Kevin Hassett has a pretty damning article on Bloomberg that blames Democrats for the current economic mess:
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) — The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.
Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.
But really, it isn’t. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.
He then goes on to blame Democrats for opposing a bill that passed the Senate Banking Committee, but was never brought to a full vote:
If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.
But the bill didn’t become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn’t even get the Senate to vote on the matter.
Hassett ties Obama, Clinton and Dodd to campaign contributions from Fannie/Freddie and hails McCain as a co-sponsor of the bill.
While this may be a good story for Republicans to tell, it doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter. It is true that Republicans talked a tougher game on Fannie/Freddie, but they took campaign cash from the two as well. Some guy named McCain appears to have accepted $21,500 from them.
All politicians are complicit in the current mess if for no other reason than they are responsible for keeping Alan Greenspan at the Fed for so long. Obama and McCain have both decried the influence of money in politics while cashing checks from big contributors. This is a bipartisan mess.