It started with this video...
and then her rebuttal.
Regarding my last email and link to the YouTube video. Yes, in 2004 Republicans held the majority but they still needed 60 votes to get anything passed. Everything they tried to get through was being filibustered by Democrats at the time.
One simply cannot blame Republicans for not getting things done if it was the Democrats holding things up. Heck, you read the bill that John McCain and some other Republicans tried to pass in 2005...calling for more oversight and additional regulations regarding Freddie andFanny and it wasn't even allowed to get out of committee. There was warning after warning about Freddie and Fanny and anybody who tried to call an alert to it got told there wasn't a problem...again, please note, that video was from 2004.
The problem is...the US government encouraged banks to give out risky loans on the promise that they would guarantee them...and a lot of that debt has been shuffled around...if the US renegs on that promise...it's not just catastrophe on Wall Street (and as a firm believer in the market, I believe it can come back from it...) the more serious problem is US credibility as a financial center is shot. Nobody will want to do business with us because we can't be trusted to pay our debts!
I think there needs to be a LOT of *very* careful oversights put in place...and anything that even remotely smells of pork or special projects or special interests (re: ACORN) needs to be shot down the names of people who want them screamed from the headlines...but those debts are going to have to be paid...and take a look at what caused it and remove stupid regulations that caused it and put smarter ones in. (And I say DEBTS...not zillion dollar golden parachutes from people who exploited this for their own financial gain...which I'll agree...there were a lot of...and boy howdy there needs to be some rolling heads. (which I doubt will happen. Far too many politcians are going to CYA and everybody is going to protect everybody else, but @#$% it...I really resent the Great American ripoff that is being perpetuated.)
Here's an article from the LA Times in 1999...which now reads like a joke, as it pours down praise on the government engineering to create the housing boom with the Community Reinvestment Act. It explicitly give praise where praise is due, talking about the government mechanisms and strongarming requiring banks to take on more risk! It wasn't unfettered capitalism that caused this...it was idiotic forced social engineering.
I'm not smug! I'm horrified! This is a lot more complicated than pointing fingers at CEOs on Wall Street or pointing fingers at various parties in Washington. Nobody wanted to stop this gravy train (well, almost nobody) while it was going (and those that raised the alarm were shouted down,) but it was always doomed to failure. Things were going to come to a screeching and disastrous halt the instant the economy took a downturn (as all economies do!) Now that it has, we've got everybody doing a CYA and blaming the other guy...but we still have the mess.
If it were any other industry, I'd say let em fail. You can't privatize success and socialize risk...but in this case it was government tinkering that helped cause this mess...and the government promised they would BACK THE LOANS. We broke it...unfortunately...we bought it. If there isn't some government backing of this mess our financial credibility *worldwide* is shot. This is Very Bad. Can you *imagine* the runs on the bank once the US basically says they're not good for it? I'd be telling you to pull your $ out NOW and we'd be buying gold and bullets! (I only partially jest.)
Believe me, I am NOT excited about taking taxpayer money to fix the mess ... but if they are going to, they need to insure it doesn't happen again. I think if they are wanting to take taxpayer money and fix it we should figure out what exactly happened to insure it doesn't happen again. My problem with the bailout as it currently stands is people want to take an insane amount of money and throw it at a problem without fixing the problem. It's like giving a blood transfusion to a person without stopping the bleeding first! I want absolute transparency and I want absolute accountability and I want so much oversight it'll make your head spin. I don't want a DOLLAR spent without everybody in America knowing *exactly* where it is going and exactly how it is supposed to help.
Anyway...those are my thoughts. I really don't want to turn this into a partisan issue where you back your team and I back mine because it's really complicated and there are an awful lot of people at fault...both on your team and mine. You're absolutely right the Republicans should have made this more of an issue. Very few were willing to stop the gravy train when it was going full tilt. I think I am also right that the government shouldn't dictate to banks who is a risky loan and who isn't.