Results tagged “DEMOCRATIC FINANCIAL CRISIS”

Who was responsible for the housing bubble, its collapse and the resulting panic that triggered the present worldwide financial meltdown costing homeowners and investors trillions and millions their jobs?

The prime culprit is Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, as this website has long pointed out. Search for "Barney" and you'll find much documentation for this on the website.

Senator Dodd of Connecticut was also complicit, raking in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae while urging them to package up and sell worldwide with the implicit guranty of the United States the subprime paper Democrats had forced banks to issue to the uncreditworthy.

Though seldom noted Barack Obama was in the forefront of efforts to force banks to make loans they never should have made. Fresh out of law school in the early 1990s he was training community organizers in Chicago (ACORN, no less) how to break up bank board meetings and intimidate bankers and demand they make mortgage loans to credit shaky minorities. Intimidation worked and the disintegration of credit standards, blessed by the Clinton Administration was on. See, for example, this.


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So now that that same Barney Frank wants to seek criminal prosecutions of those responsible, Investor's Business Daily names the prime candidate for the first prosecution: Congressman Frank.

Let The Inquisition Start With Barney Frank

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Monday, March 9, 2009

Oversight: Congressman Barney Frank says he wants some of those responsible for our current financial meltdown to be prosecuted. And we couldn't agree more. First up in the court dock: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Even by the extraordinarily loose standards of Congress, it takes some chutzpah for someone such as Frank to suggest that he'll seek prosecutions for those behind the housing and financial crunch and for what he called "a strongly empowered systemic risk regulator."

For Frank, perhaps more than any single individual in private or public life, is responsible for both the housing market mess and subsequent bank disaster. And no, this isn't partisan hyperbole or historical exaggeration.

But first, a little trip down memory lane.

It was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), that lay behind the crisis. After regulatory changes made to the Community Reinvestment Act by President Clinton in 1995, Fannie and Freddie went into hyper-drive, channeling literally trillions of dollars into the housing markets, using leverage and implicit taxpayers' guarantees.

In November 2000, President Clinton's Housing and Urban Development Department would trumpet "new regulations to provide $2.4 trillion in mortgages for affordable housing for 28.1 million families." The vehicles for this were Fannie and Freddie. It was the largest expansion in housing aid ever.

Still, from the early 1990s on, many people both inside and outside Washington were alarmed by what they saw at Fannie and Freddie.

Not Barney Frank: Starting in the early 1990s, he (and other Democrats) stood athwart efforts by regulators, Congress and the White House to get the runaway housing market under control.

He opposed reform as early as 1992. And, in response to another attempt bring Fannie-Freddie to heel in 2000, Frank responded it wasn't needed because there was "no federal liability there whatsoever."

In 2002, Frank nixed reforms again. See a pattern here?

Even after federal regulators discovered in 2003 that Fannie and Freddie executives had overstated earnings by as much as $10.6 billion in order to boost bonuses, Frank didn't miss a beat.

President Bush pushed for what the New York Times then called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

If it had passed, the housing crisis likely would have never boiled over, at least not the extent it did, taking the economy with it. Instead, led by Frank, Democrats stood as a bloc against any changes.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis," Frank, then the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

It's hard to say why Frank did all this. It could be his close ties to the Neighborhood Assistance Corp., a powerful housing activist group based in Boston, which controls billions in loans. Or that he received some $40,100 in campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie from 1989 to 2008. Or that he has been romantically linked to a one-time executive at Fannie during the 1990s.

Whatever the case, his conflicts are obvious and outrageous, and his refusal to countenance reforms of Fannie and Freddie contributed mightily to today's meltdown. If you're looking for a culprit in the meltdown to prosecute, no one fits the bill better than Frank.

TWO THOUGHTS AS THE ELECTION NEARS

Democratic policies promoting mortgage loans to those who couldn't afford them created the housing boom and bubble and its collapse that was at the heart of the worldwide financial panic that has cost American savers hundreds of billions of dollars of losses in their life savings. There was a chance to head off disaster in 2005 and 2006 but Democrats in the Senate led by Harry Reid and supported by Barack Obama and other Senate Democrats blocked the Republican bill to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. House Democrats led by Pelosi and Barney Frank backed them up. The Democrats who pushed such policies deserve to be rejected. They sought to "spread the wealth" and instead impoverished tens of millions.

However, the most important decision on November 4th is electing our Commander-in-chief.

These are dangerous times, it is a dangerous world. Many don't want to think about it, but Islamic radicals are waging a world war against Western Civilzation targeting first and foremost the United States. Battlefronts are in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon, Israel, Nigeria, across all of Western Europe and in the United States, Canada and Australia. In some places it's active warfare, in others, terrorism, in others, subversion of our values and way of life to replace them with Islamic law. And Russia and China are building military strength while Iran seeks nuclear warheads for its long-range missiles.

Only John McCain is qualified and fit for the job of Commander-in-Chief. 69% of our military polled agree. McCain loves America and will do his utmost to protect it. Obama finds it difficult to say a good word about America. He constantly disparages America, it's bad and it needs to be changed.

Not only is Obama unqualified, he denies the importance of these threats, has pledged to slash our military to help fund new welfare programs and seems to believe appeasement and a weakened military will bring us peace in our time, just as Neville Chamberlain did in 1939. What prize would he offer up to Iran as Chamberlain offered (and gave) the Sudetenland to Hitler? No wonder Israelis polled prefer McCain by a wide margin.

There is no question that ACORN, Obama's partner since 1991, is doing its best to steal the presidential election for Obama. It is being investigated for fraudulent voter registration activity in more than a dozen states. ACORN recently announced it had registered 1.3 million new voters; how many of those new voters are really ineligible or "repeats" or "dead"? So far, false registrations in the tens of thousands have been thrown out, but it's a safe bet that many, many more will slip through the screening process.

Obama in his early years as a lawyer actually trained ACORN workers in voter registration and ran a registration drive with ACORN himself. He also taught them how to browbeat banks and bankers into making mortgage loans they never should have -- the very beginning of the subprime loan disaster that has brought down the world's financial system and cost investors hundreds of billions of dollars.

What Obama thought was a great idea, beating up banks to make mortgage loans to uncreditworthy borrowers, mushroomed over the years with ACORN very much involved in pressuring banks, Congress and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The subprime loan boom created the housing bubble that ended in its inevitable collapse and the worst stock market fall since 1929 and a world credit freeze-up. Obama, in 2006, opposing legislation putting an end to Fannie and Freddie buying up these dangerously risky subprime loans, insisted the house of cards he helped create was "a good idea."

And guess who's been helping fund ACORN? The taxpayers. Taxpayers helped fund the disaster that has befallen them. Belatedly, there are now demands for investigations and an end to taxpayer assistance to this criminal enterprise.

Obama did not cause this catastrophe all by himself. In Congress, Democratic Senators Dodd and Reid worked to block legislation in 2005 and 2006 from getting a vote in the Senate after Senate Republicans voted S. 190 out of committee. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts was prominent at hearings insisting that Fannie and Freddie were sound and in no trouble and didn't need a new regulator and didn't need to stop buying the subprime loans banks and mortgage lenders were more than happy to get rid of.

These Democratic economic policies have cost the nation, taxpayers and investors dearly.

Barack Obama's efforts in the 1990s to force banks to make unsafe mortgage loans was his early attempt to "spread the wealth." It ended in catastrophe.

Obama's new plan to "spread the wealth" which he inadvertently disclosed to Joe the Plumber will likewise lead to catastrophe for the American and world economies.

The sane vote is for a Republican Congress and McCain/Palin. But will Obama's ACORN deliver enough fraudulent votes to bring more grief to America?


October 23, 2008
Obama's Red Shirts
Voter Fraud: Republican leaders want to defund and criminally investigate ACORN. Why should taxpayer dollars fund a "nonpartisan" organization that proclaims "Obama needs ACORN, and we need Obama."

ACORN calls itself a "nonpartisan" group seeking to register minorities and the poor. But its political arm has endorsed Barack Obama, who both trained the group's staff and sued the state of Illinois on their behalf. And Obama's campaign has given ACORN affiliates $800,000 for a get-out-the-vote drive.

In fact, it's a get-out-the-vote for Obama drive as evidenced by a video recently aired by Fox News that showed just how "nonpartisan" the group is. It was taken at ACORN's national convention where Rep. Maxine Waters spoke to a sea of ACORN organizers wearing their uniform of red baseball caps and shirts.

Waters, to great applause and cheers, said: "This has been the worst presidency that this country has ever known. But that's all right. We're getting rid of his (President Bush's) ass. He's got to go."

The next speaker, an ACORN representative defined who "we" meant. She said: "We're getting Obama for president! Obama needs us, ACORN, but we need Obama. Don't we? Yeah!"

A list of government funding of ACORN released by Boehner reveals that some $31 million in taxpayer dollars have been given to the group since 1998. Using Federal Register records, Boehner found ACORN got the money through 54 individual grants in 11 different states.

They would have gotten much more if the original Democratic version of the federal rescue bill had passed. It gave to groups such as ACORN 20% of any profits from the future resale of acquired mortgages, a massive potential rip-off of taxpayers.

"House Republicans worked together to stop the majority from using taxpayer dollars to fill a slush fund created just for ACORN, but now we must go further to turn off the spigot of federal grants on which ACORN depends," Boehner said last week.

Cornyn notes that, due to the efforts of ACORN's red shirts in "Harris County, Texas, which includes the City of Houston, election officials either rejected or discovered serious deficiencies with nearly 40% of the 27,000 registration cards filed by ACORN from January through July of this year."

ACORN will say its voting activities are separate and not funded by the taxpayer. But money is fungible. Cornyn recently wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, arguing "that because the violations of federal voting laws by ACORN employees appear to be so widespread, ACORN and its affiliates should be investigated as a criminal enterprise."

We agree. Those orchestrating this attempt to steal the 2008 election should go to jail.

OBAMA WANTS TO DESTROY AMERICA THE WAY IT IS

We've presented a great deal of documentation on the illegal activties of the voter registration fraud experts ACORN and how Obama in his community organizing days trained their workers not only in voter registration but in how to intimidate bankers into making loans to minority and low income borrowers with inadequate credit. (Click in the right hand column on ACORN in the listing of Categories for some of them.) Of particular interest are three articles by Stanley Kurtz, here and here, which should not be missed.

Now the McCain campaign has produced an effective ad on Obama's long involvement in ACORN's unsavory business of forcing banks to make loans they should never have made and voter registration fraud. Subprime loans are at the root of our world financial crisis and registration fraud corrupts our electoral system.

It isn't often that one can identify with precision the principal culprits who cause a disaster, but that is not the case with this financial crisis. We know who. It's Frank, Obama and Dodd.

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At its heart is the housing bubble and its collapse largely due to the explosion of subprime loans to those who reality has proven couldn't afford them.

Democrats and community agitators like Barack Obama pushed -- intimidated and terrorized -- banks to make mortgage loans they would never make in their sound business judgment. Subprime loans rose from 2% of total loans to 30% in just four years -- 2002 to 2006. And Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought most of them, to the relief of the banks who made the loans under pressure from Clinton-era Community Reinvestment Act rules, urged on by Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd.

Barack Obama, fresh out of college, learned the practices of intimidation as a community organizer. He soon realized he could accomplish more working for his socialist goals inside the system rather than from the outside. So he went to law school to learn how to wield power on higher levels. During his time at law school, he learned even more about the Alinsky community organizing tactics of intimidation by moonlighting at the Industrial Areas Foundation. On his return to Chicago, Obama, working for ACORN, was a pioneer in forcing unsound loans to be made, training those who terrorized banks, bankers and public officials into making loans they shouldn't have. (He also ran a voter registration drive for ACORN, which has been implicated in voter registration fraud time and time again.)

Meanwhile, Frank and Dodd in the U.S. Congress were pushing Fannie and Freddie to buy up those shaky loans, stamp them with the U.S. guaranty and sell them to buyers around the world. As a consequence, subprime loans mushroomed.

Frank and Dodd blocked Bush and McCain efforts to restore sanity to Fannie and Freddie. When the Bush Administration together with Senate Republicans, including John McCain, tried to rein Fannie/Freddie in in 2003, 2005 and 2006, Democrats led by Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd blocked all those efforts, scoffing that there was no Fannie/Freddie crisis. Obama, who in earlier years had worked to force banks into subprime lending, of course did nothing and remained silent, while collecting over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie. In fact, as a senator he was quoted as saying that a subprime loan was a good thing.

The inevitable collapse occurred. Fannie and Freddie had spread so much subprime debt around the world, panic resulted.

As Obama's Reverend Jeremiah Wright said in another context, the Democratic chickens have come home to roost, but these three haven't suffered, It's average Americans who have lost hundreds of billions in their savings because of the reckless policies of Frank, Obama and Dodd.

Socialist agitators such as Saul Alinsky, whose methods Obama studied and applied in his community organizing and lawyer days in Chicago, believed the best way to get to a Marxist socialist society is to create chaos and bring the free enterprise system down, while blaming it for all the problems his followers helped to create. Was financial chaos in the Obama vision as a prelude to a socialist society? If so, Marxist revolutionary change is at hand. That hundreds of millions have suffered in the process is just an unfortunate side effect of creating a more humane, more just socialist society. Obama made it clear that higher taxes will be the start of Obama's socialist program of wealth redistribution, taking what's yours to those who claim it should be theirs.

Those who could not afford their mortgages and now face foreclosure, the government will not only give them interest relief, it will reduce the mortgage principal (that is, the money borrowed in the first place) and stretch out payments for up to 50 years. If the house wasn't affordable before, it certainly will be now. (Section 110 of the bailout bill.) If you are struggling but making your payments to protect your home, you get no relief from section 110. Only the deadbeats benefit.

It may seem complicated, but it's really simple.

Subprime loans created the housing bubble. When the housing bubble broke, the crisis spread throughout the world since Fannie/Freddie obligations were held by central banks and commercial banks in all countries. They bought because the obligations were sold by government-sponsored agencies, so of course the U.S. government stood behind them. Rating agencies agreed and rated the paper AAA, triple-A, the highest and safest rating there is.

But those at Fannie/Freddie were working to please their Democratic sponsors in Congress and ignored the lack of creditworthiness that was increasing in the portfolios they were selling. The much maligned Wall Street firms relied on Fannie and Freddie to assemble creditworthy packages that protected the credit of the U.S,, which was their prime responsibility. Fannie and Feddie officials such as Raines and Johnson, both advisors to the Obama campaign, are the ones at Fannie who failed to protect the American people.

Now Barney Frank is trying to deflect criticism of his socialist profligacy by claiming that any criticism of the subprime loan explosion is a Republican slam at black borrowers. In other words, criticism of the disaster they created is racist.

How pathetic.

Investor's Business Daily does an excellent job of summarizing the sorry saga.


Barney Frank's Bankrupt Ideas

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY |Tuesday October 07, 2008

Financial Rescue: Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn't afford them. Now Obama and Biden want bankruptcy judges to bail out the same deadbeat homeowners.

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And once again, Barney Frank is helping.

It's been said that history is a lie agreed upon. Democrats are trying to rewrite history by blaming the Bush administration for the current crisis and claiming that the rescue bill is necessary to save the economy from Republican mismanagement.

More blarney from Barney.

Last Thursday on Fox News, when Bill O'Reilly tried to suggest that both parties might share the blame, House Finance Committee Chairman Frank, in a not atypical meltdown, disowned any responsibility for his lack of oversight over the last two years and his complicity before that.

Frank also claimed: "The fact is, it was 1994 that we passed a bill to tell the Fed to stop the subprime lending. We tried to get them to do it." In other words, those rascally Republicans did it all when they took control of Congress that November.

More...

As Democrats aided by the media have been doing all they could to blame eight years of the Bush Administration for the financial panic now circling the globe, it was Congressional Democrats who allowed the housing bubble to get out of control, leading to the inevitable collapse that was so big it has shaken the entire financial system.

It started with local agitators across the country demanding banks make loans they never should have to people who couldn't afford them. In the forefront was ACORN, the national socialist organization, terrorizing and intimidating banks, bank and public officials into loosening lending standards. The ACORN chapter in Chicago was one of the national leaders in blackmailing banks; their people were trained in their intimidation tactics by none other than Barack Obama.

Then Democrats in Congress urged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy up all these risky loans that banks were more than happy to get rid of; they didn't want to make them in the first place. Then Fannie and Freddie had Wall Street package the loans and sell them around the world. With the assumed guaranty of the U.S. government behind the securities of these public sponsored agencies everyone bought relying on the credit of the U.S.

Efforts to slow down and stop the incredible expansion of subprime loans made possible by Fannie and Freddie (from 2% of total loans in 2002 to 30% in 2006) were blocked by Democrats in Congress led by Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut. John McCan was urging reform; Obama was not. Instead, Obama in just his very short time in the Senate became the second biggest recipient over 20 years of Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions (second only to Senator Dodd).

As a result of the Democrats' "do good' socialism, taxpayers will wind up paying hundreds of billions of dollars. Investors have already lost hundreds of billions of dollars and it could get worse if the bailout doesn't succeed. Warren Buffet thinks the $700 billion bailout may not be enough to stave off recession or worse.

Before the bailout bill to rescue the financial system from Democratic excess passed, Fox News presented an excellent short summary of how it all came about.

So put the blame where it belongs -- on Obama-type Marxist socialism pushed along by Democrats in Congress.

Dr. Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution in economics and public policy, points out how crazy it is to look to Congress to develop a solution for the financial crisis when they were the people who caused it in the first place. Special mention is given to the two chief culprits Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Whatever is done, Dr. Sowell says, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be wound down and put out of our misery as soon as practicable. No more private corporations with federal "implicit" guaranties. Brilliantly right, as always.

Bailout Politics Thomas Sowell Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the Congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have now come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

In late 2004 there was a hearing in the House of Representatives about the fraudulent accounting, excessive executive compensation and increasing risks at Fannie Mae. This video shows how Democrats and Republicans responded to the warning contained in the regulator's report calling for reforms to be enacted by Congress. Needless to say, Republicans supported reforms, but House Democrats, led by ranking committtee member Barney Frank of Massachusetts, dismissed the report of dangerous risk as fiction, maintaining that in fact there were no problems at Fannie Mae.

It is Democratic opposition to reining Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in that created the housing bubble and its inevitable collapse and the worldwide financial meltdown that has followed. All of the money lost in 401(k)s and other savings is due to the dereliction of duty on the part of Congressional Democrats more interested in currying favor with their special interest constituencies and obtaining campaign contributions and other goodies from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than protecting the economy of this country and the life savings of hard-working Americans. Even former president Clinton agrees that Democrats in Congress blocking Republican attempts at reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are responsible for this financial crisis.


To round out the sorry picture of Democratic malfeasance, the ten-minute video included in our earlier entry "History of the "Affordable Housing" Bubble and Collapse" is a fitting companion to this video.

At a press conference today it was announced that an amended rescue plan (which was significantly improved by House Republicans over the original plan, which they had rejected) had been agreed to,

In announcing the agreement, Democrats House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Financial Services Committee Frank railed at Wall Street greed and acted as if the financial collapse was Wall Street's fault (which the media will echo, as it already has). It wasn't. Blame lies squarely with those very same Congressional Democrats.

It can't be said often enough the fault lies with Congressional Democrats who constantly pushed government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy up every subprime loan offered to them -- and to issue their own as well, regardless of the credit of the borrower. Democrats had loosened requirements so much that virtually everyone could get a mortgage loan for "affordable housing," which in many cases is turning out to be unaffordable.

To raise money for new mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac packages mortgage loans up and sells them to the world. As has been the case since 1968, the loan packages are rated AAA, triple-A, the highest quality rating there is, because of the "implicit" guaranty of the U.S. government. Buyers rely not so much on what is in the package but on the backing of the U.S. government. That the packages sold over the past few years weren't creditworthy was the fault of Fannie and Freddie and their Democratic backers in Congress. (Subprime mortgages skyrocketed from 2% of total mortgages in 2002 to 30% in 2006.)

It was Fannie and Freddie that bought and assembled the uncreditworthy mortgages into packages; when the housing bubble (created by the demand for housing fueled by all the new folks who "qualified" for mortgage loans) started to deflate, the worst mortgages began to default, wiping out the value forf those who had bought those parts of the packages; naturally, those buyers demanded that they be protected because of the backing of the federal government.

The situation rapidly deteriorated and the Bush Administration had to step in and take over Fannie and Freddie, firing their top executives who were responsible for the lax standards and jeopadizing American taxpayes as a result. As one of those executives told a newspaper just weeks before the takeover, it was Democrats in Congress who constantly pressured them to relax standards and do more for "affordable housing."

In 2003 and 2005 the Bush Administration and Alan Greenspan called on Congress to tighten standards immediately and stop the out-of-control growth of subprime lending, warning of danger to the financial system and the economy. Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, led the opposition, saying there was no crisis and the Administration was crying "wolf."

Legislation prepared by Senate Repubicans in 2005 and backed by the Administraton and John McCain to rein in Fannie and Freddie was rejected by Democrats and died. Again, Barney Frank was in the lead, accompanied by Democrats Dodd of Connecticut, ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and Reid of Utah, Minority Leader. The Bush Administration made more than 15 appeals to Congress to act before it was too late.

The collapse of the overheated housing market has caused the entire financial system to come close to a total halt, so drastic action is required. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke immediately proposed a plan, which has now been strengthened considerably by House Republicans and will have bipartisan support in Congress. It stands an excellent chance of stabilizing the world financial system and over the long run, several years, it may well prove to be profitable for American taxpayers

The nation is fortunate that President Bush appointed as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and as Secretary of the Treasury two such highly-qualified individuals who have the intelligence, experience, vision and creativity to deal with this financial crisis.

It can be hoped that the worst is past, but there no doubt will be rough days ahead. But there is a rescue plan in place that should do the job.

Here's the top five recipients of campaign contributions (all Democrats) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the period 1989-2008.

What's amazing is that Obama collected so much money in such a short time in the U.S. Senate to be number 2 on the list that covers 20 years.

Oh, and Massachusetts' Barney Frank, who was perhaps the major figure in blocking efforts to rein Fannie and Freddie in in 2003 and later, was 16th, with $40,100 in campaign contributions.

1. Dodd, Christopher J
S
D-CT
$133,900

2. Kerry, John
S
D-MA
$111,000

3. Obama, Barack
S
D-IL
$105,849

4. Clinton, Hillary
S
D-NY
$75,550

5. Kanjorski, Paul E
H
D-PA
$65,500

No one can say the financial collapse that $700 billion of taxpayer money is being asked for to fix wasn't seen coming. Trouble is those who could have stopped it, didn't want to change their ways and blocked proposed reforms.

Soon after taking office, Bush had his hands full with the Clinton recession and 9/11. But by 2003, he proposed what the New York Times called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

The plan included a new regulator for Fannie and Freddie, one that could boost capital mandates and look at how they managed risk.

Even after regulators in 2003 uncovered a scheme by Fannie and Freddie executives to overstate earnings by $10.6 billion to boost bonuses, Democrats killed reform.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Frank, then-ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

North Carolina Democrat Melvin Watt accused the White House of "weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing."

In 2005, then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress: "We are placing the total financial system of the future at substantial risk."

McCain Urged Changes

That year, Sen. John McCain, one of three sponsors of a Fannie-Freddie reform bill, said: "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."

Sen. Harry Reid — now Majority Leader — accused the GOP of trying to "cripple the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out their mission of expanding homeownership."


Saddest Thing About This Mess: Congress Had Chance To Stop It

Here is more information on the Democratic effort to slide money from the bailout bill into the hands of socialst activists such as ACORN, which has a long history of working with Barack Obama, as well as a long history of involvement in voter registration fraud. Some 20% of any "profit" from the rescue bill will go into a Housing Trust Fund to be tapped by ACORN and its ilk.

Who is ACORN and why should we care?

Key info:

ACORN routinely commingles funds from its housing arm into political projects such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. Money is fungible. Any taxpayer money that ACORN gets for housing makes it easier for the group to put its other funds into voter drives.

"These are taxpayer funds, in an indirect method, being used to subsidize political activism," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican and chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. "I'm sure they're not going out and registering any Republicans."

Obama cut his community organizer teeth with ACORN. As a young lawyer he represented the group in a suit against the state of Illinois, which was concerned that postcard registration and a new motor voter law might invite fraud. ACORN later invited Obama to train its staff in leadership seminars.

ACORN has a political arm that endorsed Barack Obama for president in February and has stepped up its registration efforts to help elect a future benefactor. The Obama campaign admits to failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called "Citizen Services Inc." for "advance work."

Consumer Rights League official Jim Terry says: "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama's political gain."

A major part of ACORN's sordid history is vote fraud. ACORN has been implicated in voter fraud and bogus registration schemes in Missouri, Ohio and at least 12 other states. Last July, ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in Washington state history, involving nearly 2,000 bogus voter forms. In Ohio in 2004, ACORN submitted forms for the likes of Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and someone named Jive Turkey.

ACORN uses taxpayer money to elect people like Barack Obama who will work to get them more taxpayer money. Democrats are willing to rip off taxpayers in a national crisis to make it happen.

Read it all.

There is a lot to absorb about the financial crisis that the nation finds itself in. No one can be certain what the best remedy is to get the credit markets unstuck and to keep the economy from falling into recession. Hopefully, what is hammered out this weekend will start moving things in the right direction.

However, how we got into this mess is not so difficult to understand -- good intentions and venality run wild. Democratic housing programs for the low income and minorities spun out of control and Democratic supporters of the programs successfully blocked efforts to rein them in and keep them from exploding. "Affordable housing" was not affordable.

This ten-minute video tells the story. There is a lot in it. To read some of the quoted articles, just push the pause button. Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank is of course a featured participant, since he was a key player in blocking reform in 2003 and later.

As for accuracy, the maker of the video invites one and all to check the facts by googling or however else one wishes to proceed.

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