By Frank Salvato
September 30, 2008
The ultimate example of opportunistic politics before good government was displayed in Washington over the past several days. Political operatives from both sides of the aisle did everything in their power to create a government-based solution to the financial crisis facing our country; a government-created problem. In the end the US House of Representatives voted down the highly contentious Wall Street bailout bill mostly due to the fact that we are within the 30-day window when voters do not forget actions taken by their elected officials. If only the public’s attention were always so focused.
In the end 90 House Democrats joined with 133 House Republicans in an effort to stop a measure that would have seen the biggest expansion of government in US history. In effect, it would have placed the coyote in charge of the hen house.
Many in our citizenry viewed the now-dead proposal as a “no fault” measure that would have allowed those responsible for this financial malfeasance to escape culpability and with good reason. Watching US Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and US Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) — along with their leadership, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) and senior Senator from New York, Charles Schumer — harangue about how Democrats were taking the lead in crafting “bi-partisan” legislation to “rescue” the average American from the evils of Wall Street was the ultimate exercise in political hypocrisy. (web site)
Frank and Dodd, both chairmen of their respective committees that oversee the financial community on matters directly related to this crisis and the malfeasance that brought us to this point, were derelict in their duties not only as chairmen charged with oversight, but in their duties to their respective constituencies in that they were not providing good government. (web site)
Without doubt, Frank and Dodd should resign from their chairmanships immediately and without question. If the GOP had been in control of Congress at this point in time Democrats would have been screaming for the chairmen’s resignation not only from their chairmanships but from Congress. So, let’s exact some “what’s good for the goose” here.
But the buck doesn’t stop with Frank and Dodd. Nor does it stop with Pelosi, Reid or Schumer. The indefensible governmental actions that led to the enabling of Wall Street’s greed merchants and the coercion of responsible financial institutions began with Jimmy Carter and continued under Bill Clinton.
Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act, is defined as: (web site)
“…a United States federal law that requires banks and savings and loan associations to offer credit throughout their entire market area and prohibits them from targeting only wealthier neighborhoods with their services, a practice known as “redlining.” The purpose of the CRA is to provide credit, including home ownership opportunities to under-served populations and commercial loans to small businesses. It has been subjected to important regulatory revisions.”
In a nutshell, this legislation forced financial institutions to offer loans to people that didn’t qualify for loans; that could satisfy the terms of loans based on sound financial qualifications.
Bill Clinton continued this march to financial disaster with his National Homeownership Initiative, which saw Community Reinvestment Act mortgage loans explode by 39 percent from 1993 to 1998. (web site) In comparison other loans increased by a market bearing 17 percent.
Much to the chagrin of the mainstream news media and the Democrats who are cohesive in their propaganda in that they are placing the blame for this financial debacle at the feet of President Bush and congressional Republicans (and let’s not forget their never-ending attempt to marry every crisis to John McCain), the president, John McCain and congressional republicans were sounding the alarm on this looming crisis ever since 2001. In fact, the GOP controlled Senate passed a bill out of committee (web site) in 2005 increasing oversight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac only to see it stonewalled by the Senate Democrats when it came time to move it out of committee and to the Senate floor for a vote.
So, on the eve of the 2008 General Election — which also sees many in Congress up for re-election — we witness a Congress, led by the very people who caused the crisis in the first place, scrambling to fix decades worth of governmental mismanagement by setting up yet another government controlled program.
Are you starting to see the incredible inanity of the situation?
To be certain, action must be taken to avert a considerable financial crisis, but the solution does not rest with bailing out the financial sector and it certainly doesn’t rest in empowering a government that was ultimately responsible for enabling Wall Street greed merchants at the start. The answer rests with empowering the people, the citizen, the taxpayer.
Our elected officials – our US Representatives, US Senators and the White House — must understand we the taxpayers — We the People — have had enough and are exercising our constitutionally mandated right to provide oversight to our elected officials. To do that we must make our voices heard.
Just as We the People stopped the sham of an immigration bill we can apply enough pressure on our elected officials to bring them to craft a piece of legislation that affords taxpayer monies to the taxpayers so that they can lift themselves out of this financial crisis by paying their own bills. Approaching the existing crisis in this manner would:
â–ª Make available liquid assets to the banks and financial institutions currently strapped for cash because of the “bad paper” they hold.
â–ª Eliminate the immediate threat of foreclosure to those who were afforded loans they couldn’t afford.
â–ª Eliminate any need for a massive expansion of federal government, thus reducing the proposal for a greater “governmental footprint” in our private lives.
â–ª Allows taxpayers to use their own money to rectify private sector matters without governmental interference.
The solution for this “crisis” rests with the people, not the government; government will be responsible for repealing Bill Clinton’s National Homeownership Initiative and eliminating Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act, and disciplining US Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd for their dereliction of duty with regard to their obligation to provide congressional oversight.
In the beginning, when our Framers and Founders created the incredible documents that are The Charters of Freedom — the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights — they understood that government was to be executed from the local to the federal; they maintained that because we had a citizen government, created to serve the people rather than to lord over the people, that the power needed to rest with the people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to exercise our constitutional duties of civic responsibility. Let’s tell government to give us our own money back so we can fix the mess they have created. It is time to put good government before opportunistic blame-game politics. Anything else would be to ignore the will of the people.
Go here for the original article with links to other information: http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/fsalvato/2008/fs_09301.shtml
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org. He can be contacted at newmediajournal @ comcast.net.