How Bush Helped Destroy the Economy

Governor Spitzer had a column in the Washington Post yesterday. It indicates clearly why America’s economic downturn, precipitated by the subprime mortgage crisis, should be placed at the feet of George W. Bush. His points are brief but devastating: 

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders… Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York’s, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices…

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye…

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

Some historians have described the presidents of the United States during the post civil war robber baron era as “weak men hiding behind manly beards,” because they let greed run amok under their watch. We don’t know whether the current president will be judged “weak” or “manly;” it hardly makes sense to evoke anachronistic qualities when the president colludes with the robber barons of our day. One thing will be clear — 2001 marked the year the United States of America inaugurated a true enemy of the people as its president.

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5 responses to “How Bush Helped Destroy the Economy

  1. 9″11 in Plane Sight”

  2. Could we not also blame Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who pressured banks into giving loans to people who could not pay them back? President Bush thought that was wrong and tried to stop them, but failed.

  3. One of our greatest losses was Tv, media and all of the laws that were kicked out when we allowed them kick out the FCC power it even killed our free press, owners now tell the journalist that they will tell them what news is, now they have the sister stations and paid programming plus pay per view that will eventually destroy our greastest money maker All sportswill be destroyed by pay per view and all of the money grabbing.

  4. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
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  5. I always spent my half an hour

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