Tags: timmerman | rescue

Republicans' Votes Against Rescue May Backfire

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2008 05:13 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Rightly or wrongly, Republicans are being blamed for the failure to pass a financial rescue package, causing a one-day loss of $1.2 trillion in the value of American equities.

If the bill does not pass this week, Republicans will be blamed not only for another scary decline in the stock market but also for the ensuing loss of jobs that will accompany what probably will be a deep recession or depression.

The reality is that, if they do not receive enough support from Republicans, the Democrats will seize the opportunity to pass a bill that includes many of the liberal spending measures they favor, such as funding of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform. The organization has pushed risky loans for low-income home buyers.

Until now, Democrats have sought Republican support for a rescue package. In return, they have avoided including measures that would unduly offend them.

If the Democrats pass their own bill, Republicans will have lost the electorate’s confidence that they will protect the economy and will wind up with legislation that is far worse, from their standpoint, than the measure they voted against.

What about all those constituents who bombarded conservative members of the House with angry calls demanding that they vote against the rescue plan? After the plunge in the stock market, those calls almost vanished. Instead, lawmakers now are being bombarded with calls from constituents demanding that they pass the rescue bill to avert a financial panic.

For years, conservatives ignored their own principles by voting for earmarks and overspending. Having lost out in the last election, they have decided to get back to their core beliefs. That is fine, but now is no time to make an ideological point when the ability of Americans to obtain a mortgage or a car, student, or business loan is being cut off.

The fact is that, although Republicans played a role, Democrats are mainly responsible for this financial mess. The Democrats passed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which required banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they obtain deposits. Pushed by President Clinton’s 1995 regulations, banks began cutting their eligibility standards and lent to marginal borrowers. These so-called subprime mortgages eventually led to economic disaster.

The Democrats largely ignored President Bush’s and John McCain’s proposals to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which further encouraged risky lending, under control. It was the Democrats who received the greatest proportion of contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac individuals and PACs.

This financial mess has favored Barack Obama in the polls. If Republicans continue to oppose the rescue package, they will hand Obama and Democrats in Congress a win in the November election.

If that happens, we will see a push to weaken national security measures, including tools the FBI and CIA need to develop clues to terrorist plots. As outlined in the Newsmax article The Secret to Why We Have Not Been Attacked.

Go here now.], McCain understands the need for these tools. Obama does not.

As important as our economy is, our survival is more important. Al-Qaida wants to wipe us out with nuclear weapons. If the FBI’s and CIA’s hands are tied behind their backs, we will lose the fight to protect ourselves and preserve our way of life.

Unnoticed in the election coverage, if the Democrats prevail, we also will see passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. For more than 60 years, U.S. workers have decided with a private vote whether to join a union. As their membership has plummeted, unions have sought to offset their losses by taking away that right.

If Democrats win more seats in Congress, they will push for allowing union organizers to pressure workers to sign a card publicly stating they want to join. If the right to a secret ballot is taken away, it not only will disenfranchise workers but also will give Democrats a huge boost in the elections: More union membership means more contributions to Democratic candidates.

Combined with being blamed for our economic losses, that will guarantee the Democrats will remain in power for the foreseeable future. However well-intentioned conservative Republicans are, that is a heavy price to pay for making an ideological point.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
e-mail. Go here now.

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