Laura Hollis

As the federal government “shuts down,” the media are busy doing their usual stellar job of obscuring the facts and shilling for the Democrat Party. According to the typical (*yawn*) media meme, Democrats are trying to preserve civilization, and Republicans want people to die.

How often do we have to see this same tired lie play out? Have we forgotten what political leadership looks like?

Here is a page from our past that gives us a little glimpse of our future . . .

Remember the financial collapse of 2008? The housing crisis? The subprime mortgage disaster? That was all the nasty Republicans’ fault, wasn’t it? They cozied up to their buddies on Wall Street, and blocked regulation of the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, didn’t they?

Wrong.

Contrary to the popular narrative, it was Republicans who were pushing for more oversight and more regulation, including drafting proposed legislation to provide it.

As early as 2001, Republicans – not Democrats - were issuing warnings about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the loosening of standards for bundling mortgages (amongst other financial practices). In 2004, OFHEO head Armando Falcon went to Congress with a report, exposing Fannie Mae’s accounting discrepancies and precarious fiscal situation, recommending tightened oversight. On the basis of that report, Congress held hearings.

Democrats – including Maxine Waters, Charles Schumer and Barney Frank - postured throughout the hearings, insisting that this was all "political theatre," that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fine. Some even went so far as to accuse Falcon and congressional Republicans of going after Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines for racial reasons. This was absurd on its face. Falcon is Hispanic, Raines is black.

The proposed legislation died in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

Fast-forward to 2008: the economy takes a plunge, home values plummet, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is discovered (*gasp!*) have been into this up to their elbows. And suddenly, there are calls for "fiscal responsibility" all ‘round: We didn’t know!

Oh, but we did. And yet, did anyone in the media point out the very politicians who had played us all for fools just a few years earlier, to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars?

*crickets*


Laura Hollis

Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.