Blogging is a gift. So is e-mail, text, social “media”, etc. But please, I beg you, start finding out if what you receive is accurate before you pass it on to someone else. This is in response to Ironside’s re-blogging the blog of Better2012 who copy/pasted from an e-mail he/she received from someone else who was simply passing on what they received. If you read either blog, or someone sent the same to you, and said to yourself, “Yeah, those evil Democrats ruined everything for everyone!!!,” without even paying attention to what it actually said, then Pause Here, take a tinkle break, refill your mug and grab a snack. I’ll explain why you should never do that again.
Ready? Here we go…
(A chart to follow along)
110th - January 3, 2007, to January 3, 2009, during the last two years of the second term of President George W. Bush. - The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995. Although the Democrats held fewer than 50 Senate seats, they had an operational majority because the two independent senators caucused with the Democrats for organizational purposes. No Democratic-held seats had fallen to the Republican Party in the 2006 elections.
109th - January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007, during the fifth and sixth years of George W. Bush's presidency - Both chambers had a Republican majority.
108th - January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2005, during the third and fourth years of George W. Bush's presidency. - Both chambers had a Republican majority.
107th - January 3, 2001 to January 3, 2003, during the final weeks of the Clinton presidency and the first two years of the George W. Bush presidency. - The House of Representatives had a Republican majority, and the Senate switched majorities from Democratic to Republican and back to Democratic.
106th - January 3, 1999 to January 3, 2001, during the last two years of Bill Clinton's presidency. - Both chambers had a Republican majority.
105th - January 3, 1997 to January 3, 1999, during the fifth and sixth years of Bill Clinton's presidency. - Both chambers had a Republican majority.
104th - January 3, 1995 to January 3, 1997, during the third and fourth years of Bill Clinton's presidency. - Both chambers had Republican majorities for the first time since the 1950s.
103rd - January 3, 1993 to January 3, 1995, during the first two years of Bill Clinton's presidency. - Both chambers had a Democratic majority.
BETTER2012’s said, “The Democrat Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.” And “Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie - starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy.”
FACTS said: The first statement is true. From 1995-2007 the Republicans controlled BOTH House and Senate, except for the period between 2001-2003 when the Senate did some flip-flopping but settled on Republican majority by January’s start of session. For the second statement, since the first statement is true, he asked his own party 17 times and they did nothing? That's what you just said, only backwards.
BETTER2012 said, “And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie? OBAMA and the Democrat Congress.” And “Where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills.”
FACTS said: Please refer to the chart above and note that Obama was sworn in as a U.S senator on January 3, 2005. On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Both chambers held a Republican majority most of the time he was there.
BETTER2012 said, “And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA”
FACTS said: Actually, it was the second highest. Of the 354 lawmakers that had received money, the top 6 recipients of campaign contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae during the 1989 to 2008 time period include 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats. They are:
By Name,Party-State, Grand Total, Total from Pacs, Total from Individuals:
Dodd, Christopher J. (D-CT) $165,400 $48,500 $116,900
Obama, Barack (D-IL) $126,349 $6,000 $120,349
Kerry, John (D-MA) $111,000 $2,000 $109,000
Bennett, Robert F (R-UT) $107,999 $71,499 $36,500
Bachus, Spencer (R-AL) $103,300 $70,500 $32,800
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $96,950 $78,500 $18,45
Just a funny side note: In 2008, Bain Capital contributed $214,500 to the DNC.
*Opensecrets.org. These totals are based on data released from Federal Election Commission filings.
IRONSIDE said, “The Community Reinvestment Act goes back to, you guessed it, Jimmy Carter and the Democrats. It set up the rules to push home ownership for the poor. The problem was that the poor needed to be renters not home owners.”
FACTS said: Yes, the CRA was signed into law in 1977 with a Democratic majority in both chambers. Its purpose, however, was to stop the practice of “redlining.” That’s where banks could draw a line on a map and say, “People who live in this area or people in this group (Blacks, Hispanics, etc.) either don’t get loans or we charge them much more for the loans.”
That last sentence is just ludicrous.
IRONSIDE said, “But the Democrats kept pushing home ownership and rewrote the banking rules and regulations each time they gained control of the House of Representatives. They forced the banks to lend the money, or the banks would violate the law.”
FACTS said: For the first statement, please refer to the chart above. For the second, Yes, if the banks were caught discriminating against someone because of their race or geographic placement, they would be violating the law.
IRONSIDE said, “Our economy collapsed because of the massive debt created by the Democrats and their policy using the Community Reinvestment Act”
FACTS said: The CRA did not make a significant contribution of the subprime crisis. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman noted in November 2009 that 55% of commercial real estate loans were currently underwater, despite being completely unaffected by the CRA. According to Federal Reserve Governor Randall Kroszner, the claim that "the law pushed banking institutions to undertake high-risk mortgage lending" was contrary to their experience, and that no empirical evidence had been presented to support the claim. In a Bank for International Settlements paper, economist Luci Ellis concluded that "there is no evidence that the Community Reinvestment Act was responsible for encouraging the subprime lending boom and subsequent housing bust", relying partly on evidence that the housing bust has been a largely exurban* event. Others have also concluded that the CRA did not contribute to the financial crisis, notably, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan, Tim Westrich of the Center for American Progress, Robert Gordon of the American Prospect, Ellen Seidman of the New America Foundation, Daniel Gross of Slate, and Aaron Pressman from BusinessWeek.
*Exurban - a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families. (Merriam-Webster online)
In the February 2008 House hearing, law professor Michael S. Barr, stated that a Federal Reserve survey showed that affected institutions considered CRA loans profitable and not overly risky. He noted that approximately 50% of the subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies that were not regulated by the CRA, and another 25% to 30% came from only partially CRA regulated bank subsidiaries and affiliates. Barr also noted that institutions fully regulated by CRA made "perhaps one in four" sub-prime loans and that "the worst and most widespread abuses occurred in the institutions with the least federal oversight".
I have only discussed here the core of their arguments. It is my opinion that if the core of an argument is either false, or grossly overstated, the remainder of the argument is moot.
Please understand that this in NO WAY is saying that anything is all the fault of all Republicans. It’s not. BOTH parties, along with MANY other factors contributed to the bubble and the collapse of the economy. My only purpose here is to show you that all this finger pointing and blame (No, it’s all the Democrats fault. No, it’s all the Republicans fault. No it’s all Wall Street’s fault. No, it’s all Europe’s fault?) has got to stop.
So the next time you receive something that says, “This problem right here is all fill-in-the-blank's fault.” You might think twice before declaring, “Yeah, it is all their fault, because I’m going to blindly believe what I just read and tell everyone else to hate them, too!”
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