Do the Facts about the Subprime Mess Matter?

Are you being fooled?
No matter your political leanings you should want to know the facts that have brought us to this economic mess. ML

October 4, 2008 12:00 AM

Do Facts Matter?

By Thomas Sowell

Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

Unfortunately, the future of this country, as well as the fate of the Western world, depends on how many people can be fooled on Election Day, just a few weeks from now.

Right now, the polls indicate that a whole lot of the people are being fooled a whole lot of the time.

The current financial bailout crisis has propelled Barack Obama back into a substantial lead over John McCain — which is astonishing in view of which man and which party has had the most to do with bringing on this crisis.

It raises the question: Do facts matter? Or is Obama’s rhetoric and the media’s spin enough to make facts irrelevant?

Fact Number One: It was liberal Democrats, led by Sen. Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years — including the present year — denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big risks that could lead to a financial crisis.

It was Sen. Dodd, Congressman Frank, and other liberal Democrats who for years refused requests from the Bush administration to set up an agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today’s financial crisis.

Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the president. So did Bush’s secretary of the Treasury, five years ago.

Yet, today, what are we hearing? That it was the Bush administration “right-wing ideology” of “de-regulation” that set the stage for the financial crisis. Do facts matter?

We also hear that it is the free market that is to blame. But the facts show that it was the government that pressured financial institutions in general to lend to subprime borrowers, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and, later, threats of legal action by then Attorney General Janet Reno if the feds did not like the statistics on who was getting loans and who wasn’t.

Is that the free market? Or do facts not matter?

Then there is the question of being against the “greed” of CEOs and for “the people.” Franklin Raines made $90 million while he was head of Fannie Mae and mismanaging that institution into crisis.

Who in Congress defended Franklin Raines? Liberal Democrats, including Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus, at least one of whom referred to the “lynching” of Raines, as if it was racist to hold him to the same standard as white CEOs.

Even after he was deposed as head of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines was consulted this year by the Obama campaign for his advice on housing!

The Washington Post criticized the McCain campaign for calling Raines an adviser to Obama, even though that fact was reported in the *Washington Post *itself on July 16th. The technicality and the spin here is that Raines is not officially listed as an adviser. But someone who advises is an adviser, whether or not his name appears on a letterhead.

The tie between Barack Obama and Franklin Raines is not all one-way. Obama has been the second-largest recipient of Fannie Mae’s financial contributions, right after Sen. Christopher Dodd.

But ties between Obama and Raines? Not if you read the mainstream media.

Facts don’t matter much politically if they are not reported.

The media alone are not alone in keeping the facts from the public. Republicans, for reasons unknown, don’t seem to know what it is to counterattack. They deserve to lose.

But the country does not deserve to be put in the hands of a glib and cocky know-it-all, who has accomplished absolutely nothing beyond the advancement of his own career with rhetoric, and who has for years allied himself with a succession of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America.

Words worth repeating …

No…here is what matters.

What matters is that the Missouri Tigers, this weekend, went to Nebraska to play a Cornhusker team that they have not beaten in Nebraska in 30 years.

Not only did they win the game and move to Number 2 in the AP national poll, but they gave the Cornhuskers their worst defeat at home in the history of the college.

This, my friends, is what really matters. Who is chosen to lead the country is secondary.

Life raft, who needs a life raft says the drowning man.:roll:

Sports has become the opiate of the people.:frowning:

Rome and the Coliseum comes to mind.:shock:

For a man who is so confident in the victory of Johnny and VPILF, you are beginning to sound very desperate, Mike.:wink:

Since my vote is already in, I am free to concentrate on what is REALLY important.

There will be a November 5th. Relax.

Let’s not forget that those Missouri Tigers rough up the Fighting Illini annually. :smiley: Unfortunately, our Wisconsin Badgers likely will choke in the 4th quarter against the Illini this year, again. :roll:

Where did you get the idea I was confident about a McCain/Palin victory?

James your powers of observation have been slipping lately.:roll:

I know the feeling.

The St. Louis Rams (aka “The Lambs”) had a “bye week” this week, and the “Bye week” was favored by 12 points.

That dreadful offensive line alone probably makes them 12 point underdogs. But hey, at least they canned that knucklehead Linehan. :wink:

"Republicans, for reasons unknown, don’t seem to know what it is to counterattack. They deserve to lose."

The other words worth repeating.

If people paid half the attention to how our leaders are screwing them that they do to all things sports we might have some thoughtful leadership.

How sad. Politics affects our lives everyday but sports is nothing more than escapist entertainment.

It would be nice but it will never happen. Voters don’t seem to mind voting for special interest whores because they are swayed by either the rhetoric or the paranoid about the other guy being elected.

No… What really matters is if YOU were smart enough to see what the housing crisis was going to do to the economy and protected your assets as best as you could in preparation for the financial devastation which is taking place… Whats in your 401K? #-o

Not as much as there used to be but I’m fine.
Fortunes are made in bear markets. Pay attention everyone.

This would be extremly funny were it not true.

Love it Joey.

You fail to address a single FACT in the Sowell article as if they didn’t exist.

I will give it all the due consideration it deserves.:roll::roll:

Just when you thought it just might be over… You have to come to grips with the reality that it has only just begun.


FHA Takes on Subprime, Alt-A Loans Shunned by Private Lenders](
By Bob Ivry

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) – The Federal Housing Administration has grown so large that by the end of the year it will guarantee mortgages for three in 10 U.S. borrowers, many of whom have bad credit or loans that required no verification of income.

Congress wants FHA to do more. The Hope for Homeowners program, unveiled Oct. 1, authorizes the agency, part of the cabinet-level Department of Housing and Urban Development, to guarantee up to $300 billion of 30-year, fixed rate home loans for struggling borrowers over the next three years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 400,000 households will get FHA- insured loans and about one-third of those will fall behind again on their new loans.

They will never learn Joe. :frowning:

Gee, I actually pay my mortgage and have only about 200K left that I owe.

Maybe I should re-finance into this fund :mrgreen:

Then I would never have to pay it back.

How 'bout it, guys. Wanna pay my mortgage through your taxes?

10-06-2008 DOOM: Jim Kramer ignites BLACK MONDAY!

“Whatever money you need for the next five years if you are in the market sell & get it out of the market now!”