The cause of our financial crisis was deregulation—plain and simple!
Deregulation over the past 30 years has devastated the middle-class, thrown more families into poverty, while allowing the wealthiest Americans to become even wealthier.
As described in, “Double Dip: A Republican Conundrum!” we are about to feel the pain of recession again in the form of a double dip in the stock markets. Despite their complicity the Republicans continually decry re-regulation at a time when the entire global financial system is in distress as a result of their policies.
Every one of the financial crises was the result of deregulation and deregulation is a Republican ideology. These crises include:
- The Savings and Loan Crisis. Deregulation of the S&L industry was pushed by Reagan and Republicans.
- The dot.com bubble, created and allowed to overheat under a Republican Congress and a complicit Democratic President.
- The bankruptcy of Enron, WorldCom and a number of other large corporations as a result of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, a Republican bill pushed by Phil Gramm.
- The largest financial failure since The Great Depression caused by passage of the Republican backed Gramm/Leach/Bliley Bill, signed into law in 1999 by a complicit President.
- The housing bubble blamed on Democrats but embraced by a Republican majority Congress, a complacent Fed Chairman, and a complicit President.
- The numerous bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress, each allowing the financial services industry more devices to steal from the people and help their corporate friends.
- TARP (Toxic Asset Relief Program), an unpopular bank funding program pushed by an incompetent Republican President and a duplicitous Secretary of the Treasury.
- The AIG Bailout from TARP, a money laundering scheme to transfer $64 billion dollars to Goldman Sachs and 8 other troubled banks.
- The British Petroleum spill in the Gulf, a failure on so many levels and one of the most devastating environmental events in our history.
- The failure of LCTM as a result of an unregulated derivatives market still supported by Republicans and some uninformed Democrats.
- The Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme which festered under a weakened Republican Securities Exchange Commission.
In nearly every example Republicans had help from some Democrats. But these are all Republican backed initiatives—failed policies that have caused varying levels of pain and suffering. Most have added to the erosion of the middle-class.
Talk is cheap and the Republicans are good at framing an issue even if it involves lies and half-truths to mislead the public.
Wake up people! We are living in a tumultuous economy; one of Republican creation.
But even more devastating are the lies that perpetuate their destructive ideology. Take for example two Republican Reagan myths: Reagan lowered taxes, and he did that without increasing the deficit.
Both are bullshit; out and out lies!
Reagan did eventually lower taxes, but it is important that the American people know the truth. It wasn’t until his final year in office, the 8th year of his presidency, that the tax rate was reduced to a top marginal rate of 28 percent; It is currently at 35%, and has been for 8 years. For the first 6 years of his tenure the top rate was 51%. The highest rate in 30 years. You’ll never hear Republicans admit that or tell the truth.
Despite sitting on a great marginal tax rate for 7 years Reagan increased the country’s deficit from $900 billion to almost $3,000,000,000. He tripled the deficit in just 8 years! He then, at the suggestion of Alan Greenspan, took $2,000,000,000 out of the general fund to make the deficit disappear. He stole from our Social Security account to make himself look better!
So cut the crap about Reagan lowering taxes and being a deficit hawk—he was neither.
The Obama Administration has made plenty of mistakes during the first 18 months and the Democratic Majority in Congress has failed to implement programs that are truly helpful to hard-working Americans. But it is the Republicans that own this financial crisis that threatens to destroy this nation and make us a third-world country.
At the vortex of this mess in which we find ourselves is ex-Senator and corporatist Phil Gramm. The Texas Senator advocated the two most destructive financial bills in our history: the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Bill and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
Democrats were complicit in both bills and are in part responsible for the resultant financial mess their vote caused.
One Hundred and thirty-eight (138) Democratic Representatives and thirty-seven (37) Senators joined the Republicans in passing the Gramm bill. Ten years later we are still paying for the distastrous legislation. Republican legislation has desecrated the middle-class. Our children and our children’s children will be paying for their indiscretion for a few decades.
The Democrat’s have become more corporatist in the past decade, but some still care about ‘the people’ and the ‘true’ role of government. The Dem’s policies at least try to help the people but are constantly met with resistance from right-wing ideologues.
What we can’t tolerate are lies. Most members of Congress lie to the American people and the Republicans are great at it. Every lie they tell hurts this country, degenerates the ideal of democracy, and threatens our stature in the world.
The causes are further discussed in the next article in the series: “Financial Ruin: A Republican Legacy!”
Make no mistake. Republican rule caused the malaise that the American people are experiencing. They have decimated this great country and cannot be trusted to fix it any time in the future. This was Made in America by Republicans!
Plain and Simple!