History/Civics Lessons vs. Rhetoric on the Campaign Trail

By SUA Staff

Edited by Scott W. Winchell

In this election year, and the several before it dating back to the elections of 2008, America has suffered from one economic/banking/financial disaster after another and blame has been a central theme in both election cycles and the intervening years.

At the end of the Bush administration, the housing market and financial institutions hit a brick wall and as is so human to do, blame was cast squarely on Bush’s head, and has been ever since.

The Obama campaign of 2008 took the lead and blamed the Bush administration, Wall Street greed, and the rich “fat cats” of the Republican Party and its cronies. Though it is common to blame the President for a failed economy, or to earn the accolades of a good run, it is however disingenuous because the President does not set the budget, Congress does.

There may be a lot of wrangling, or Presidential pressure placed on the process, it is in fact, the Congress that sends the budget to the Oval Office for a signature from the President making it the law of the land.

"Honest Leadership" - The new definition for obfuscation, blame, mis-information, campaign rhetoric, class warfare, do-nothing Congress.

Additionally, the crash had roots as far back as 1977 in the Carter Administration, yet it is and was Bush, and now the so-called “do nothing Congress” that Obama is continuing to blame.

Even three years into his Presidency, Obama still does not claim ownership of anything, including his own failures. Those are Bush’s as well as the recent Congress’s.

In recent months, a letter has been floating about the internet pointing out the fallacious arguments that the “blame Bush crowd” continues to spew and is posted here at Daily Kos and below.

The reason it is posted there and on Scopes.com is because those who posted it want to be able to shoot down the arguments with the help of their liberal friends.

So we at SUA decided to help them, unfortunately for their endeavor, facts abound, so we took the letter and dissected it. The letter is listed below, but we want you to see how it is based, and why it is a very different story than the sound bites we hear continuously from his campaign and the talking heads at places like MSNBC.

First, one must ask, How did this all happen, what were the events and people who contributed to our near demise.

There is an article at the Guardian from 2009 describing the 25 people who had the biggest hand in the failures, but some of the facts are missing there as well, and their conclusions are a tad biased so we recommend reading all citations for the full picture.

Then, re-read the letter and judge for yourself.

We found the following facts to back up the letter at Soda Head and the Daily Kos which was derived from the report compiled by the Professional Risk Managers International Association:

(KEY – Blue = Democrat action, Red = Republican action, Green = Other actions and outcomes. Then, take a brief moment to look at the power structure of the periods in question and the rules they must oblige, below the list.)

    1. 1977: Jimmy Carter (D) signs the Community Reinvestment Act, guaranteeing home loans to low-income families.
    2. September 14, 1993 Bill Clinton (Democrat) signs NAFTA bill, killing US jobs
    3. December 08, 1994 Bill Clinton (Democrat) signs GATT, killing US jobs
    4. September 03, 1998, HUD publishes report damning FREDDIE MAC and FANNIE MAE for not lending home loans to unqualified blacks and Mexicans. EEOC charges that FREDDIE MAC and FANNIE MAE create “hostile” work environment toward blacks.
    5. 1999: Bill Clinton (D) puts the CRA on steroids, pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase the number of sub-prime loans to 45% of their total.
    6. March 02, 2000, Franklin D. Raines (Democrat) chairman of FANNIE MAE pledges to open lending to unqualified blacks and Mexicans.
    7. October 10, 2000, Bill Clinton (Democrat) signs U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000, killing US jobs
    8. April 2001, Bush administration raised red flags over massive low-documentation loans by FNMA
    9. September 30, 2002, African-American Safiyyah Rahmaan, (Democrat) sues FANNIE MAE for not lending to enough unqualified blacks.
    10. September 10, 2003, Treasury Secretary John Snow (Republican) recommends to the House Financial Services Committee to impose controls on FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC. Barney Frank (Democrat) and Maxine Waters (Democrat) object to controls.
    11. October 2003, less than a month later, Fannie Mae disclosed 1.2 billion dollars in “accounting errors”
    12. November 2003, Bush Administration increases warnings of toxic loans made by FANNIE MAE.
    13. December 21, 2004, Franklin Raines (Democrat) resigns from FANNIE MAE.
    14. February 2005, Bush budget plan exposes potential disaster from FANNIE MAE loans.
    15. February 17, 2005, Alan Greenspan recommends limits on FANNIE MAE lending.
    16. April 6, 2005, Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat) refutes placing limits on FANNIE MAE.
    17. June 2005, Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Samuel Bodman (Republican) warns of risks caused by FANNIE MAE lending to unqualified lenders.
    18. April 2006, Goldman Sachs sold $494 million of securities on toxic FANNIE MAE loans.
    19. May 25, 2006, Senator John McCain (Republican) warns of risks of slack limits on FANNIE MAE lending.
    20. August 2007, Bush (Republican) asks Congress to put through limits on FANNIE MAE lending.
    21. December 2007, Bush (Republican) warns Congress to hurry limits on FANNIE MAE lending.
    22. March 2008, Bush (Republican) warns Congress again.
    23. April 2008, Bush (Republican) warns Congress again.
    24. April 2008, Goldman Sachs donates $1,000,000 to Obama campaign.
    25. April 2008, AIG donates $630,000 to Obama campaign.
    26. April 2008, Morgan Stanley donates $485,823 to Obama campaign.
    27. May 03, 2008, Bush (Republican) warns Congress again.
    28. May 19,2008, Bush (Republican) warns Congress again.
    29. May 31, 2008, Bush (Republican) makes radio address warning Congress to pass limits on FANNIE MAE.
    30. June 2008, Bush (Republican) warns Congress again.
    31. July 2008, Congress finally passes a reform bill on FANNIE MAE lending.
    32. November 4, 2008, Barrack Obama elected president.
    33. December 18, 2008, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducts further hearings into FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC.
    34. February 17, 2009, Barrack Obama (Democrat) signs bailout program.
    35. March, 2009, AIG reports $62,000,000,000 loss.
    36. April 2009, Goldman Sachs reports $780,000,000 loss.
    37. April, 2009, Morgan Stanley reports $1,300,000,000 loss.
    38. American taxpayers get stuck with over $787,000,000,000 in bailouts.

The Power of the Congress

To understand the spending and regulation process, one must go back to the basics and refer to our founding documents and the Constitution to see who actually has the power of the purse and rule, so perhaps another civics lesson is in order. The way the Federal Government collects and spends revenues and sets taxes and rules (other clauses not germane excluded here) is listed below, directly quoting the Constitution:

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Article I – The Legislative Branch

Section 7 – Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto

All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Section 8 – Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Section 9 – Limits on Congress

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Amendments

Amendment 16 – Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

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It is that simple, yet, for the past three years, a period in excess of 1,000 days, the Senate has failed to pass a budget. It also important to understand that the debt compiled by the United States prior to this period is indeed a product of the Congresses of each prior two year period. Since there has been no budget, a series of continuing resolutions have been brought forth, including raising the debt ceiling numerous times to keep the government operating.

It is also important to understand who, or what group has been in power during the periods since January of 2007, the year before the financial melt down, now threatening every nation on earth. Lets take a look at the make-up of our government at the time and through today, and who was in charge or control:

109th Congress (January 2005 – January 2007)

  • House of Representatives (Republican) – Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R) Illinois
  • Senate (Republican) – Majority Leader Bill Frist (R) Tennessee
  • President during Session 1 (2005) – George W. Bush (Republican)
  • President during Session 2 (2006) – George W. Bush (Republican)

110th Congress (January 2007 – January 2009)

  • House of Representatives (Democrat) – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) California
  • Senate (Democrat) – Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) Nevada
  • President during Session 1 (2007) – George W. Bush (Republican)
  • President during Session 2 (2008) – George W. Bush (Republican)

111th Congress (January 2009 – January 2011)

  • House of Representatives (Democrat) – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) California
  • Senate (Democrat) – Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) Nevada
  • President during Session 1 (2009) – Barack H. Obama (Democrat)
  • President during Session 2 (2010) – Barack H. Obama (Democrat)

112th Congress (January 2011 – January 2013)

  • House of Representatives (Republican) – Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) Ohio
  • Senate (Democrat) – Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) Nevada
  • President during Session 1 (2011) – Barack H. Obama (Democrat)
  • President during Session 1 (2012) – Barack H. Obama (Democrat)

Note – Presidents serve from January 20th of the year after they are elected the previous November, and serve through that date after the November election in their fourth year. The new session of each Congress begins in the first week of the year, and in Presidential election years is seated prior to the inauguration of each President also in the first week of January.

Summary

George W. Bush, in his first term (2001-2004), enjoyed his party’s control of both houses of Congress for four years in the 107th and 108th Congresses.

Due to the mid-term election in November 2006, the control of both houses of Congress changed from Republican to Democrat with the rise of Harry Reid to Majority Leader of the Senate in 2007, and Nancy Pelosi to Speaker of the House, also in 2007 . Therefore, President Bush no longer had the pleasure of his party being in control of the Congress for his final two years of his second term.

Harry Reid has been in charge of the Senate since January 3, 2007 through today (In his sixth year). Nancy Pelosi (after 4 years) was supplanted by John Boehner when control of the House changed with the November 2010 mid-term election. President Obama, elected in 2008, had enjoyed his party’s control of Congress for the first two years of his term only to see his party lose the House in the mid-term elections, by a wide margin, and he now only enjoys his party’s control of the Senate, though by a smaller margin.

Therefore, the Democrats have been in charge of the budget and all of Congress from January 3, 2007, through January of 2010, the last two years of Bush’s administration, and the first two years of Obama’s Presidency, and partially in his third and fourth years.

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The Original Email Letter

This is just a History lesson. I am posting it to all regardless of party . It is history and nothing can change it.

The day the Democrats took over was NOT January 22nd 2009, it was actually January 3rd 2007, the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the very start of the 110th Congress.

The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is “Bush’s Fault”, think about this:

January 3rd, 2007, the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:

The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77

The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%

The Unemployment rate was 4.6%

George Bush’s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!

Remember that day…

January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.

The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?

BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!

THANK YOU DEMOCRATS (especially Barney ) for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment…to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!

(BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie -starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy). Barney blocked it and called it a “Chicken Little Philosophy” (and the sky did fall!)

And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA

And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie?

OBAMA and the Democrat Congress, especially BARNEY!!!!

So when someone tries to blame Bush…

REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007…. THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!”

Bush may have been in the car but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel they were driving the economy into the ditch.

Budgets do not come from the White House.. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.

Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011

In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases

For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is “I inherited a deficit that I voted for,

and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.”