Whether it’s Toyota or Goldman Sachs/US, Congress loves to publicly feast on executives’ failures to address problems with a rapid-fire stream of questions. They love to blame banks, CEO’s, “corporate greed,” and, of course, President George Bush. With Toyota executives on the hot seat, Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel observed, “There was kind of an attempt to sweep everything under the rug, keep it under the table, not tell anybody and maybe it’ll just go away.”
With an exploding deficit, a new, expensive healthcare entitlement, a jobless recovery, and the expanding shortfalls in Medicare and Social Security, maybe it’s time we invite some of our current politicians to the People’s Court to grill them in like manner.
Yes, Republicans and many corporate executives played a role in our economic train wreck, but what about the Democrats’ role in pushing for unwise housing loans and limiting regulatory oversight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
Republicans have now allowed Congress to move forward on Wall Street reform, but they are also pushing for more reforms at Fannie and Freddie, whose failures were at the heart of our financial meltdown. Those failures continue. According to Politico, Freddie Mac has now requested an additional $10.6 billion dollars from you, the people who pay taxes. Why? They lost $8 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2010.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, in a two-page memo to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has urged the White House to fight back in defense of the Democrats’ Wall Street reform bill.
Rep. Frank was not alone in fighting the Bush administration’s efforts to introduce more regulatory oversight on Fannie and Freddie. But since Rep. Frank is so interested in fighting back, here a few targeted questions I’d love journalists to ask at our first People’s Court:
Is it not true that beginning in 2001, President Bush and his administration, on numerous occasions, warned Congress that an economic crisis was coming unless something was done to better regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?