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Letter to the Editor: Financial crisis not result of Bush administration


I would like to rebut the same tired old left talking points that Mr. Rigelon recently wrote about. He talks about the financial crisis due to "disastrous policies of the Bush administration." In 2007, the Democrats took over the House and the Senate. It was the first time since 1995 that this happened. At that time, the unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent. The economic policies of the Bush administration set a record 52 straight months of job growth. Jan. 3, 2007, Barney Frank took over the House financial services committee, and Chris Dodd took over the Senate banking committee. Fifteen months later, we had the banking and financial crisis. President Bush, starting in 2001, asked Congress 17 times to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because it was too risky for the economy. The Democrats fought hard against reform of these two programs, and guess who got the third highest pay-off from Fannie and Freddie? President Obama.

President Obama has spent more money than all of the previous presidents combined, going all the way back to George Washington, and we have nothing to show for it. The old argument that it would have been twice as bad if Obama hadn't come along is like someone burning your house down and then saying "you should be happy I saved the garage." I know it is unfair for Mitt Romney to be president because his wife owns horses. President Obama spends money like a "drunken sailor" on his pleasers as well. The difference is, Mitt Romney spends his own hard-earned money, while President Obama spends our money.

Mr. Rigelon wants to fight for "social justice." This means taking from those who earned their money and giving it to healthy freeloaders. Remember, according to President Obama, if you started a successful business, you wouldn't have done it without government building roads and bridges. Wait a minute ... aren't government roads and bridges paid for by taxpayer money? Nice try, Barry, but we are not that stupid.

Tom Demski, Woodstock


This is just SILLY

Claiming as Obama does that Congress only now has the power to "block recovery" while ignoring Democrats' majority power to screw things up since January '07 -- and confusing confiscatory wealth redistribution with charity (vaguely called "social justice") -- is what is "silly."

So who is to blame?

There’s plenty of blame to go around, and it doesn’t fasten only on one party or even mainly on what Washington did or didn’t do. As The Economist magazine noted recently, the problem is one of "layered irresponsibility … with hard-working homeowners and billionaire villains each playing a role." Here’s a partial list of those alleged to be at fault:
The Federal Reserve, which slashed interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst, making credit cheap.
Home buyers, who took advantage of easy credit to bid up the prices of homes excessively.
Congress, which continues to support a mortgage tax deduction that gives consumers a tax incentive to buy more expensive houses.
Real estate agents, most of whom work for the sellers rather than the buyers and who earned higher commissions from selling more expensive homes.
The Clinton administration, which pushed for less stringent credit and downpayment requirements for working- and middle-class families.
Mortgage brokers, who offered less-credit-worthy home buyers subprime, adjustable rate loans with low initial payments, but exploding interest rates.
Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who in 2004, near the peak of the housing bubble, encouraged Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages.
Wall Street firms, who paid too little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), and issued bonds using those securities as collateral.
The Bush administration, which failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market.
An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic.
Collective delusion, or a belief on the part of all parties that home prices would keep rising forever, no matter how high or how fast they had already gone up.
The U.S. economy is enormously complicated. Screwing it up takes a great deal of cooperation. Claiming that a single piece of legislation was responsible for (or could have averted) the crisis is just political grandstanding. We have no advice to offer on how best to solve the financial crisis. But these sorts of partisan caricatures can only make the task more difficult.


The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) which was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008 to relieve subprime mortgage crisis was a sham. Bush administration authorized expenditures of $700 billion but the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act reduced the amount authorized to $475 billion. The banks claimed that there wasn't clear guidance as to how the money was to be used and, thus, much of it wasn't put to the intended use.

I hope Gene can pen a fact based response to the garbage spewed by Mr. Demski. He can start by addressing the statement that President Obama spent more money than all other presidents combined? Really. You mean the Bush that took our National Debt from 6 trillion to 12 trillion?

And, beckrose, concur.

Mr, Demski -

"The hardest thing about searching for the truth...Is that sometimes you find it". ~ Unknown

But in politics the truth is the least thing either side is worried about. Truth will jump up and smack a politictian and they shake it off and pretend they never seen it. The two parties remind me of fueding spouses in a never ending divorce.

Some of the comments above fail to note the point of Mr. Demski's comment. Mr. Obama after promising to fix everything has fixed almost nothing. If he simply and consistently said "It's going to take time to fix this," that would be different. What he does instead is attack everyone and everything as though they are all to blame whenever it is pointed out that things aren't improving.
During the heated healthcare debate his response to the opposition to his plan was "That's why we have elections." But once he was trounced in the 2010 midterms he labeled the winners extremist. He hasn't submitted a workable budget and none has been passed by a Democratic controlled Senate since he came to power. So who's to blame? Those small business people who think they did it on their own.
We should remind Mr. Obama that the government didn't build the roads, private contractors paid by taxpayers built them. Any many of those contractors started out as small businesses who in fact did build their businesses.
Mr. Demski's comment isn't suggesting there are simple solutions, only that no solution will be found by someone who thinks blaming absolutely everyone is the answer.

In the off chance that Mr.Demski doesn't wish to or cannot read the entire article...wish to point out the following...

... three of many who saw it coming

Professor Nouriel Roubini
Described by the New York Times as Dr Doom, the economist from New York University was warning that financial crisis was on the way in 2006 REPEAT 2006, when he told economists at the IMF that the US would face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, oil shock and a deep recession.

Warren Buffett, billionaire investor
Dubbed the Sage of Omaha, Buffett had long warned about the dangers of dodgy derivatives that no one understood and said often that Wall Street's finest were grossly overpaid. In his annual letter to shareholders in 2003 REPEAT 2003, he compared complex derivative contracts to hell.

George Soros, speculator
The billionaire financier, philanthropist and backer of the Democrats told an audience in Singapore in January 2006 REPEAT 2006 that stockmarkets were at their peak, and that the US and global economies should brace themselves for a recession and a possible "hard landing". He also warned of "a gigantic real estate bubble" inflated by reckless lenders, encouraging homeowners to remortgage and offering interest-only deals. Earlier this year Soros described a 25-year "super bubble" that is bursting, blaming unfathomable financial instruments, deregulation and globalisation.


Wow, Where do I start. Mr. Demski’s right wing propaganda is typical, as David Maraniss in his latest book characterized it, “a sick political culture where facts are so easily twisted for political purposes and where strange armies of ideological pseudo-historians roam the biographical fields in search of stray ammunition. . . . they disregard facts and common sense and under mine the role of serious history as they concoct conspiracy theories that portray the President as dangerous, alien and less than American.”
One can only speculate as to what drives them to virally spread misinformation to millions of gullible Americans in order to pursue their radical right wing agenda. Perhaps it arises as Mr. Maraniss suggests from the fear of demographic change in this country and out of racism.
Such tactics are deserving of our utter contempt not because of their politics but for the way they disregard facts and common sense. Mr. Demski fits perfectly into that mold.

Wait a second.

Let me get this straight. When it comes to the current economic crisis' stagnancy, it's the President's fault. When Reagan "saved" the US in the 1980's it was the President's doing; but when our Country fell off a cliff in the late 90's it's Congress's fault?

I don't think so. You don't get to have it both ways.

By the way, clever memes and talking points after a while begin to look silly, especially when they've long been disproven. Characteristically, you trivialize the faults of Mitt Romney and crucify (and completely twist) the words of the President. If you want to make a rebuttal for "your guy", go for it...but try and back it up with facts and not recycled punchlines.

Sorry Mr. Demski, apparently you ARE just that stupid.

Like any other good sheep you offer the opinions you were given without facts to back it up. A million and one times factual information is offered. The opportunity to educate ones self from the rhetoric. But no, the sheep continue to bah bah bah the same PROVEN lies. Its almost sad.

A report on Romney's tax plan for America made news today...

"This means taking from those who earned their money and giving it to healthy freeloaders."- Think about that while looking at the reality of his plan. Because I am certain Joe the factory worker/plumber/average person works harder than a stock broker any day of the week.

Then you wern't listening to the President the past 3 3/4 years. He repeatdely said the hole the country had been dug into was deep and getting out of it would take time. Those who listen to Fox news probably never heard that.

Can anyone find anything that considers in the ACA? As well as the programs/policies Obama got left holding the bag for?

Well two wars for starters. But you make an excellent point. The costs for prior decisions by Bush continue to ramp up in current budgets. President Obama was left with the continuation of the two wars Bush started, the Medicare Prescription drug plan that was unfunded, interest on the Debt Bush created, etc.

Not forgetting the Bush tax cuts, which decreased revenue that policies already in effect depended on.
A more simple comparison that anyone should be able to grasp:
If person A moves sells a home on (x) date, New owner B moves in and gets bills for prior to (x) date regarding the home, Is A-who incurred them, or B-who now owns the home responsible?

I would like to remind you, Will, that "private contractors paid by taxpayers for the roads"----- IS "the government" building the roads. And although the president could have phrased it more artful, his point is correct----no matter how much someone has put into building their own business, they have had help from others including the government. (Building of roads, technology, grants for education and business, etc.)

But of course, the right wing will aways attempt to twist President Obama's words for political purposes but are right there to make excuses for Romney on his many blunders----and there sure are many.

Mr. Demski's letter is so far "out there" that like beckrose said regarding his letter, "this is just SILLY". Others on here have done a good job of pointing this out.

President Obama's statement on June 11, 2011:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says people need to be patient about the economic recovery and that training workers for manufacturing jobs will help with the turnaround.

"The recession didn't happen overnight and won't end that way, either, the president said Saturday in his weekly radio and online address.

"It's going to take time," Obama said.

You are right song98. I understood the point Obama was making and thought it was a classic example of making much ado of nothing and the righties playing the political us vs. them game.
Lefties do it as well.
Maybe if I post more often others will quit lumping me in with tinfoil hats and Limbaughlers.

@howboutthehotel? It's unfortunate that the vast majority of us, of both political persuasions, get painted with such broad brushes. Obviously, not all conservatives are "tinfoil hats and Limbaughlers", and not all liberals are non-working communist welfare-queens either.

Regrettably, the voices that tend to steer the narrative are the ones that are loudest and quickest with the taglines, and are also the ones that tend to be the most inaccurate. Until we are capable of maintaining rational civil discussion, I'm afraid our system will continue to reflect our politics.

I went looking for an article on compromise because I think that is what is lacking in the politics of today. I found the article posted below. But what did I find in the first paragraph, a do-gooder label that caused me to loose the message in the entire article.

If I could as Obama personally questions, I would ask why doesn't he give Congress more hell? He is the CEO. Why he doesn't walk into the House and say its unacceptable the USPS has defaulted when they were begging you for a bill, how did you manage 60 bills to rename post offices and not a single one to address the financial crisis? Why he doesn't walk into the Senate and demand they find more cuts in budget to offer up for letting the tax cuts expire. I would love to light the theoretical fire up under his ....

But I cant, I can only vote Obama or Romney. Given what I have taken the effort to at least try to understand about all the years of bad decisions, Romney isn't offering solutions. He is offering the matches to some fuses that sooner or later will explode. How much more can we take? We had a decent economy and Bush cut taxes, and then sent us to 2 wars, (republicans are already beating the drums to go attack Iran), and then our government through Bush and Obama bailed out and enforced new policies we no longer had the revenue to pay for. Will cutting taxes further pay for it? NO!! Neither one is offering us the golden plan because there isn't one. But I'm bright enough to figure out cutting what the government gains in revenue while increasing its spending is a huge part of the problem.

If the tax cuts worked as Republicans keep claiming the trickle down will....then why in 10 years haven't they worked? Why are there less jobs, more corporate money overseas and a tanked economy?

*ask Obama personal questions

Will stated: "He hasn't submitted a workable budget..." Hopefully, Will, this will help you understand some of the process...

"President Obama's answer to our economic crisis was more spending, more debt and larger government. And by the end of his term in office he will have added nearly as much public debt as all the prior presidents combined," Romney said in an April 4, 2012, speech to newspaper editors. "No president has ever run a trillion-dollar deficit. The new normal the president would have us embrace is trillion-dollar deficits and 8 percent unemployment. Through all of this, President Obama has failed to even pass a budget." ~Mitt Romney

In his speech, Romney faulted Obama for failing to pass a budget. He was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget requests, both times they were voted down. But the job of passing a budget resolution is not the president’s. That responsibility falls to Congress, and even then the president doesn’t sign it. As Ellis, our expert, put it: "The president has no role in passing a budget. The president can cajole Congress about passing a budget and advocate for positions and funding levels, but in the end, Congress approves the budget resolution for their own purposes." That’s the difference between this and other claims we’ve rated which blamed Congress for inaction on the budget.

Romney’s statement contains a grain of truth, in that two of Obama’s budget requests failed to pass. But citing those votes leaves a wrong impression -- namely that the votes were anything more than political theater. Romney omitted the more critical information that passing a federal budget is the job of Congress. Given all that, we rate his statement Mostly False.


Oh yes, Bush inherited a perfect economy and sent it down the tubes with tax cuts – oh except for the dot com bubble that had burst and left and economy tanking before he took office and 9/11 that was the second punch. But everything else was sunshine and lollipops. Then he single handedly ruined everything when the housing bubble burst – yes that’s it and Super Obama will spend us out of debt. Congress did this, Congress didn’t do that – blah, blah, blah. Do you think both sides have a problem? But after careful consideration I’m NOT going for the one that thinks government should have more control over my life.

Mr. Demski wrote: "aren't government roads and bridges paid for by taxpayer money?"

Will wrote: "We should remind Mr. Obama that the government didn't build the roads, private contractors paid by taxpayers built them."

Guys, you are right; private contractors and taxpayer funds do build our infrastructure MOST OF THE TIME. Do you know how this works?

Bidding on federal government contracts is unlike bidding with local government entities; taking government (aka taxpayer) funds, and using AMERICAN services and workers. Good for America. http://www.wikihow.com/Bid-on-Government-Contracts

Building our country's infrastructure does not mean you have to take federal taxpayers money to get the work done. Here is how California and NYC does it:

Bridge Comes to San Francisco With a Made-in-China Label
Hundreds of Chinese laborers worked on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which is supposed to be finished in 2013. The assembly work in California, and the pouring of the concrete road surface, will be done by Americans. But construction of the bridge decks and the materials that went into them were 'Made in China'. American steelworker unions have accused the state of California of sending good jobs overseas and settling for what they deride as poor-quality Chinese steel. To recall, China has had quality control problems ranging from tainted milk to poorly built schools. Despite the American union complaints, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, strongly backed the project and even visited Zhenhua’s plant prior to leaving office, praising “the workers that are building our Bay Bridge.” When people see it, they will ask, 'Who built it?'” said Zhou Jichang, Chairman of state-owned Zhenhua and its parent company, China Communications Construction Co. “This will really raise our brand image.” FYI, Mr. Demski and Will, The company had never built a major bridge before California awarded it the multi-billion dollar contract. Zhenhua had previously manufactured cranes, mainly used in ports.

New York City contracts arranged during Carl Paladino's (R) tenure as governor: Chinese companies have been contracted to make major repairs to the Alexander Hamilton Bridge that spans the Harlem River. The Chinese were also selected to build a train station near Yankee Stadium. The list goes on, including a Chinese contract to furnish the glass in the first 20 stories of the 1 World Trade Center. Imagine peering through Chinese glass at tender American history.

The new 30-foot-tall Martin Luther King memorial in Washington was created in China by a Chinese sculptor out of Chinese granite. Are there no talented African American sculptors in America worthy of such an honorable task? The King memorial consists of 150 carved granite blocks weighing about 1600 tons that were shipped from Xiamen to Baltimore along with 10 Chinese stone masons to oversee the installation.

Not a building in the USA; however, thought you might like to see a movie after reading all of the above.

BEIJING: Chinese state media say a 13-storey apartment building under construction in Shanghai has toppled over almost intact, killing one worker. - June 27, 2009

So Debt, you figured out that the Republican war on your bedroom is tiresome when we have economic issues? That the vote on abortion in DC was NOT more important than voting on a bill to allow the USPS to cost cut and avoid default???


"But after careful consideration I’m NOT going for the one that thinks government should have more control over my life. "

Which one is that exactly? Both parties want the Government to have control over your life, although in different ways.

The belief that one is more in favor of big Government than the other is long-falsified myth.


An updated comparison from the AP News, I wish it was slightly more user friendly but better at least its all on one page.

It is so amazing how everyone forever and ever keeps trying to climb the rickety "Tower of Babel" and never recognizes the true cause of all our troubles.

We are now experiencing life as slaves of the Dominionist Empire Musical Chairs Party
which now rules the USA. You can count on it that our
situation will get infinitely worse because of the
ever-increasing population of new slaves coming in from
the cradle here at home and from South of the border.

New slave statistics are available here.

PEOPLE: Congress runs this country. NOT the president. He SUBMITS his budget BUT CONGRESS is the one that approves it. Same about laws.
The president might set the agenda, put Congress is the one that really sets the policy of it.

Please realize that.

May they also realize that the Republican controlled Congress has been doing more than their fair share of stalling our economic recovery (among other things) whenever and wherever they can by their immature and certainly unprofessional behavior unworthy of being our government "leaders". Their shameful behavior has hurt Democrats, their own fellow Republicans and all others in between. In short, ALL of us! We are ALL suffering under this infantile regime we call Congress!

Message to Congress: You are not our government leaders, you are our public servants!! If you were employed by any other "Boss" you would all be fired for lack of performance! We don't need a new President! We need a new CONGRESS!

I agree with everything you have said, Tstar, and you have put it so well. The Indiana tea party candidate Richard Murdock who defeated long time Republican Senator Richard Lugar (considered by many to be a sane, moderate Republican) in May's Republican primary had stated shortly after winning, what seems to be the tea party's philosophy. That is, according to Mr. Murdock, "----bipartisonship ought to consist of the Democrats coming to the Republican point of view". Also called "my way or the highway" and anyone who doubts that need only look back and see how, in particular the tea party controlled House, they have been obstructionist to even things Republicans themselves had once proposed and supported. The American people are the ones who suffer from their childish and dangerous behavior and those citizens who have voted in these extreme and radical right wing members share the blame for this being the worst and most non-productive congress. In the meantime while nothing gets done, the country's huge problems continue to hurt this country as a whole.

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