More Focus on the CDFI Fund

When the New York Times reported on President Trump’s budget plans last week, The CDFI Fund was the only program under the knife that got mentioned by name.

Now TIME magazine has picked up the story and run with it. TIME reports that the Fund,

… costs about $0.79 per American, a useful metric since politicians believe that the federal debt is a yoke passed down to future generations.

So what are you buying with your three quarters and four pennies?

In its summary, the story references the Community First Fund in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,

One comment

  1. Ethan Loufield · · Reply

    Unfortunately, I would not have expected anything else from Trump. But I’m sure the readers here would all agree that it is nonsensical to say we have to cut $10+ trillion from federal spending over the next decade and not include entitlement programs and defense spending in those cuts. You could certainly argue that a robust level of defense spending is needed to serve the country’s interests, but as with anything, there are diminishing marginal returns, and even negative returns, with each incremental dollar spent beyond a certain threshold. We could debate endlessly about where that threshold resides, but I believe we are probably hundreds of billions of dollars beyond it. It is not far fetched to say that a significant share of American military actions around the world have indeed made all of us less safe and further indebted.

    I think we can all agree that we need to reduce spending. If we can’t agree on where to cut, then it seems to me that an across-the-board cut of perhaps 10% would be one way to start.

    And while Trump may be wrongheaded, I wonder if all of this churn may at least prompt us to consider more novel approaches to achieving our goals. Perhaps there are more innovative and efficient ways to drive positive impact among distressed communities.

    I once saw a presentation where a chart was presented showing two bars, one representing funds available in traditional capital markets and the other showing funds from philanthropic and government sources. The imbalance was such that the impact capital bar was not even visible.

    I think there is a strong case to be made that more creative thinking is needed to attract more private capital and correct this imbalance.


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