You know it’s bad when a liberal bazillionaire like Mort Zuckerman has turned on you. What surprised me the most was his statement of fact that the Democrats were behind the housing crisis. I did not think I would ever hear that out of the mouth of someone who supported Obama, and someone so connected to the web (check out his bio at the bottom).
What about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that got there with the support of the Democrats in congress. That’s what kicked off the great housing bubble; that’s what started this whole thing rolling down the hill. Did they ever talk about that kind of excess in the congress? No…..this isn’t something that is just due to the “wall street community”.
Mr. Zuckerman has penned an opinion piece in The Daily Beast that should set Obama back on his heels even more than the trouncing the dems just took in Massachusetts.
Obama punted on the economy and reversed the fortunes of the Democrats in 365 days.
He’s misjudged the character of the country in his whole approach. There’s the saying, “It’s the economy, stupid.” He didn’t get it. He was determined somehow or other to adopt a whole new agenda. He didn’t address the main issue.
This health-care plan is going to be a fiscal disaster for the country. Most of the country wanted to deal with costs, not expansion of coverage. This is going to raise costs dramatically.
In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.
Mort seems to understand the old chinese proverb that the fish rots from the head. Take a moment and read the entire article. Might make your day to see someone other than bloggers making the same points you have been making for months.
Many of you have seen Burning Down The House about the Community Reinvestment Act which created the housing bubble; if not click the link. I dragged this video out of the vault from October 2008 and John Stossel about government’s involvement in the housing bubble.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Boston Properties Inc. He is a trustee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington Institute for Near East Studies, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
The extremists who control the Republican Party have engaged in one of the most implausible masquerades in history by trying to identify themselves with the American Colonials who revolted against British rule.
In fact, as I prepare to go to the floor of the House this week to defend a package of tough financial reforms and consumer and investor protections, I confront a hostile, virtually unanimous Republican Party, which has a major characteristic in common with a different set of eighteenth century figures – the kings of France. When the French monarchy was restored to power in the 19th century, it was said that “The Bourbons have forgotten nothing because they learned nothing.”
Current House Republicans now oppose financial regulation because they have learned nothing from the current economic crisis.
It is time to stand up against them and we need your help now.
Put Main Street First: Contribute Today
The Republicans have opposed virtually every proposal we have put forward to prevent another financial meltdown. They have fought bitterly against the establishment of a consumer financial protection agency; they have blocked efforts to restrict executive compensation; they are against regulation of derivatives, and they have opposed efforts to restrain predatory lending.
But their opposition to any serious financial regulation has some substantial benefits to Republicans in the form of campaign contributions from institutions which want to be able to continue their financial manipulations unimpeded.
I ask your financial support for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, so that Members who vote in favor of tough financial regulation will know that we will stand with them when they are attacked by candidates backed by powerful defenders of the status quo.
Please consider contributing $5, $10 or more today to the DCCC’s Main Street Democratic Fund to help support Democrats who put Main Street first. Your gift will be matched by House Democrats 2-to-1.
There is so much at stake. The time to help is now.
This coming from the guy that said Fannie and Freddie were fine, and who was one of the people that gave us the expanded Community Reinvestment Act which forced the banks to give ninja loans to people without jobs. I am glad to know that we are now extremists and even though not registered as republicans, we must therefore be republicans because we espouse the founders’ rules.
Barney Frank’s financial regulatory reform is just another plank in the Cloward-Piven Strategy.
Are you just sick to death of this clueless pretender that had 143 days in the Senate before he left his desk and started running all over God’s green earth to get the job that he is currently failing miserably at? Are ya? How do we stop any and all future legislation from this bozo and his fascist friends until we can flip the whole congress in 2010, and then send him packing in 2012?
Oh yeah, we have a so-called president telling the American people to shut up not realizing that he should really be telling his own party to shut up. Unfortunately for us, we are the ones who are going to have to clean up this marketed and teleprompted resident’s messes. Those of us that have not completely lost our jobs are having to put aside our lives and our families to stop the madness of the very people that started the economic meltdown to begin in.
“But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking. Am I wrong Virginia?”
An Oregon congressman says he wants to test having a government GPS unit in every car so a tax could be imposed on the miles driven.
The proposal, H.R. 3311, which calls for a test costing $150 million-plus, was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
“Oregon has successfully tested a Vehicle Miles Traveled fee, and it is time to expand and test the VMT program across the country,” he said in a statement on his website. “A VMT system can better assess fees based on use of our roads and bridges, as well as during times of peak congestion, than a fee based on consumption.
“It is time to get creative and find smart ways to rebuild and renew America’s deteriorating infrastructure,” he said.
His plan calls for the Department of the Treasury to study the idea with test GPS-equipped car projects in every state.
Blumenauer said the Oregon test “charged drivers for the number of miles they traveled rather the fuel they consumed. The test was convenient for drivers, protected personal privacy, and proved to be easily administrable.”
Make sure to go over and read the whole article as Henry Lamb in a WND column has some interesting views of how this bill could be used.
Now put aside the big brother aspect of this POS bill for just one second. Think about this bill from a different angle; once again, “the producers” (people who work) in our country are going to get taxed greater than the “consumers” (people that do not work) because they actually commute to a job or their small businesses almost every day. Our non-reps CANNOT be this stupid. If it looks like a duck…it probably is a duck…
To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a pilot program to study alternatives to the current system of taxing motor vehicle fuels, including systems based on the number of miles traveled by each vehicle.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. ROAD USER FEE PILOT PROJECT; TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH PROGRAM.
(a) Road User Fee Pilot Project-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Treasury shall establish a pilot program under this subsection to study alternatives to the current system of taxing motor vehicle fuels. Such program shall be known as the ‘Road User Fee Pilot Project’.
(2) MILEAGE BASED PROGRAM- The Road User Fee Pilot Project shall study technology and methods for recording and reporting the number of miles traveled by particular vehicles, including–
(A) the manner in which a Federal system would receive payments with respect to the number of miles traveled by such vehicles, and
(B) integration of such technology and methods with State and local revenue systems and demand management systems.
(3) EVALUATION OF METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES- Technologies and methods tested under the Road User Fee Pilot Project shall be evaluated on the basis of–
(A) protection of personal privacy,
(B) ease of compliance,
(C) public acceptance,
(D) geographic and income equity,
(E) integration with State and local transportation revenue mechanisms (including demand management systems),
(F) administrative, cost, and enforcement issues, and
(G) potential for fraud and evasion.
(4) GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY- The programs carried out under the Road User Fee Pilot Project shall be conducted in each State and shall be conducted in areas that are diverse geographically and in vehicle density.
(b) Establishment of Working Groups- The Secretary shall coordinate with the following agencies to coordinate the creation of three working groups and integrate their findings into the final report required under subsection (d):
(1) TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP- In coordination with the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Secretary shall convene a working group to study appropriate technology platforms and standards to facilitate the most effective revenue systems.
(2) TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WORKING GROUP- In coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary shall convene a working group to evaluate the costs of collection and administration.
(3) ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP- In coordination with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary shall convene a working group to study the potential to manage demand and to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
(c) Technology Research Program-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish a grant program to aid the development of on-board technologies necessary for a miles based program described in subsection (a)(2).
(2) ENTITIES ELIGIBLE FOR GRANTS- The following entities shall be eligible for grants for grants under paragraph (1):
(A) Institutions of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).
(B) Commercial manufacturers with an established record of passenger vehicle innovation.
(C) Technology manufacturers with an established record of wireless networking and communications.
(d) Report- Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit a written report to the Congress, providing initial findings from activities authorized by this section. Not later than 36 months after such date, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit a written report detailing final findings and conclusions from the activities authorized by this section.
(e)Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Treasury–
(1) to carry out this section (other than subsection (c)), $150,000,000, to remain available until expended, and
(2) to carry out subsection (c), $4,500,000, to remain available until expended.
Could we use the $150 Billion they want to spend on this “study” on something better? Like tax cuts for the American people so that we can start rebuilding the economy they crashed with the Community Reinvestment Act?
On the day before Thanksgiving in 1991, the U.S. Senate voted to vastly expand the emergency powers of the Federal Reserve.
Almost no one noticed. (emphasis added)
The critical language was contained in a single, somewhat inscrutable sentence, and the only public explanation was offered during a final debate that began with a reminder that senators had airplanes to catch. Yet, in removing a long-standing prohibition on loans that supported financial speculation, the provision effectively allowed the Fed for the first time to lend money to Wall Street during a crisis.
That authority, which sat unused for more than 16 years, now provides the legal basis for the Fed’s unprecedented efforts to rescue the financial system.
Since March 2008, the central bank’s board of governors has invoked its emergency powers at least 19 times: to contain the wreckage of Bear Stearns and ease the fall of American International Group, to preserve Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, to limit losses at Bank of America and Citigroup, to lend more than $1 trillion.
The repeated use of the once-dusty law has surprised and alarmed a wide range of people, including economists and members of Congress. It has even raised worries among presidents of the regional banks that make up the Federal Reserve system.
Many critics are concerned that an institution not accountable to voters is risking vast amounts of public money and choosing which companies get help. Others are concerned that the Fed’s new role will interfere with its basic responsibility for regulating economic growth.
There is also a question about the roots of the crisis: Did investment banks take greater risks in the past two decades because they knew the Fed could rescue them?
The 1991 legislation, authored by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), was requested by Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms in the wake of the 1987 market crisis, and it would save some of them a generation later.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and other leaders of the central bank have argued that the emergency authority has allowed it to rescue the financial system and that without it, the economy would be in far worse shape. And they argue that they are using the power as Congress intended.
As Congress intended, but isn’t the Fed unconstitutional to begin with? Were not the Founding Fathers against a central bank system from the very start?
“This provision was designed as a last resort to make sure credit flows when times are tough and credit isn’t being extended,” said Scott Alvarez, the Fed’s general counsel. “That’s exactly what it’s being used for today.”
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that the actions taken by the Fed have been necessary and important but that those actions should have been taken by an agency accountable to voters. He said he was not aware of the Fed’s emergency power until September, and he favored removing much of that authority from the Fed once the crisis has passed.
Barney was not aware because he, like his peers in the House and Senate, DO NOT READ!
“This is a democracy, and there is a problem with too much power going to an entity that is not subject to democratic powers,” Frank said.
I thought the United States was a Republic?
“By necessity, the Fed was the institution everybody looked to because they had the balance sheet and the legal authority to act,” said Phillip L. Swagel, an assistant Treasury secretary in the George W. Bush administration who is to become a professor at Georgetown University’s business school.
See video below as to how their balance sheet is coming out…
But the government’s reliance on the Fed has roused critics.
“There’s no accountability,” said Walker F. Todd, a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland whose writings raised some of the earliest questions about the 1991 law. “How much power do you want to concentrate in a few people who are not directly accountable to the political process?”
Those criticisms have been heightened by the Fed’s refusal to disclose which firms have benefited from many of the emergency programs, such as the names of the companies that have used the Fed’s “commercial paper funding facility” to issue short-term debt.
The Fed ‘loses’ $9 Trillion:
Rodgin Cohen, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, suggested to several of his clients the idea of modifying the 1932 law to allow lending to investment banks, according to people involved in the discussions. Cohen is a legendary figure on Wall Street, building a career as perhaps the preeminent legal adviser on banking mergers, in part through his command of the minutiae of federal regulations.
Dodd, at the time chairman of the securities subcommittee of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, agreed to insert the language into a bill whose primary purpose was to reform the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which guarantees commercial bank deposits.
Dodd declined to comment for this story, but at the time, he said the legislation gave the Fed “greater flexibility to respond in instances in which the overall financial system threatens to collapse.”
The Fed has extensive regulatory authority over commercial banks, to keep them from needing its safety net. But after Dodd’s language passed into law, the Fed did not seek new regulatory authority over investment banks, nor did Congress move to provide new authority.
So not only do we have the Community Reinvestment Act being ramped up to give mortgages to people without jobs, but we have a Congress that did not regulate investment banks. (For those of you that have not seen the above linked video – take the time and vote it up.)
Instead, over the next two decades, federal officials would emphasize that investment banks had an incentive to be cautious because they were operating without a safety net.
Has the absence of a safety net has ever stopped any little kid from death-defying acts of insanity, or any capitalist on steriods from trying to make just one more buck because they lack a moral center, or any corrupt politician from making promises they won’t keep to get just one more vote?
I believe everything we are seeing today goes back to current and former congresses that DID NOT FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION. I do compare the people who are running our country to crack addicted fiends that are just looking for their next fix of financial kickbacks or votes for re-election.
The Community Reinvestment Act and Dodd’s part in it:
Ultimately, “we”, the American people are to blame for what is happening in our country right now because we have been a trusting, sleeping giant and we have allowed progressively more corrupt Congresses and White Houses to enact laws that are counterproductive to the American Way Of Life, and now it is time to take our medicine. The only question now is which medicine are we willing to take; the recession medicine or the depression medicine. Are we going to clean out Washington, or are we and future generations going to be standing in the unemployment line while Bambi turns our beloved country into a Fascist/Communist/Marxist dictatorship?
1 in 9 homes in America are being foreclosed on and the Bambi Administration wants to drown 8 of those homeowners in hopes of saving the 1 that could not afford their mortgage to begin with. The MSM is not going to explain the tax increases that are coming in this manner, but that is the truth.
What is happening right now is the biggest paradigm shift in the way America operates since the Revolutionary War, and I for one, am not going to let Bambi and his tax evaders turn our country into the soup kitchen he likes to portray it as. The very fact that Bambi TAUGHT ACORN how to strong arm banks into giving ninja loans to people that would never be able to afford them is enough for me to want to find every avenue possible to get this snake impeached right now.
The numbers do not lie; the housing market needs to bottom out naturally. The people that cannot afford homes need to be culled from the herd, and the markets need to stabilize themselves. Everything that the Bambi Administration is doing is going to destroy our economy.
For those of us that are numerically challenged, Glenn Beck explains housing prices since the beginning of the last century. Also, keep in mind, there are reports of this – which I believe is a rumor and am following to see if there is indeed any truth to these reports. If there is, impeachment and revolution are the requirement, not a situation where we discuss and ruminate.