Posts Tagged ‘sub-prime’

Scared Democrats Admit Bush Was Right On Tax Cutting Policy

September 5, 2010

More and more Democrats are admitting that increasing taxes on the rich people who actually create jobs would be a foolhardy thing to do.

That pours a big giant can of water on the fire Democrats started in the whole blame-Bush-for-the-economic-meltdown thing.  Bush’s tax cuts were the biggest straw man for Democrats.  And now some of the most prominent Democrats are saying we need to keep those same tax cuts that Democrats were universally demonizing only months ago.

More Dems buck plan to let taxes increase for rich
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER (AP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — Congress seems increasingly reluctant to let taxes go up, even on wealthier Americans.

Worried about the fragile economy and their own upcoming elections, a growing number of Democrats are joining the rock-solid Republican opposition to President Barack Obama’s plans to let some of the Bush administration’s tax cuts expire.

Democratic leaders in Congress still back Obama, but the willingness to raise taxes is waning among the rank and file as the stagnant economy threatens the party’s majority in the House and Senate.

“In my view this is no time to do anything that could be jarring to a fragile recovery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a first-term Democrat. […]

“It’s going to be hard to resist a one-year extension for everybody, given the state of the economy,” said Clint Stretch, a tax expert at the consulting firm Deloitte Tax LLP. “That’s where I think the ball is moving.”

The tax cuts were enacted in 2001 and 2003 under President George W. Bush. They provided help for both rich and poor, reducing the lowest marginal rates as well as the top ones and several in between. They also provided a wide range of income tax breaks for education, families with children and married couples.

Taxes on capital gains and dividends were reduced, while the federal estate tax was gradually repealed, though only through this year. […]

Another freshman Democrat, Rep. Bobby Bright of Alabama, said he would like to see all the tax cuts extended for two or three years, if lawmakers cannot agree on a more permanent plan.

“Party leaders are not my directors or my boss,” Bright said. “My boss is my constituents, and I’ve heard from a vast majority of my constituents that they don’t believe in tax increases on anybody at this point in time.”

Bright is high on the re-election endangered list, one of roughly four dozen Democrats in districts won by Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008.

In the Senate, where Democrats need unity and at least one Republican vote to overcome filibusters, at least three Democrats and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have said they want to extend all the tax cuts temporarily.

Several Democratic candidates for Senate have also come out in favor of extending them all, including Robin Carnahan in Missouri and Jack Conway in Kentucky.

“Jack Conway was in favor of the Bush tax cuts when they first passed (in 2001 and 2003), and he’s in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts now,” said spokeswoman Allison Haley.

An article in McClatchey Newspapers points out that if Democrats try to hike taxes on the rich, it will be Democrats who stood in the way:

Democrats unlikely to repeal tax cuts for the rich
By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress are poised to play a leading role this month in thwarting their party’s effort to raise income tax rates on the wealthy.

Tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 expire at the end of this year. President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have been eager to extend the breaks for individuals who earn less than $200,000 annually and joint filers who make less than $250,000. Those who earn more would pay higher, pre-2001 rates starting next year.

However, a small but growing number of moderate Democrats are balking at boosting taxes on the rich. Many face electorates that recoil at the mention of any tax increase. Some represent areas that are loaded with wealthier taxpayers. Further, some incumbent senators who don’t face voters this fall are reluctant to increase taxes on anyone while the economy remains sluggish.

Without their support, the push to raise rates on the rich probably will fail. […]

Many Democrats and Republicans are eager for a tax cut battle, seeing it as emblematic of each party’s economic principles.

“Now the administration is calling for a massive tax hike on small businesses in the middle of a recession,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who maintains that higher rates on the wealthy would hit small business hard, a point the Obama administration disputes.

“So it’s no surprise,” McConnell added, “that most Americans think the country is on the wrong track and that Democrat policies have failed to do anything to fix their top concern, the economy.”

Democratic leaders are convinced that voters won’t buy that argument. Not only will the public back higher taxes for the rich, but “we have an opportunity to generate $700 billion that could go to deficit reduction and badly needed programs,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus.

The middle class-only extension is thought to have strong support in the House, where Democrats have a huge majority, but some Democrats are reluctant.

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va
., represents the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, one of the nation’s wealthiest districts. Median family income there in 2008 was $117,892, well above the national average of $63,211. He said that repealing the top rates would have political consequences.

“Sometimes we forget how we became the majority. We did it by winning some affluent districts,” he said.

The bigger problem for Democrats looms in the Senate, where Majority Leader Reid’s immediate problem is getting the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure. Democrats control 59 seats, and at least three of them — Bayh, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Kent Conrad of North Dakota — have signaled that they won’t back a permanent repeal of the tax cuts for the wealthy.

They suggest a way out of a stalemate — temporarily extending all the expiring tax rates — but so far the leadership isn’t going along.

Sean Neary, a spokesman for Senate Budget Committee Chairman Conrad, said the senator backed such an extension “for now.”

“The general rule of thumb is that you do not raise taxes or cut spending during an economic downturn. That would be counterproductive,” Conrad said.

Nelson also offered what’s become the centrist Democratic mantra. He, too, said he’d back extending the tax breaks for the wealthy “for at least a period of time because raising taxes in a weak economy could impair recovery.”

That stand could be even more popular with Democratic candidates for the Senate who aren’t incumbents
. The hottest races are in conservative states, such as Kentucky, where Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway are battling for the seat now held by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning.

Of the expiring tax cuts for the wealthy, Conway spokeswoman Allison Haley said that he “believes we should extend them now, especially when so many Kentucky families and small businesses are struggling under this recession.”

In Missouri, Republican U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt and Democrat Robin Carnahan are in a tight race. Despite a welcoming embrace with Obama at a Kansas City fundraiser in July, Carnahan said last week that she wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone.

“Now is not the time to raise taxes,” she said.

In Indiana, U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., who’s seeking to replace Bayh, told the Evansville Courier & Press this summer that all the Bush-era tax cuts should become permanent
.

That position makes sense, said Brian Vargus, a professor of political science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, because Indiana is “an overwhelmingly Republican state … and there is never support for taxes or public goods.”

So from this article we see the term “moderate.”  And the moderates are those Democrats who see a compromise to the looming war over tax cuts: keep them all for now.  Don’t hike taxes on the only economic class of Americans who have the wherewithal to actually create jobs.  Keep the the tax cuts for at least a year, if not 2-3 years.  But the hard-liner Democrats are willing to see the tax cuts end for EVERYONE in order to maintain their Marxist class warfare principle of punishing the rich for being successful.

Democrats offered two reasons in their unrelenting demagoguery of George Bush: 1) they said the tax cuts caused the economic disaster; and 2) they said Bush’s refusal to regulate caused the economic disaster.

But 1) is now blown apart, given DEMOCRATS’ current acknowledgment that the Bush tax cuts – yes, even for the rich – weren’t the bogey man Democrats have been saying.

And 2) suffers from the flaw that Bush DID try to regulate the entity most responsible for the meltdown that befell the economy in 2008, and the ONLY reason that entity was not reformed and regulated was because DEMOCRATS blocked Bush at every turn.

That entity was the Government Sponsored Enterprise, or GSE, commonly known by the brand names of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It was Fannie and Freddie that expanded and ultimately exploded using dangerous subprime loans (see also here).  It was also Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who bundled thousands of bad and good mortgages together into instruments called “mortgage backed securities” and sold them to the private sector.  And when no one could separate the good from the bad, uncertainty paralyzed the banking system and led to the crash.

A brief history of the mortgage meltdown reveals how it was the GSEs acting under Democrat policies that created the housing bubble – (and even Obama economic shill Christina Romer admits “the popping of the housing bubble had serious consequences” which “destroyed $13 trillion of wealth in 2008”) – and the corresponding mortgage crisis which imploded our economy:

In 1999, under pressure from the Clinton administration, Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest home mortgage underwriter, relaxed credit requirements on the loans it would purchase from other banks and lenders, hoping that easing these restrictions would result in increased loan availability for minority and low-income buyers. Putting pressure on the GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprise) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Clinton administration looked to increase their sub-prime portfolios, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development expressing its interest in the GSE’s maintaining a 50% portion of their portfolios in loans to low and moderate-income borrowers.[10]

As noted, subprime mortgages sky-rocketed during the initial era of loosening of terms throughout the 1990’s. From a low of 5% of mortgages in 1994, to 14% in 1997, to 23% in 2005, subprime mortgages continued to boom in the early 2000’s. Following the 2004 initiative policy change spearheaded by a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to allow the largest brokerage firms to borrow upwards of 30 times their capital, subprimes became an even greater investment vehicle for investment banks and institutions in the U.S. and around the world. Since 1994, the securitization rate of subprime loans has increased from approximately 32 percent to nearly 78 percent of total subprime originations.[11] This further exposed the financial community to the effects of the coming housing bubble.

Democrat policies created the housing bubble that Christina Romer acknowledges was the cause of the destruction of the US economy.

And the refusal of Democrats to reform and regulate Fannie and Freddie exploded that bubble.

Bush warned SEVENTEEN TIMES that we needed to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or have an economic disaster on our hands.  John McCain urged action to avert an economic disaster.  And Democrats refused to budge to deal with the monster they created.

Again, Bush was right.  Democrats were profoundly wrong.

The mainstream media propagandists refused to report the truth.  They kept broadcasting a lie, and naive and frankly stupid Americans rewarded the Democrats who created the economic disaster with total power.

And we’ve been paying for that stupidity for the last two years.

As of today, Obama is at a dismal 42% approval, and in danger of plunging into the 30s.  45% of Americans now strongly disapprove of Obama, versus only 24% who still strongly approve of the job he’s doing “fundamentally transforming” our economy into a pre-industrial barter system.

Obama is in full meltdown mode as all of his campaign rhetoric is being revealed for the lies it always was:

And Democrats are deservedly going to meltdown right along with him.

Obama V.P. Pick Joe Biden Shares Direct Blame For Foreclosure Disaster

August 28, 2008

Barack Obama – you know, the guy who tells us he can fix all the problems that Bush and Republicans caused – has an uncanny track record of picking the people who actually caused all the problems in the first place for key campaign positions.

Should Joe Biden Share Blame for Foreclosure Crisis?  At least two major studies and an ABC News investigative report say “YES.”  According to interviews with financial “Experts: Many Americans Lost Homes Due to a Bill Championed by Biden.”

Add that to Penny Pritzker – Obama’s National Finance Chairpersonwho was at the epicenter of the sub prime loan scandal that caused the foreclosure meltdown in the first place.  She paid $460 million of her family fortune through trusts to avoid going to jail.  And add that to Jim Johnson, Obama’s pick to chair his important Vice Presidential selection committee until he resigned amidst revelations that he had received sweetheart deals from sub-prime king Countrywide.  And Jim Johnson joined other key Democrats like Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, who received similar sweetheart deals.  And you can add to that the fact that federal regulators are pointedly blaming U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY for the run that caused the IndyMac bank failure.

This is just like Democrats: behind all the  ostentatious and pretentious chants that they are fighting the battles for the little guy, they do what is best for their political futures at the behest of big money donors.  And when what they do in the name of the “little guy” ends up blowing up in the little guys’ face, they wash their hands of it and try to blame Republicans for it (after all, it’s all President Bush’s fault).

Hey, Democrats: President Bush’s Vice President didn’t cause the foreclosure meltdown; Barack Obama’s did.  And President Bush’s national finance chair wasn’t involved in the sub prime scandal from the very beginning; Barack Obama’s was.

Read the ABC investigative report on Joe Biden below.  Warning: it’s damning.  You’ve got Biden fighting for a law that directly led to the foreclosure meltdown, which wouldn’t have passed without his efforts.  You’ve got banks and credit card companies headquartered in Delaware.  You’ve got Biden’s own son working as an executive, lobbyists, and consultant for one of the players.

Should Biden Share Blame for Foreclosure Crisis?
Experts: Many Americans Lost Homes Due to a Bill Championed by Biden

By JUSTIN ROOD

August 28, 2008Experts say hundreds of thousands of Americans may have lost their homes due to a bill championed by Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., Barack Obama’s vice-presidential running mate.

At least two studies have concluded that the United States’ foreclosure crisis was exacerbated by a 2005 law that overhauled the nation’s bankruptcy law. That conclusion is echoed by other experts, although the banking and credit industry disputes it.

Congressional Republicans drove the effort to pass the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005. But Biden – who has enjoyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from credit industry executives – endorsed the measure early on and worked to gather Democratic support for it.

Biden’s early and vocal support was “essential” to the bill’s passage, said Travis Plunkett of the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group Consumer Federation, which opposed the measure. Biden “went out of his way to undermine criticism of the legislation,” and his efforts helped convince other Democrats to support the bill.

“Biden was a fairly strong proponent of that bankruptcy bill,” said Philip Corwin, a consultant for the American Bankers Association, which represents banks and lenders. However, Biden was “not in our pocket in any way,” he added.

Biden’s Senate office did not provide comment for this story.

Asked if the Obama/Biden campaign was concerned Biden’s record was a liability when discussing economic security, David Wade, a spokesman for the Obama/Biden campaign, said, “Barack Obama and Joe Biden have real solutions for struggling families in danger of losing their homes because of the Bush economy and abusive lending practices.”

BAPCPA “is directly responsible for the rising foreclosure rate since the end of 2005,” concluded a 2007 study by Credit Suisse. The law “increased foreclosures and the number of homes for sale,” echoed a July 2008 study by U.S. Treasury researcher David Bernstein. That study estimated the law had pushed foreclosures or forced sales on 200,000 homeowners since it went into effect, but noted that was a rough, “back-of-the-envelope” calculation.

“Trying to tie the forclosure crisis to the [2005 bankruptcy] bill is a stretch,” said the ABA’s Corwin. Corwin called the Credit Suisse report “junk” and said the Bernstein study wasn’t “worth the paper it was written on.”

The head author of the 2007 Credit Suisse report clarified his earlier findings in an email Wednesday. “The law likely contributed to increased foreclosures early on,” said researcher Don Ravitsky, but combined with other key factors, including subprime lending practices, to create the current crisis. Bernstein did not respond to a request for an interview.

The bill was backed by banks and credit card companies including MBNA, which is headquartered in Delaware, Biden’s home state. They wanted the bill because it would make it harder for Americans to use bankruptcy to avoid repaying credit card debt. MBNA executives had been Biden’s single largest source of campaign donations, and MBNA has employed Biden’s son Hunter as a company executive, lobbyist and consultant. The Obama campaign has said Hunter Biden did no work for MBNA on the bankruptcy bill. MBNA has since been bought by Bank of America.

Over the past two years, sub-prime mortgage borrowing and a weakening economy have pushed increasing numbers of Americans into dire financial straits. Under the old rules, many could have declared bankruptcy, shed much of their debt, restructured their mortgages and held onto their homes, according to experts and the two reports.

But the 2005 law Biden championed made it more expensive and more difficult to declare bankruptcy, experts conclude. That forced hundreds of thousands of distressed homeowners to sell their homes, or default on their mortgages, after which the bank would sell their former home, according to the studies. That flood of homes going up for sale in an already-weakening market further depressed home prices, according to the two reports, snowballing into the current crisis.

BAPCPA “increased home foreclosures, increased the dollar value of financial assets in default, and put additional downward price pressure on real estate markets,” concluded the Bernstein report. Bernstein conducted the report as an individual, not as a representative the Treasury Department.

Obama’s National Finance Chair Pritzker At Epicenter of Sub Prime Crisis

July 23, 2008

Well, Obama’s been at it again.

This candidate who so boldly promised that he would be so different – and who has since demonstrated just how cynical he is to even make such a claim – has taken on yet another senior level campaign representative who is tied to the very worst scandal that is currently dragging this country’s economy down.

Penny Pritzker, Barack Obama’s National Finance Chair, has – as Ricky Ricardo used to put it – “some ‘splainin’ to do.” And Barack Obama has his own explaining to do – for naming her to his campaign in the first place. Pritzker has secured about $200 million dollars in campaign funds for Obama, but there’s a definite down side if people become aware of her past.

John R. Emshwiller writes an article based on the FDIC Report’s own finding and conclusions:

For the Pritzker family of Chicago, the 2001 collapse of subprime-mortgage lender Superior Bank was an embarrassing failure in a corner of their giant business empire.

Billionaire Penny Pritzker helped run Hinsdale, Ill.-based Superior, overseeing her family’s 50% ownership stake. She now serves as Barack Obama’s national campaign-finance chairwoman, which means her banking past could prove to be an embarrassment to her — and perhaps to the campaign.

Superior was seized in 2001 and later closed by federal regulators. Government investigators and consumer advocates have contended that Superior engaged in unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices. Ms. Pritzker, a longtime friend and supporter of Sen. Obama, served for a time as Superior’s chairman, and later sat on the board of its holding company.

The Office of Thrift Supervision report said:

Superior Bank suffered as a result of its former high-risk business strategy, which was focused on the generation of significant volumes of subprime mortgage and automobile loans for securitization and sale in the secondary market. OTS found that the bank also suffered from poor lending practices, improper record keeping and accounting, and ineffective board and management supervision.

Emshwiller further notes:

Ms. Pritzker served as Superior chairman until 1994. During that period, Superior “embarked on a business strategy of significant growth into subprime home mortgages,” which were then packaged into securities and sold to investors, according to a 2002 report by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General.

“Superior was at the forefront of the securitizing of subprime mortgages,” says Timothy Anderson, a retired bank consultant who has studied Superior and other failed thrifts.

So we see that it was during the Clinton years that this financial strategy that would lead to such an incredible disaster had its geneisis, and it was in the liberal bastion of Chicago – and a liberal financier – who were at its forefront.

For a time, the strategy of making high interest home and auto loans to people with bad credit appeared to work like a charm, yielding big profits-and large dividends for the Pritzkers. But it was essentially blood money profits made mainly on the what Moe Bedard referred to as “foreclosure blood and misery of millions of Americans.”

People like the Pritzkers made money if people paid the high-interest loans; and they made money if they didn’t through the ensuing foreclosures.

It only became a problem for the banks when the overly inflated housing market values came down to earth and people who owed more on their homes than they were worth began walking away from those high interest subprime loans in large numbers.

A USA Today story by Ken Dilanian notes that:

Superior, co-owned by Pritzker family trusts, began focusing on subprime loans in 1993, according to the FDIC Inspector General’s report. At the time, Pritzker was the board’s chair. She left the board in 1994 and continued as a director of the bank’s holding company. In 2002, the Pritzkers agreed to pay, through trusts, $460 million in a settlement with the government relieving them of liability.

So now we have a decided pattern – beyond the Chicago political link – to Obama himself. He named Jim Johnson to head his vitally important Vice Presidential Selection Committee. A Wall Street Journal story showed how Johnson received favorable treatment on personal loans from major sub-prime player Countrywide Financial Corp. Johnson – former chairman of now also in trouble Fannie Mae – went to Countrywide repeatedly to get new loans at sweetheart rates as a FOA (Friend of Angelo [Mozillo]). Johnson essentially received kickbacks received kickbacks in the form of great mortgages and lax underwriting guidelines on 3 properties totalling $1.7 million while millions of the “little people” crashed and burned.

In a prepared statement, the Obama campaign noted that Ms. Pritzker was never accused of wrongdoing by regulators in connection with Superior, and that her family agreed to pay $460 million to help defray the costs of Superior’s collapse.

That isn’t quite true. Rather, the federal regulators were simply never fully able to sort through all the flawed accounting and masked operating losses to find the smoking gun, and the offer of several hundred million dollars made them willing to quit looking. You don’t pay 460 million bucks unless you have an awful lot of skeletons in your closet. Pritzker was able to buy her way out of jail.

And please tell me something: just how is Barack Obama supposed to produce “change” when he surrounds himself with the same “old” greedy executives that have profited handsomely in this mortgage and housing crisis, and even pioneered the despicably greedy concept itself? Just what kind of benighted fool is going to think this guy is going to be one iota different? The sub prime scandal originated in Obama’s backyard, and Obama keeps handpicking figures tied to it.

Moe Bedard writes an article titled “Pritzker, Predatory Subprime Pioneer, Still On Obama Team” that provides a lot of documentation and includes a lot of links to other sources of information. The more you read, the more you learn about Obama’s choice for finance chair.

People had better start taking a serious look at Barack Obama – and ALL the horrendous people he has been keeping around him for years – before its too late.

A Hope For Some Rare Awareness About The Economy

July 21, 2008

I was in a Wal Mart store a little while back, and got into an argument with an older employee with whom I have periodically chatted.

In that discussion, I discovered that the man was a Democrat, and a pretty liberal one to boot.

And I learned that he had a terribly flawed memory about the Clinton years.

His primary contention was that he had never seen the regional economy so bad. He told me, “When Clinton was president, I had no trouble finding work. But now this Wal Mart job is the best I can get.”

Well, to put it into six words: he’s wrong, wrong, and more wrong.

The Press Enterprise, Riverside County’s (and the Inland Empire’s) largest paper, had a front-page article on July 19 titled “Inland unemployment rate hits 8 percent, highest in 9 years.”

I didn’t have to pull out my calculator to realize that “nine years ago we were in the height of the Clinton presidency.

So why on earth was my liberal Democrat friend at Wal Mart so completely wrong?

Partially because that’s precisely what the media told him to think (you ever hear that sarcastic expression, ‘If I want your opinion I’ll give it to you’?).

John R. Lott did a study that demonstrated that the media viewed the economy through rose-colored glasses during the Clinton years even when the economy was in fact entering a recession. By contrast, we have been hearing the word “recession” for the better part of a year now under a Republican president even when the economy was actually growing and even though the economy is STILL not in recession according to the standard definition of the term. When Bill Clinton was president, the media largely saw even negative news through rose-colored glasses. By contrast, throughout the Bush presidency, the media has been hypercritical – as well as hypocritical – of virtually every economic development.

It is simply a demonstrable fact that the media have for years given Democratic administrations’ economic performance every benefit of the doubt, and given Republican administrations’ economic performance an unrelentingly critical review. Republicans aren’t angry that the media is portraying the economy as being in a recession; they are angry because the media subjectively and unfairly refuse to evaluate Democrat-managed economies by the same standards.

And when it comes to the economy, perception often becomes reality, because people who think that the economy is tanking will invariably begin to act in ways that subsequently cause the economy to tank. As one example, if people are continually told that the economy will worsen and the housing market will continue to decline, will they buy homes now, or will they hold off and wait for the market to further decline and lower prices further? But by waiting, they are actually contributing to the market’s actual decline.

So the same media that helps to create positive perceptions of the economy during Democratic administrations helps to undermine the economy during Republican administrations. They frequently resort to downright irresponsible reporting to do so. And when Democrat and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich used the term “DEPRESSION” to describe the Bush economy, he was going beyond even the irresponsible media and pandering to the very lowest form of demagoguery.

Is our economy really doing so terrible?

Just to demonstrate how horrifyingly irresponsible Robert Reich was in his prediction of a “Bush depression” on March 14, 2008, the VERY NEXT DAY the story emerged that the United States continues to have the best and most competitive economy in the world!

I hate to be rude, but Reich revealed himself for the vile little pandering and demagoguing rodent that he is. Yet rabid little rat or not, he continues to be paraded from elite media network to network with all the fanfare of an enlightened analyst who truly understands what is going on.

My liberal friend at Wal Mart assured me that the economy was always great under Clinton, and that Clinton balanced the budget. The fact that neither statement is true doesn’t matter. Today’s liberals are fitted with psychological filters designed to prevent truth from entering their minds.

First of all, Bill Clinton most certainly did not get off to all that great of a start as president. If he had, he wouldn’t have contributed to the greatest landslide in political history with a massive 52 seat swing in the ’94 midterm elections that put the Republicans in power for the next dozen years.

Furthermore, President Clinton – all ubiquitous media misrepresentation aside – most certainly DID NOT balance the budget. What he did was fiddle with the numbers to pay off the public debt by borrowing from the intergovernmental debt (particularly from the Social Security Trust Fund). The so-called “Clinton surplus” is simply a myth: The national debt continued to grow and grow and grow, and the last Clinton budget was $133.29 billion in the red.

And when President Clinton left office, he also left President Bush with an economy that was very definitely stumbling into a recession about as bad as the one we’re stumbling into now. He also left President Bush with Osama bin Laden (when he rejected a Somali offer to literally hand him over to us) and with an al Qaeda that was growing stronger and stronger after repeatedly attacking the United States throughout the Clinton administration.

Mansoor Ijaz, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that:

Clinton’s failure to grasp the opportunity to unravel increasingly organized extremists, coupled with Berger’s assessments of their potential to directly threaten the U.S., represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history.

Please don’ think that the vicious 9/11 attacks – which President Clinton could have nipped in the bud by taking out its chief leader and architect – didn’t massively hurt the U.S. economy. Yet a liberal media ensured that President Bush duly received all the blame for both the recession and the attack.

The Press Enterprise article points out that a year ago, the two-county unemployment figure was a reasonable 5.9%. If anything, we have Nancy Pelosi and her “commonsense plan” to thank as much as anyone for the dramatic increase that has taken place during the oversight of a Democratic-controlled House and Senate. But you can count on the fact that the media will never connect the economic downturn to the Democrat’s control of Congress the way they routinely connect President Bush to it.

What’s caused the dramatic negative economic turnaround in the last year?

Is it the sky-high increase in oil prices? I have written again and again that it is Democrats – and Democrats virtually alone – who deserve the blame for the current situation by refusing to allow us to act in a responsible way by drilling the oil we have right under our feet and right off our shores.

See my articles (in order from the earliest to the most recent):

Democrat’s ‘Commonsense Plan’ Revealed: Let’s Nationalize the Oil Industry

Blame Democrats for Sky-High Gas Prices

Democrats Block US Energy Independence, Send Gas Prices Soaring

Democrat’s Ideological Stand Against Domestic Oil Terrible for US Economy & Security

If You Want $12 A Gallon Gas, Vote for Obama and Democrats

Pelosi, Reid, and Obama: The Three Stooges of American Energy Policy

Is it the secondary market fiasco and the subsequent housing market collapse? While Republicans deservedly merit some of the blame, let us not forget that it was Democrats who demanded that poor and unqualified borrowers had to have access to home loans. And let us not forget that the principle political figures involved in the subsequent scandal have been Democrats (Former Fannie Mae Chairman and former Barack Obama key assistant Jim Johnson, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad headline the list among other prominent Democrats).

The media that would have left no stone unturned in launching exhaustive and well-covered investigations into Republicans in any kind of similar situation has conveniently allowed the Democrat’s scandal to vanish off the headlines. They continue to play the part – of Democrat apologist and enabler – that they have chosen for themselves all along.

And we saw an all-too typical example of Democrats and the media ganging up to harm the economy under a Republican administration. Sen. Charles Schumer unnecessarily notified the public of the impending federal takeover of IndyMac in California, creating the equally unnecessary lines and panic among account holders. And then there was the media flocking like vultures, breathlessly envisioning one worst-case scenario for the American economy after another.

Don’t you DARE try to claim that Democrats – who were so utterly consumed with investigating baseball players’ for allegations of steroid abuse and with repeatedly demonzing oil executives at one communist-type show trial “hearing” after another that they were entirely blindsided by the secondary market collapse – were one iota less to blame than the Republicans even at their worst.

And don’t you dare believe that Republicans under George Bush mismanaged the economy in spite of the Democrats’ best attempts to keep it rolling smoothly along. If anything, it was precisely the other way around.

My liberal friend is responsible for unquestioningly believing the liberal media spin rather than engaging in the critical thinking that would let him see the truth about the disinformation campaign going around all around him. Please don’t make the same mistake.