Democrats have been quick to attempt to share blame with Republicans for the mortgage crisis. If that were true, wouldn’t something have surfaced by now?
Ed Morrissey breaks it down:
By 2004, all of the elements of the current financial collapse had been in place for several years. The aggressive approach to enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) started under Bill Clinton in 1998, and the seemingly endless appetite for paper by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had turned massive amounts of bad loans into mortgage-backed securities to spread their cancer throughout the system. In 2004, a year after the Bush administration tried to tighten regulation and oversight on Fannie and Freddie, Congress was told yet again that disaster loomed. The Democratic response is instructive to seeing who really sat back and allowed this collapse to occur.
Highlights of this eight-minute video:
Maxine Waters: Through nearly a dozen hearings, we were frankly trying to fix something that wasn’t broke. Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Franklin Raines. [Raines would barely avoid prosecution for fraud.]
Gregory Meeks: … I’m just pissed off at OFHEO [the regulators trying to warn Congress of insolvency at the GSEs], because if it wasn’t for you, I don’t think we’d be here in the first place. … There’s been nothing that indicated that’s wrong with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac has come up on its own … The question that then comes up is the competence that your agency has with reference to deciding and regulating these GSEs.
Lacy Clay: This hearing is about the political lynching of Franklin Raines.
Barney Frank: I don’t see anything in this report that raises safety and soundness problems.
Take a good look through this video in 2004, and ask yourself who on this panel wanted more regulatory oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and which members spent their time attacking the regulators. When Barack Obama talks at debates about how the past eight years of regulatory laissez-faire created the problem, he may want to review the transcripts of these hearings and note that Democrats repeatedly undermined regulators and called them everything from incompetent to bigoted in their rush to keep the status quo at Fannie and Freddie.
The Democrats attacking the regulator here didn’t do so out of some deep conviction against government regulation. They wanted to keep the gravy train rolling on questionable mortgages in order to endear themselves to the working class, and didn’t mind smearing the OFHEO regulator as a racist in order to succeed. The Republicans who wanted more oversight didn’t demand it as socialists looking for a government takeover of the financial sector, either, but because they saw the impending disaster looming for Fannie Mae.
I don’t suppose liberals have any similar evidence (otherwise, we would have already seen it) pointing to Republicans.
It’s a shame that:
- Alternative media (blogs, talk radio) has to pound away at this for over a week before Americans begin to get the message that Democrats are to blame for this mess.
- Many don’t understand the importance of how we got here and who is to blame. It’s more than simply a political “blame game.” We don’t want put power and money back in the hands of those that got us here in the first place.