Sunday, October 24, 2010

Translating political speak - Who actually ran our economy into the ditch?


Most of us realize it was the rise in gas prices back in '07-'08 that put a great strain on many American's household budgets.  Then, foreclosures started piling up and the housing bubble burst.  It's been documented that it was Pres. Bush and other Republicans in Congress who raised the red flag and warned of the looming housing bubble that was about to happen. Yet it was the Dems who denied there was a problem (Barney Frank and Chris Dodd), and voted down any attempts to prevent it. They probably thought it was just the GOP's attempt to ruin or discredit one of their wonderful and benevolent programs, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).  They needed to protect those at Fannie and Freddie too. 

There's still disagreement on who caused that housing bubble in the first place. It depends on which side of the aisle you're on. The GOP blamed the Dems which promoted the loosening of the bank's lending standards with the passing of the CRA.  Regular folks also got carried away with the easy credit that was available to them at that time too.  Buying second homes, flipping homes, and using up every bit of equity they had, was partly to blame also. 

The Dems blamed Wall St., who bought those mortgages and sold them worldwide as investments. But, how did Wall St. end up with a bunch of "toxic assets" in the first place? Was it like a game of Hot Potato for them, where they had to pass off those investment instruments of "bundled" bad assets mixed in with some good ones, to the next person (or group)? Unfortunately, they reacted in an unfavorable manner by trying to make lemonade out of lemons, (or making the most out of a bad situation). But wasn't it all due to the coercive government mandates on the mortgage bankers with the CRA (ala Clinton) in the first place?  Those government mandates for easy credit interfered with the private mortgage lending market.  So, who started driving our economy into the ditch?  Was it the ones who came up with these unrealistic government policies that ended up having a devastating "trickle down" effect, which ended up being felt not just here, but around the world too? You make the call on that one!

Recently Pres. Clinton has been bragging about how he left office with a budget surplus, but it was not because of his fiscal responsibility! However, he did actually moderate and move to the center after the Republicans eventually won back the majority and took control of Congress during his tenure. It was thanks to that Republican majority.  They are the ones who gave Clinton that budget surplus bragging right, but you may notice, he won't give the GOP credit for it.

Hopefully, the GOP will gain the majority in Congress this time around. They will be the ones who will once again have to make the hard choices (and get the blame from the left for the cuts that will have to be made) in order to get our fiscal house back in order, after the largest expansion of government has taken place since Obama took office. The truly scary part is, they are predicting Obama will not moderate and move to the center, like Clinton did, once the Republicans get the Congress back. But the GOP will have to play the role of the strict, "just say NO" common sense parents who will have to deal with the Dems, who are like a group of teenagers who wanted it all, but now have maxed out their credit cards, and don't have the money to pay for it, or don't even know how to "earn" it (see tax revenue history post)!

We must find the proper balance of when, and when not, it is necessary for government to get involved with the private sector. Their regulating can either help, hinder or even wreak havoc with our economy. Smart, common sense people are needed in government to make these important decisions, because it can have either a wonderful or a devastating effect on all of us....and yes, even the whole world.

Be ready to continue to make some sacrifices.  It needs to be done, but in the end, we should be better off for it in the long run.  And take the credit card away from those Democrats, before their own fiscal policies drive us into the ditch again!

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