Since the current financial crisis is taking place under a Republican administration it is easy for people to automatically blame Republicans. The media have happily pushed this misconception too. Facts the media ignore are things such as the very groundwork for today’s problems being rooted in legislation created by Jimmy Carter , or that in 2003 President Bush proposed “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis that was blocked by Democrats on party lines. However, the media don’t report these very important and significant facts and so it is no wonder that the GOP takes the brunt of the blame in this recent CNN poll.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll suggests that by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the financial crisis that has swept across the country the past few weeks — one factor that may have contributed to an apparent increase in Barack Obama’s edge over John McCain in the race for the White House.
In the new survey, released Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned say Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market, with 24 percent saying Democrats are more responsible. One in five of those polled blame both parties equally, and 8 percent say neither party is to blame.
Is it possible that these registered voters are basing their opinions without the full facts? Well, I’m sure the polls would not reflect so favorably for Barack Obama if the American people were properly informed that Fannie and Freddie co-opted over $120,000 to Barack Obama over less than four years.
Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.
Perhaps the polls wouldn't reflect so negatively for Senator John McCain if the public were informed that during the same timeframe Obama was pocketing money from these corrupted institutions, John McCain was fighting to reform them.
For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
Ed Morrissey explains why this is important, and why John McCain needs to push back against the way the media has painted this.
We can play blame games for the next several months and years, but what would be the point? In this case, there is a point, and it couldn’t be more clear or important. We have two candidates running for President who would bring much different styles to executive authority over regulatory responsibility. Barack Obama and his allies took the money and stayed on the sidelines rather than take proactive action to resolve the credit crisis. McCain and his co-sponsors of this bill had the right idea and instincts, but could not get any cooperation from Clinton, Schumer, or Obama.
In simple summary, Republicans including John McCain tried to prevent this crisis back in 2005, and Democrats like Barack Obama chose self interest over doing so. Can we expect the media to report these facts? Of course not. Pesky facts only get in the way of agendas.