Streams

30 Issues: The Economy

True/False: The Republicans Drove The Economy Into A Ditch

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Jim Himes, Congressman for Connecticut's 4th District and candidate for re-election, and Charles Gasparino, senior correspondent for Fox Business NetworkNew York Post columnist and author of Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street discuss who is really to blame for the economic crisis.

Guests:

Charles Gasparino and Jim Himes

Comments [45]

Sure, plenty of blame to go around. But we've had 30 years of the only two ideas Republicans have for the economy, tax cuts, mostly for the wealthy and cutting non military spending. The only Pres since Reagan to make government smaller was Clinton. The only Pres since Reagan to lower deficits was Clinton. While Newt Gingrich now likes to take credit for anything good under Clinton, let's remember, Gingrich and Co tried to shut down the federal gov't. Clinton resisted and the people were with him, not Gingrich. Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr increased the national debt 10 fold without all the hand wringing we hear now from Repubs but we ended up not in a ditch but over a cliff. Obama was able to keep the economy from being totaled. But when you say he didn't go far enough or his policies didn't work, let's remember, Republicans have voted against everything he or the Dems have proposed. They have rewritten short term history so that Obama has caused the recession. And their top spokesperson, the junky Rush Limbaugh said from the beginning of Obama's presidency, he hoped he would fail. So by all means, let's go back to those great policies brought us back to 1929.

Oct. 05 2010 02:24 PM
Olivia Koppell from New York City

I wanted to ask both guests why I should believe that they will behave any differently than the other members of Congress - all of whom are in the pockets of some corporate giant that has taken control. Ordinary citizens have no impact - and if you think the Tea Party = ordinary citizens, think again. The Tea Party is just as in thrall to big money as the others. I fear the line has been crossed. Private industry is replacing government (we are the government) as you read this. There will be little accountability. Sad indeed!

Oct. 05 2010 01:34 PM
ccdemuth from Connecticut

Jim Himes voted in favor of the $787 billion dollar stimulus plan. After saddling your family with over ten thousand dollars in additional debt, we still have a ten percent unemployment rate.

Himes voted the healthcare bill into law, a law which is already projected to cost more than was advertised.

Himes voted to increase our national debt by a record $1.9 trillion dollars, bringing our total debt to a new high of $12.4 trillion dollars.

Himes voted with Nancy Pelosi-led Democrats 95% of the time.

After two years of votes that create too few jobs but too big a role for government, most voters in Fairfield County disagree with each of these votes. Two-thirds of these voters think that Washington is on the wrong track. What does Himes have to say about his record in Washington? With less than two months to go before the election, Himes has this to say to the voters:

“…I am proud as hell of what we have accomplished...

…I stand behind what we have done and what we have voted for...

…I stand behind what this president and this congress has been able to do…

…I am proud as hell, not just on the economy…

…I am proud as hell...I’m just proud as hell.”

If you want more of the same, then there is an incumbent congressman that is “proud as hell” of our current direction, but if you think that there is a better way, then you should know that Dan Debicella (http://www.debicella.com) thinks so too. If you would like to help Dan get across his message of free enterprise and individual liberty, than you can do so here: https://debicella.blue-swarm.com/donate. Please give what you can because Fairfield County deserves better.

Oct. 05 2010 01:18 PM
JP from NJ

We the people drove the economy into the ditch and continue to do so. We are quite content with our ears, eyes and mouths closed as special interest groups openly spend millions and millions in legal campaign finance bribes so they can continue to run the country like they have for quite some time now and they dont even try to hide it...

Oct. 05 2010 11:57 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Yes, the GOP drove the economy into a ditch.

a) They scatter hay bales soaked in gasoline by forcing growth in the only economic 'winner' the Bush Administration could claim...housing sales and values.

b) They spread the hay bales throughout the global economy by permitting scant regulation of the financial industry. They securitize the low quality debt.

c) Bush - through a slavish naivete about how the economy is interconnected - permits gasoline prices to rise to $4/g for six months. Each month, a homeowner has a choice to make, walk to work or pay the mortgage.

D'Oh!

Oct. 05 2010 11:51 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Yes, the GOP drove the economy into a ditch.

a) They scatter hay bales soaked in gasoline by forcing growth in the only economic 'winner' the Bush Administration could claim...housing sales and values.

b) They spread the hay bales throughout the global economy by permitting scant regulation of the financial industry. They securitize the low quality debt.

c) Bush - through a slavish naivete about how the economy is interconnected - permits gasoline prices to rise to $4/g for six months. Each month, a homeowner has a choice to make, walk to work or pay the mortgage.

D'Oh!

Oct. 05 2010 11:47 AM
bernie from bklyn

but brian- ask him WHY there is crony capitalism...that's the crux of the problem. why ? why? because these politicians need the $ from wall street to get elected and re-elected. please pursue this issue ALL the way

Oct. 05 2010 11:42 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The far right didn't want even the Medicare benefits from the last revamping? So basically, they wanted a doughnut that was nothing *but* hole?

Oct. 05 2010 11:40 AM

A lot of Conservatives here in NYC willing admit they are socially liberal regarding many issues. The scary thing is, they push that aside in favor of what is most profitable.

Oct. 05 2010 11:40 AM

@hjs11211:

http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-08-05/news/how-andrew-cuomo-gave-birth-to-the-crisis-at-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac/

(if you can believe a "right wing" slander, published by a well known "reactionary" rag)

Oct. 05 2010 11:39 AM
Brian

Bought and paid for by Wall Street, yet the right is always calling Obama a socialist...

Oct. 05 2010 11:39 AM
John from Fanwood

No one draws the similarity between our economy to a large ship on the ocean. It’s impossible to start a large ship and bring it to speed in an instant. It’s also not possible to turn the ship in either direction on a dime. We’ve become an impatient society that wants everything to happen instantly.

Oct. 05 2010 11:38 AM
Phil Henshaw from way uptown

Jim Hines seems more sensible than most,... until you get down the list to what actually should be #1 for everyone. The sever constraints on growth we and other economies are running into are mostly natural consequences of our living on a fragile, crowded and over developed planet, with resources that are either running out or running up in price.

I can't imagine why the public interest is served by Brian and others totally ignoring the large community of scientists studying the real consequences of that. Is it ONLY that the pop culture and "money powers that be" have redefined our natural limits and sold them as limits of audacity and persuasion instead?? All the long range general projections from 40 years ago do seem to be happening, for example. Is that due to a "lack of faith" or the natural causes those projections were based on??

ALL the real evidence points to the rising wall of complications for further multiplying the scale of the economy making it completely foolhardy to use up our time, attention and resources on trying to leap over it....

Oct. 05 2010 11:37 AM
Miguel Martinez from bronx

Electing Bush was the biggest mistake in U.S history !!!! Country was left in shambles....Mr Bush walks away to his oil refineries and a pension which the suffering people of this country will pay....very nice

Oct. 05 2010 11:35 AM

who told the banks to sell, resell and resell the subprime loans?

Oct. 05 2010 11:33 AM
LiamBurke

Matt Latimer was Bush's one of speechwriters.

In his book he recounts how during the time he worked for the White House one of his fellow speechwriters came "...from a secret meeting in the Oval Office and without so much as a hello he announced:'Well, the economy is about to completely collapse.'

'You mean the stock market?' I asked.

'No, I mean the entire U.S. economy,' he replied. As in capitalism. As in,hide your money in your mattress."

Latimer, "Me Talk Presidential One Day", GQ Oct, 2009, p. 184

Oct. 05 2010 11:29 AM
bernie from bklyn

until there is real campaign finance regulation and the citizens united case is overturned, there is no possibility for any change in this country. and there is no way to prevent another huge financial crisis.
it's so simple- the foxes are guarding the henhouse and unless that changes, conceptually, our country will progressively get worse.

Oct. 05 2010 11:29 AM
Mel from Brooklyn,NY

The clearest and most thoroughly researched article on which party over the years is responsible for the growth in the national debt over the years is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

Oct. 05 2010 11:28 AM
Josh from New York, NY

Bush drove the economy off a cliff. But Obama has not done a good enough job towing it back up. The Recovery Act is a good example. There was an impetus to develop a new Green Economy with stimulus funds. But now the DOE might be taking the money back from the states because it's not being used? Energy efficiency could be an $80billion per year industry. But we are already falling behind. Poor execution.

Oct. 05 2010 11:27 AM
Dan from Williamsburg from Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Two years ago it seemed like a no-brainer that two wars, tax cuts, and 25 years of deregulation (not completely the fault of Republicans) were responsible for our current economic situation. The public has very short memory though and can't even remember that TARP was signed by President Bush. Alas, it's the economy, stupid, and Obama is getting all the blame.

Oct. 05 2010 11:27 AM
ericf

if the republicans may have driven the economy into a ditch deomocrats were complicit. there's plenty of blame to go around. however, the republicans seem to still be committed to the same policies. on the other hand the democrats seem preoccupied with new deal nostalgia, even though our history of over-promoting home ownership goes back to the new deal. i think we need to embrace the kinds of regulation that lead to the transparency and accountability necearry for constructive makrets. however, trying to yank solutions out of one context and plugging them into another unchanged seem unlikely to work. solutions must be adapted the times.

Oct. 05 2010 11:25 AM

forget cap and trade. just tax oil at the source. that's easy to understand

Oct. 05 2010 11:25 AM
Josh from New York, NY

Bush drove the economy off a cliff. But Obama has not done a good enough job towing it back up. The Recovery Act is a good example. There was an impetus to develop a new Green Economy with stimulus funds. But now the DOE might be taking the money back from the states because it's not being used? Energy efficiency could be an $80billion per year industry. But we are already falling behind. Poor execution.

Oct. 05 2010 11:23 AM

@hjs11211:

7 way tie it is!

Oct. 05 2010 11:23 AM
Billy Gray from Greenpoint

Unemployment is probably going to go over 9.6% again when the numbers come out Friday.

It's not enough to pat the administration on the back for stopping the bleeding, they need to be criticized for not doing enough so that they do more. It's just hasn't been enough, because they were worried about what the banksters and the bond vigilantes would say. Cowardice, plain and simple.

Oct. 05 2010 11:23 AM
Henry from Katonah

I have to be amazed how quickly the Republicans came up with an alternative theory of what happened - - somehow Fannie and Freddie are completely to blame for ALL of our economic problems.
The mainstream media ( not just Fox) is abetting them on the above.

They had control of the House from 1995 to 2006, the White House from 2001 to 2008 and the Senate from 2003 to 2006. Let's not discuss the Federal Judiciary, since they only provide cover for the GOP.
They should take responsibilty.

The GOP is not ready to get control any elected branch or house yet.

Oct. 05 2010 11:23 AM
Louis

Isn't Congressman Himes a former Goldman Sachs employee? Once again there is this "he said/she said" game while the Goldman Boys are controlling both sides.

Oct. 05 2010 11:21 AM
Josy Erne from Manhattan

What's clear is that the biggest mistake the Democrats made during the Clinton administration is precisely that they accepted some of the economic principles of Reaganomics. In other words, what we did wrong is listen to the Republicans.

Oct. 05 2010 11:21 AM

guest says we don't want to devastate WV. I think the suffering in WV speaks for itself. we need to evacuate WV and give these refugees help to get into the 21st century.

Oct. 05 2010 11:20 AM
steve mark

The economy's condition is Mitch McConnell DWI while Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in the back seat keep filling the cups from the keg of Bud.

Oct. 05 2010 11:19 AM

Congressman Himes:

The argument is not that "tax cuts lessen the deficit; it is whether tax cuts increase tax revenues"

Oct. 05 2010 11:19 AM
Karen D. Otten from Westchester

re not ending tax cuts to the wealthiest,
from TheEconomist

Ways to overhaul the engine

In an ideal world America would commit itself now to the medium-term tax reforms and spending cuts needed to get a grip on the budget, while leaving room to keep fiscal policy loose for the moment. But in febrile, partisan Washington that is a pipe-dream. Today’s goals can only be more modest: to nurture the weak economy, minimise uncertainty and prepare the ground for tomorrow’s fiscal debate. To that end, Congress ought to extend all the Bush tax cuts until 2013. Then they should all expire—prompting a serious fiscal overhaul, at a time when the economy is stronger.

A broader set of policies could help to work off the hangover faster. One priority is to encourage more write-downs of mortgage debt. Almost a quarter of all Americans with mortgages owe more than their houses are worth. Until that changes the vicious cycle of rising foreclosures and falling prices will continue. There are plenty of ideas on offer, from changing the bankruptcy law so that judges can restructure mortgage debt to empowering special trustees to write down loans. They all have drawbacks, but a fetid pool of underwater mortgages will, much like Japan’s loans to zombie firms, corrode the financial system and harm the recovery.

Cleaning up the housing market would help cut America’s unemployment rate, by making it easier for people to move to where jobs are. But more must be done to stop high joblessness becoming entrenched. Payroll-tax cuts and credits to reduce the cost of hiring would help. (The health-care reform, alas, does the opposite, at least for small businesses.) Politicians will also have to think harder about training schemes, because some workers lack the skills that new jobs require.

Americans are used to great distances. The sooner they, and their politicians, accept that the road to recovery will be a long one, the faster they will get there.

Oct. 05 2010 11:18 AM
K W from Manhattan

Listening to a Democrat go on and on about deficits and the national debt after the last 18 months is hysterical.

Oct. 05 2010 11:17 AM
Peg

If the Bush Tax cuts worked (they had almost 8 years), then why don't we have a job filled stimulated economy already? It seems the wealthy don't want to invest in America.

Oct. 05 2010 11:17 AM
Leo in NYC

Aside from the obvious: the Bush tax cuts, the cost of the wars, etc. you have to look at the opportunity cost of GOP policies over the past decade.

The complete lack of investment in: the green economy; infrastructure; higher education; saving social security; the poor.

It's not just driving the car into the ditch, it's not even paving the road.

Oct. 05 2010 11:13 AM
david from brooklyn

they didn't drive the car into the ditch...they built the road that led right into the ditch...the road just happened to go right through the golden city, where profits can be plucked off trees and 100 dollar bills blow along the streets in the wind...

Oct. 05 2010 11:12 AM
bob from New Rochelle

The ditch analogy is too mild, because it implies we need only a towtruck to recover. A better description would be that George W. Bush, for all the reasons being discussed (trashing business regulation, wars, in bed with big oil, etc.) drove the economy off a seaside rock cliff, where the it crashed and burned before the wreckage was swept into the sea. We are so deeply in this that we have no way out, and will become a third world country within the next twenty years. Too bad, and with Congress as it is today (worthless in both houses, and both parties) we're in this for the very long haul.

Oct. 05 2010 11:12 AM

geTayor
don't forget the people. we walked right behide our leaders (over the cliff as it turns out)

Oct. 05 2010 11:11 AM

Obama rehired most of Bush's economic team. It's a tie, they both failed.

Albany gets the pile of crap award for being the nation's most failed government.

Oct. 05 2010 11:10 AM

american labor is unprepared for the 21st century job market.
the war on science and the middle class began with reagan, he also called for smaller govenment & led the charge to deregulate the economy. (leading to the great recession and energy troubles)

Oct. 05 2010 11:09 AM
Tonky from Windsor Terrace

Did the GOP and Bush II ruin the economy?

9/11
Iraq.
Torture.
Rendition.
Wiretapping.
Habeus corpus.
Detainee abuse.
Pre-emptive war.
The trade deficit.
The national debt.
The federal deficit.
Outing Valerie Plame.
Suppression of science.
The aftermath of Katrina.
Empowerment of enemies.
Creation of untold terrorists.
Alienation of traditional allies.
Subversion of the electoral process.
Perversion of the legislative process.
Undermining Constitutional separation of powers.
Allowing global warming to intensify at crucial time.
Refusing to fund stem cell research as millions suffer.
Enriching a small group of oil and petrochemical interests.
Appointing unqualified cronies in order to discredit governance.
Glibly estimating civilian deaths in Iraq at "30,000, give or take."

Oct. 05 2010 11:09 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Oh, they didn't just drive the car into a ditch. They gave the car a fancy paint job but didn't maintain the brakes, the transmission, or the power steering. Then they kept pointing to it & saying, "See how good it looks? It's in great shape!" But when it got to that curve on a steep downslope, it couldn't slow down, shift to a lower gear, or change direction, & *that's* why it went into the ditch.

And that's why it's taking so long to fix. The Democrats don't have to just pull the car out of the ditch, they have to fix all the things that kept the car from avoiding the ditch, & that takes a lot longer.

Oct. 05 2010 11:08 AM

Sorry make that a six-way tie:

6. President Obama, Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geitner and their policies allowing negligent and inept regulation of the financial industry;

Oct. 05 2010 10:52 AM

And the nominees are:
1. President Bush and his policies encouraging home ownership;
2. President Bush, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geitner and their policies allowing negligent and inept regulation of the financial industry;
3. President Clinton and his policies encouraging home ownership;
4. President Clinton, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geitner and their policies allowing negligent and inept regulation of the financial industry;
5. A self-serving, disingenuous, pusillanimous Congress that sought to reimburse the bad actors of the financial industry for their over-reaching greed and the resulting financial train-wreck.

Unless you are a knee jerk partisan, you have to admit it's a 5 way tie.

(see: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104130944)

Oct. 05 2010 10:43 AM
superf88

Given the choice, I prefer fundamentalist Socialism to fundamentalist Kleptocracy.

Not that it's what we have here but, comparing the worst of Bush vs. Obama it comes darn close. (Although Bush was admittedly more transparent about his position).

Oct. 05 2010 10:15 AM

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