Tuesday, September 16, 2008

American economics: Republicans are the party that wrecked America


John McCain’s long history with bank failures and financial scandals makes him uniquely ‘qualified’ to speak to the current crisis.

McCain blasts Wall Street's failure but neglects to mention his advisor Phil Gramm helped cause it. While chairing the Senate Banking Committee, Republican Sen. Gramm slipped a 262-page bill into a gargantuan, must-pass spending measure. Gramm's legislation, written with the help of financial industry lobbyists, essentially removed newfangled financial products called swaps from any regulation. Credit default swaps have been at the heart of the subprime meltdown because they have enabled large financial institutions to turn risky loans into risky securities that could be packaged and sold to other institutions.

John McSame has the former lobbyists of AIG, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and Bank of America on his campaign staff. Individuals associated with Merrill Lynch, which sold itself to Bank of America in the market upheaval of the past weekend, have given the McCain campaign nearly $300,000, making them collectively McCain’s largest contributor.

Republican Mike Oxley, the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee noted that the House passed a bi-partisan bill in 2005 that could well have prevented the current crisis by issuing stronger regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the Bush Administration failed to support the bill:
“All the handwringing and bedwetting is going on without remembering how the House stepped up on this,” he says. “What did we get from the White House? We got a one-finger salute.” […]

What does McCain say about the economy since Bush took office... the American economy that spends nearly a $ trillion in Iraq and has seen it's worst crash since 9/11, possibly since the Great Depression?

"There’s been great progress economically over that period of time... the fundamentals of America's economy are strong"

-- John McCain

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