our homes through lies, deception, and trickery, throwing our asses out on the street, taking away our jobs, and our future. Chuck Schumer and Mike Lee clearly have a death wish.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        I always supected there was a hidden stupidity enrichment plant deep under Washington. Where are the U.N. investigators when you need them?

  14. Chillwaver

    So now it will be us the ones mowing lawns, serving food and cleaning toilets for foreigners. See? They are not "Drug Lords," they are "job creators."

          1. Dok-cupy Everything

            I'll never forget the time I bought a cheap knock-off CD, only to find out that it was "Durian Durian." Man, did that ever stink!

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Depends on how strictly we're gonna enforce those polygamy laws. Seeing as how they are "invited guests" and all (and one of the sponsors is from Utah) I'm seeing a lot of "Sister Wives" style action. Couple that with having them "pull a Palin" (ie fly dangerously close to their due dates) and you could drop a dozen in 3 years, easy, with just the Islam friendly 4 wives.

      Assuming the fantasy of Gohmert that all terrorists are Muslim and want to drop their spawn in our backyard, of course. Never mind what we just demonstrated about the value of American citizenship as a protection for terrorists abroad.

  15. ManchuCandidate

    Senator's Blues (apologies to Glen Frey… sort of.)

    The Demrats and GOPers,
    The wall st whores and the wingnuts,
    The pay offs and the ripoffs,
    And the changing of the laws.
    No matter if it's heroin, cocaine, or hash,
    You've got to carry weapons
    Cause you always carry cash.
    There's lots of shady senators,
    Lots of dirty deals.
    Ev'ry name's an alias
    In case somebody squeals.
    It's the lure of easy money,
    It's gotta very strong appeal.

      1. Pristine_ODummy

        Half a mil in cash doesn't really buy you shit, unless you're buying a house in Bumfuck, Idaho. Shit, a closet in my neck of the woods costs around $750K and if you have more than two kids, you can't buy anything worthwhile for less than a million or two.

        And why would any foreigner with a wife and kids want to spend a few million just to pay taxes here?

  16. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

    This worked for Monaco so there's no way it can fail here. Of course these imported Riches will immediately start lobbying for lower taxes. Sure, they can't vote, but it's not like that's important anymore. You vote with your black AMEX these days.

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      Our Elected Leaders are unbelievably stupid. Unbelievably. They can't work together to give us jobs, but they can throw the doors of our country open to every nutbag with a suitcase full of cash. Why not just declare the whole country a haven for drug smugglers and sex slavers? It's not like we'll be attracting the morally upright, with these policies. Fuck me, what a world, we live in.

  17. Billmatic

    Well this is straight out of the Lewis Black "I HAVE A REALLY BAD IDEA!" "AND I CAN MAKE IT SHITTIER!" playbook.

    Also I think terists are gonna love this one.

  18. BelleSC

    This guy really is clueless. You'd think a guy from New York would know that this is already going on in South Florida since prolly a lot of his constituents move there annually when the first snowflakes fall . Condos being sold to furriners, Spanish and/or Russian speaking, with suitcases full of cash or the banking equivalent of.

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      Here's what's bugging me. The only place you CAN buy a house for so little (half a million in cash) would be someplace like Bumfuck, Idaho.

      Is there a foreign person so stupid in all the world that they would be willing to pay good hard cash to live in Bumfuck, Idaho? Shitting flying cats and fuck me blind, even the good citizens of Bumfuck Idaho don't want to live there. Have these people gone stark staring?

      1. BelleSC

        There are some oceanfront condos in SoFla which can be had for under $500k. In good shape too. Modern everything. Some just recently constructed. It's a real buyers' market down there now. Hurricanes are not as frequent as one might think. And with impact windows which meet the new Miami-Dade building codes the construction is far safer.

        1. Pristine_ODummy

          Srsly, though, if you're rich (and lawless) enough to have half a mil in cash, you're not going to want a condo. In fact, if you're a rich foreigner, you'd want a gated community or a house with high walls. It's not like rich people can't buy condos anywhere in the world for less than US$500K.

          There's something quite stenchy about this. Something else is going on that isn't being reported.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Good idea. Congo is a francophone country, and their kleptocrat class will no doubt want to make sure they have a cozy home that is indifferent to the International Court at the Hague, just in case.

      1. AJWjr.

        I used to have a Congolese neighbor named René. He told people he was Belgian, but his wife let it slip at a pool party one time. His nickname was Frenchy, but we weren't fooled.

  19. tessiee

    “This will not allow them to become citizens or to vote or get benefits in any way, but they will be spending money and paying taxes."

    Because putting more money into circulation by — oh, say, taxing corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals — is out of the question, right?

  20. Beowoof

    Trying to find a way to bring back all that drug money back to the US. Now we have a circle. Congress makes life here so crappy that the only way to cope is a massive quantity of drugs. Forcing us to send tons of cash to South America. They then allow drug dealers to move if they bring the money back. With thinking such as this it is not hard to see why the teabaggers think were number one.

    1. chicken_thief

      That and our nation's awesome health care delivery system – #1 in the world, if you don't count the top 36 countries or so, and our awesome K-12 education system, also #1 in the world, if you don't count the first dozen or so. USA! USA! USA!!!

  21. tessiee

    *puzzles*
    Is there something amiss about my logic, or are these asshats basically admitting that there's no more money left in America?

    1. SorosBot

      If only America could just make more money; if any institution had that power surely they wouldn't be so idiotic as to just refuse to use it, that would be moronic.

    2. Pristine_ODummy

      There's no more money left in America('s poorz). There's PLENTY left among the champagne-guzzling Wall Streeters who pay less taxes than the Poorz, but we can't touch that, oh, no.

  22. Guppy06

    Actually, the cash-only thing sounds reasonable to me. It's easier for the undocumented to get a job than to open a bank account in our post-9/11 world.

    Besides, the going rate for your typical McMansion is about $1.37 nowadays.

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      In Bumfuck, Idaho, sure. Out here where the weather is something more salutory than 350 below zero, you're gonna have to add four zeros to that number and move the decimal back by about that much. And that's just for the doghouse in the back yard.

      1. Guppy06

        Fine, it costs $1.37 for squatters to start the process on adverse possession of BoA's latest batch of foreclosures, in your choice of Florida or Nevada.

  23. SmutBoffin

    Can I take a moment to bitch about how this is fucking up the rental market? We got evicted last month when Wells Fargo foreclosed on the house we rented from our (independent and not-very-bright) Landlord. The market is swamped with other people who are without housing due to foreclosures, so we had to start checking listings and making calls at 7:00 in the morning, otherwise we would end up 5th or 6th in line with rental applications.

    And the shit's expensive, too! When there are people lining up for rental properties, you can charge whatever you want.

        1. not that Dewey

          I just wish that President Obama would sign some legislation that protects the rights of tenants in foreclosure cases…

          1. Pristine_ODummy

            Hey there, good buddy. Has Congress brought legislation to him? I'm not aware that he failed to sign anything put on his desk, but I hadn't heard that our do-nothing Congresscritters had actually handed him something to sign. The man practically has to write all the legislation as well as nagging those useless fucks into doing something about it. Pointers? Links?

            How ya doin today? Taking Li'l Susie ntDewey out someplace, maybe? Or are you, like many of our other long-suffering fellow-workers, putting in a day on Maggie's farm?

          2. not that Dewey

            If you have to wonder whether Dewey is being facetious, he probably is. Guangho's link describes just such a piece of legislation that Barry already signed. Though your larger point about Barry having to do everything himself is certainly valid. See this.

            [edit: damn. That was supposed to link to Johnnyzhivago's thread over on the War post. stupid intensedebate.]

            Li'l Susie is doing great. We had soccer this morning; I'm a de facto coach for the 4-year-old girls' team, all of a sudden. I'll learn on the job, I suppose. Then the parade — the University is nominally and historically a mining school, so they celebrate "49er's" weekend every October. The various clubs and political organizations and saloons all build floats and ride horses and throw candy to the youngins. THEN off to Maggie's Farm. I left some accelerated datalogging running last night when I left work that, if unchecked, will clog the archive before I return on Monday. Even with multi-Terabyte servers, we still have to watch our throughput.

            What's a typical weekend in Bay Area, for you? Do you plan to do any Occupying? I occasionally read your Political Cat site, though I have yet to comment over there. Maybe someday. Lately, I haven't even had time for this one blog. Shit's been crazy.

          3. Pristine_ODummy

            Just think of me as your high-functioning Aspie friend, smart on most things having to do with books, machines, and animals, and hopelessly stupid on social cues. Duh, wut?

            There's a 4-y.o. girls' soccer team? It's gotta be too cute for words. Lots of squealing? E above high C? My favourite girl (best friend's daughter) was the "y'all play, I'll watch" type of kid. Now she's at Brown, dammit, earning her degree. I still can't think of her as anything but an adorable three-year-old. Alright, alright, a 3-y.o. with a drivers' license.

            Haven't dragged the gimpy leg down there yet, but plans are, heh heh, afoot. My typical weekends tend to involve lots of outdoor work while clinging precariously to a 60-degree hillside garden slope. Also, lots of sliding downhill as I (how apropos) lose my grip, screaming and descending through the blackberry bushes. Also, hiking. But now that there's battling to be done, I'm rethinking my life plans. :)

            And you? Have you taken Mrs. ntDeweys, junior and senior, and the adorable Li'l Susie ntDewey to #Occupy? Solidarity, brother! Just don't get that high-IQ-head cracked by yon loutish cops, is all!

          4. not that Dewey

            Just think of me as…

            Oh, so you're my research advisor? Good to know. Now I don't have to watch what I say around the lab.

            I haven't been to an #occupy yet. The nearest one is in Albuquerque, and hour and twenty minutes drive each way. I have a friend who lives in the UNM area, where the camps are, and she says it's pretty lame, actually, as though the neighborhood punk rock coffee shop just emptied out into the street. And totally not worth the risk of the little one getting tear-gassed. (I know — how Bougie of me. Do Syrians have the luxury of not wanting their children to be gassed by insane riot cops? Sigh.)

            In the past year, two of my coworkers have watched their home countries go through these massive upheavals — one from Tunisia, one from Syria. They know what real struggle is like, and know what it's like to fear for the safety of their families. And the one from Syria, his grandparents had fled the Armenian genocide to seek refuge in Syria? Ugh.

            Do you want some more blackberry bushes? We've decided that the complete flaying of the flesh on our arms is not worth the pleasure we get from two pints of blackberries, and we're giving them away to anyone foolish enough to take them.

          5. PristinePantalones

            I can't believe you actually watch what you say, ever, anywhere.

            No, no, don't risk the little one's health and safety. I'm sure if Syrians had the option, they would also prefer not to have their children (regardless of age) hurt by others at all. So sorry about your co-workers. It really brings it home when you actually know someone from there. I don't have much of a heart, but whatever there is thumping around in here goes out to all those people of the Arab Spring. Even Gadhafi. I'm not sorry he's dead, but I am sorry that those who killed him lost their humanity doing it. Although they're correct when they point out that they just wanted it to be over, and a trial would have dragged on and on and brought out bitterness and pain.

            No, no more blackberry bushes, thanks. I just discovered two holes in my ass (apart from the existing one, thank you) that were definitely a gift from my own blackberry bushes, so permit me to decline anything that would create more orifices. Damn those fuckers are hard to eradicate!

  24. barto

    Why don't we just do a simple exchange? We'll send our medical tourists your way, you send your housing tourists our way. Done deal.

  25. chicken_thief

    Too bad Obambi had Osama shot. If Al Qiada #1 paid $1M for that shithole in Abbottabod just think of what he would have paid for a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath in Shaker Heights.

  26. Biel_ze_Bubba

    I'm betting that Lee and Schumer have rich, foreign friends. Any takers?

    Also — inviting rich furriners to buy up "excess" housing, while American citizens are being evicted from that very housing, is a move not exactly calculated to appease the populace. Just want to put that out there for our elected (hint, hint) legislators.

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      I'm trying to figure out what the FUCK Chuck was thinking. People are being booted out of their homes right and left, often due to fraud by bankers. Are they supposed to sit quiet and watch foreign Richie Riches take over the houses into which they've poured hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of their lives? I predict large-scale cross-burnings and riots and the employment of half the working class as bodyguards to the rich with the sole mission of killing the other half. Jezus what a fucking nightmare.

  27. owhatever

    Instead of burning them or selling them, maybe, to furriners…why not just give the damned things free back to the people who paid the mortgages until the banks fucked up. Presto, no more foreclosure crisis.

  28. HateMachine

    Your prediction of what comes next is actually incorrect, Ken. The next step on the road to economic recovery is hundred-billion-dollar-apiece earmarks to buy up lotto tickets, McDonalds' Anusburger Monopoly pieces, and the rest to drop on black in one spin at the roulette table.

    Maybe it will work out?

  29. Pristine_ODummy

    Here's what I want to know: where the fuck are these $500K houses supposed to be? Because $500K will buy you a small closet in most big cities, and if you think you can cram your wives and children in there, well, we'd better have a system for disposing of the bodies is all.

  30. fuflans

    the U.S. economy/banking system appears in the night sky over Wall Street: the Bat Signal. dark mark

    /fixed.

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