By Neal Boortz
Today millions of Americans are looking for work, millions have or will lost their homes, and millions more have pretty much lost their retirement savings. The reason? The economic crisis the crisis that saw its genesis in our governments push to make sure that every American who wanted to own their own home could do so --- regardless of credit worthiness or the ability to actually pay for that home.
And whos at fault? Why this is all Bushs fault, of course. Just listen to Obama! Listen to the Democrats! Why, its true! George Bush did all of this to us! Blame Bush!
Yesterday a listener sent me a gem. It was a video of a report by Bret Baier on Brit Humes newscast on Fox News on September 24, 2008. This report detailed efforts by the Bush Administration to stop the financial collapse from happening and the efforts of some certain people to block the reforms.
Hume begins the report by saying that many financial analysts are saying that if Fannie and Freddie had undergone regulatory reform earlier in the decade the financial meltdown might never have happened or wouldnt have been nearly as severe. Thats a pretty important point, dont you think? So what happened to the calls for regulatory reform?
Heres pretty much a point-by-point synopsis of Baiers report:
April 2001. Bush Administration says in its 2002 budget request that the size of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a potential problem. The Bush Administration warned that trouble with either Fannie or Freddie could cause strong repercussions in financial markets.
2003. Bush White House upgrades the warnings about Fannie and Freddie to a systemic risk that could spread beyond just the housing sector.
Fall 2003. Bush Administration pushing hard to get congress to establish a new federal agency to regulate and supervise Fannie and Freddie.
Then we hear Bush Treasury Secretary John Snow testifying before the House Financial Services Committee where Barney Frank holds forth as the ranking member. That means the number one Democrat.
We need a strong world-class regulatory agency to oversee the prudential operations of the GSEs and the safety and the soundness of their financial activities. (Fannie and Freddie are GSEs. Government Sponsored Enterprises.)
So who in the congress was fighting Treasury Secretary Snow and the Bush Administration to reign in Fannie and Freddie? Why that would be none other than our friend Democrat Barney Frank. At a hearing on the issue Barney said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not in a crisis. Baier reports that Barney Frank was actually encouraging Fannie and Freddie to work harder to get more low income families into homes. Heres Barney:
The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios .. and even if there were a problem the federal government doesnt bail them out but the more pressure there is there then the less, I think, we see in terms of affordable housing.
So Barney Frank then goes on to block the legislation calling for increased regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Despite the warnings, nothing gets done.
Then in 2005 its Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testifying before congress:
Enabling these institutions to increase in size and they will once the crisis in their judgment passes we are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk. If we fail to strengthen GSE regulation then we increase the possibility of insolvency and crisis.
Was anything done? Nope. And why not? Well, as Baier points out, that was thanks largely to the efforts of two dedicated defenders and protectors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Barney Frank and Democrat Senator Charles Schumer. Schumer said:
I think Fannie and Freddie over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making the American people the best housed people in the world. If you look over the last 20 or whatever years, theyve done a very very good job.
That brings us to 2006. Senator John McCain co-sponsors legislation to reform Fannie and Freddie. He makes a speech on the Senate floor: For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. The GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
McCains reform bill made it out of the Senate on a strict party line vote. Not one Democrat voted for it. It never made it through the House. And through this all, Senator Barack Obama said nothing.
OK .. .theres your timeline. If you get to listen to my show you will have heard the audio of the actual Bret Baier report. So my question is how in the world is this all Bushs fault? Isnt it clear? In 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 the Bush Administration sounds the warning about a coming economic disaster due to the actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Several attempts at legislative corrections are made. Warnings issued by the Treasury Secretary and Chairman of the Federal Reserve. But through it all the Democrats led by Barney Frank and Chuckie Schumer block any attempt at reform.
Theres another question but we all know the answer. Why hasnt this story been a part of the narrative on CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times or other ObamaMedia outlets? Why indeed. I think we all know the answer to that one.
Nobody knows for sure but just where would we be today, economically speaking, if Barney Frank hadnt blocked reform in 2004? What if we hadnt had Barney Frank telling Bushs Treasury Secretary that Fannie and Freddie were fundamentally sound financially. What if Chuckie Schumer hadnt insisted that Fannie and Freddie had done an incredibly good job. What if the Democrats had listened to the hated George Bush? What if new regulations had been put in place. Would hundreds of thousands of people have jobs who arent working right now? Would hundreds of thousands more be living in the homes they thought would be theirs for the rest of their lives?