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Misleading claims

Posted: April 4, 2009 12:28 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
Democrats’ claims that the previous administration is responsible for our economic problems led me to do some research on the subject.

I have discovered that as early as 2004, Republicans, including the president, were venting their fears that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had become precariously over-invested in what we are today calling “toxic assets.” As the institutions’ subprime portfolios increased, executives at Fannie and Freddie were cooking the books to hide the level of exposure that these packaged loans were creating for the market.

In late 2004, Republican Richard Baker led a congressional hearing to investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s illegal bookkeeping.

Baker predicted in his testimony that a failure of Fannie or Freddie would cause the kind of financial crash we are witnessing today.

At the very same hearing, Democrat Maxine Waters claimed that “we do not have a crisis at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under the outstanding leadership of Franklin Raines.” Every Democrat at that late 2004 hearing denied there was a problem and blasted the Housing Enterprise oversight director for yelling fire in a crowded theater. It was Republican Ed Royce who called for more oversight of Fannie and Freddie, which might have mitigated the losses that came from the failure of those institutions.

Add the fact that at least two Democratic senators, including Sen. Chris Dodd, were receiving sweetheart mortgages from Countrywide Loans (one of the biggest private firms to fall as a result of the housing crash), and you have some very compelling evidence that it isn’t Republicans who are responsible for the damage that the housing crash has done to our economy.

And to think, those who are responsible were given increased power last November to help repair the damage they caused.

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