In an interview yesterday with MSNBC, Barney Frank had the gonads to say this: "What we are seeing from Republicans is a double whammy. First it was Republican policies under George W. Bush that caused this terrible recession, and now they are resisting our efforts to get out of it."
To combat this complete revision of history, I am going to pull out the big guns. We are going to a column by Thomas Sowell to correct this idea that the Republican policies under George W. Bush caused this recession ...
"Another political fable is that the current economic downturn is due to not enough government regulation of the housing and financial markets. But it was precisely the government regulators, under pressure from politicians, who forced banks and other lending institutions to lower their standards for making mortgage loans. These risky loans, and the defaults that followed, were what set off a chain reaction of massive financial losses that brought down the whole economy.
Was this due to George W. Bush and the Republicans? Only partly. Most of those who pushed the lowering of mortgage lending standards were Democrats-- notably Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd, though too many Republicans went along.
At the heart of these policies were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who bought huge amounts of risky mortgages, passing the risk on from the banks that lent the money (and made the profits) to the taxpayers who were not even aware that they would end up paying in the end.
When President Bush said in 2004 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reined in, 76 members of the House of Representatives issued a statement to the contrary. These included Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel.
If we are going to talk about "the policies that created this mess in the first place," let's at least get the facts straight and the names right."