Congress keeps bailing out banks
In 2008, banks and other organizations were bailed out with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Tea Party-minded Americans stood against the bailout, and it became one of the sparks that launched the Tea Party Movement in 2009.
Four years later, the bailouts are still coming. President Bush bailed out General Motors and Chrysler, and President Obama continued the favor. In December of last year, Tea Party Patriots highlighted how a large bank was deemed too big to jail, and was given special treatment by federal prosecutors. This time, the special treatment consisted of not throwing probable criminals in jail.
Now, John Fund at National Review has caught another bailout of sorts from Congress. From his recent column, where Fund points out how Congress, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae have basically gotten off scot-free in the aftermath of the financial crash:
Last week, over the holidays, the House Ethics Committee quietly joined its Senate counterpart in finding that no members or staffers — or at least any it claimed jurisdiction over — broke congressional rules while obtaining “VIP” mortgages from Countrywide. This failed lender at one time provided a huge share of the questionable subprime mortgages issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage lenders that were some of the first players to fall in the 2008 financial collapse.
But far from being dismantled, Fannie and Freddie have avoided insolvency, thanks to massive taxpayer bailouts. Talk of winding them down has faded on Capitol Hill and is being discouraged by the Obama administration. The two entities, along with the Federal Housing Administration, currently back some 90 percent of new mortgages. Talk about there being no consequences for failure.
But even while it is maddeningly silent on who was involved in the Countrywide scandal, the House Ethics Committee report does uncover exactly how corrupt the program was. “Countrywide partnered with Fannie Mae in a strategic business alliance that also included joint lobbying efforts,” it concludes. “Countrywide lobbyists and CEO Angelo Mozilo used discounted loans as a tool to ingratiate itself with policymakers in an effort to benefit the company’s business interests,” Issa said in a release about the report. As Politico notes, the report discloses that at least four Capitol Hill staffers in critical positions for Countrywide, including aides on the House Financial Services and Senate Banking panels, obtained VIP loans from the firm. These loans started as early as 1998.
….The entire culture of Congress was corrupted by the housing government- industrial complex, and the Ethics Committee report only skims over the surface of that scandal.
In Washington, it is frequently claimed that the parties are at odds, always fighting for the respective principles of their party platforms. Evidence shows that too often, both parties are working together against the American people. The bipartisan support for the perfect storm that brought down the American financial system is one of many examples, as is the bipartisan aversion to taking ownership of what went wrong.