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Friday, October 28, 2016

As we near the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis, we’re still cleaning up the wreckage that destroyed millions of jobs and trillions in wealth. And while the Justice Department has been able to make a case against a Real Housewife of New Jersey and some low-level employees at JPMorgan, no executives from the nation’s largest banks have been prosecuted for crimes that led to the market meltdown.

It’s true that deregulation made much of what led to the crisis legal. But even if it hadn’t, it would be impossible for a banker to commit a crime, according to Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).

“Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun,” McClintock told a constituent at a recent town hall. “It’s pretty simple.”

He then went on to list the worst generalizations conservatives have ever offered in response to the financial crisis.

“When I hear about predatory lending, for example, my first question is, well that’s just terrible,” he said. “You shouldn’t be allowed to force somebody to take out a loan they don’t want.”

The problem, of course, isn’t that loans were forced on people. The problem was that the terms were often obscured or deceptive and people were given loans with variable rates that they could only pay if the housing market grew at a ridiculous rate.

McClintock defended the repeal of Glass-Steagall, saying that government should be less involved in market regulation. He then blasted the bank bailouts, which were made necessary by deregulation and likely prevented a greater depression.

The congressman conjured memories of an era when if a bank made a bad loan, they ate the loan and “went away sadder but wiser but left the rest of us alone.”

This era was before the Great Depression, before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. And the problem is, when a bank goes under, it takes a lot of people’s money with it, which led to the Great Depression. So if the big banks — which are bigger now than before the financial crisis — go under, they take the whole world with them.

McClintock’s populist rhetoric sounds as if it’s on the side of the little guy, but it just makes more misery inevitable. If this is what the GOP learned from the last financial crisis, they’ve only learned that we didn’t suffer enough to give people without guns the freedom to do whatever they want.

Tom McClintock and a delegate of the California Youth & Government program in 2009.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • charleo1

    It’s apparent the GOP agenda is almost totally corporate driven. The exception
    involving Evangelical Christians. Which is a conundrum for them. Their small
    government credos, and their highly intrusive, Big Brother position on abortion
    has them constantly attempting to hammer a round peg, into a square hole.
    Without revealing to the larger audience, their decidedly authoritarian bent.
    The whole dichotomy of these two opposites, gives the Right, a sort of shifty
    way of verbalizing their positions. It’s not the government’s nose in a woman’s
    right to choose, and making her own reproductive decisions, they are for.
    It’s the, “family values,” they’re upholding. Or, it’s not removing consumer
    protections from harmful products, pollution or dishonest investments sold by insurance cos. and bankers they support. Heavens No! it’s those, “other,”
    regulations they’ve yet to name, that’s killing jobs, and hurting, “small,”
    businesses. Notice, it’s never big business, they continually talk about.
    When the overwhelming number of their policies are aimed directly to
    give the largest corporations in the Country yet another advantage over Mom
    & Pop. Shifty, always vague, disguising the agenda, and mudding the water.
    From my perspective, they are charged with selling to the public, one of the
    most, if not the most unattractive Party Platforms, ever. Some are pretty good
    at it. It doesn’t hurt, that a lot of them are lawyers. Trained in the arts of
    subversion, and presenting their clients in the most favorable light. Their clients being the corporate Plutocracy. So, in a very real sense, the GOP are all like
    this back bencher, McClintock. It’s not that they are stupid men. As we know
    most are college educated. Some are doctors. So, they know. Just as the
    attorney may know full well his client is as guilty as the day is long. But he lies,
    because it’s his job. The same with the Republican Party. They may not tell
    the truth, and do their job.

    • LotusJoan

      They are not really for anything they say they are. They are not for the small business owner nor the middle class. Right now American’s major exports are weapons and scams and that is the way they like it.

      • charleo1

        I think you’re exactly right. They can’t come out, and say what it is
        they are actually supporting. Or, what their goals are. Their vision
        for the Country. Any government program, whether it’s pell grants,
        Social Security, Medicare, free school lunches for poor kids. It’s
        always something the government shouldn’t do, or we can’t afford.
        However, eliminating environmental, or worker safety requirements,
        will be something they will always find reasons to question the
        necessity, or cost. It’s very much a promotional program for America/
        Corporate, writ large.

  • Dominick Vila

    The most scary part is not what people like McClintock say, but the fact that thousands of people listen to their speeches as if they were in a trance, and follow their advise without questioning its logic.
    Saying that bankers did not commit crimes because crimes only involve acts by people carrying a gun confirm the mentality that prevail among those who elect people like the Governor of Florida and other who, in most countries, would be serving time in jail.
    The Republican party is no longer the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt or Eisenhower. It has become the political arm of corporate America, the elite, and entrepreneurs like Mitt Romney whose only contributions to society is amassing a fortune and hiring a stable boy to groom their dancing horses.
    The United States, and the world at large, does not need people whose focus is on buying and selling stock, people who buy companies for the sole purpose of shutting it down, lay off the employees, claim a loss, and profit from the misery of others.
    We need inventors, people with revolutionary ideas capable of creating new technologies, new ways of doing business, and capable to creating tens of thousands of jobs the way so many did a century ago and as recently as a few decades ago.

    • Terry

      kinda like obama

    • SibyllasStuff

      My state representative smiled at me when I told him I was disturbed to see so much more in print the words government and business – hand-in-hand. Excuse me, but that is fascism, I told him. That is when he said that fascism had gotten a bad rap over the years. He said the real definition of fascism is the “binding together” of these two things. hmmmm. Fascism. Isn’t that what young Americans were shipped to Europe to fight against back about 70 years ago? But most of those guys are dead now, right and who remembers?

  • adler56

    Are all Republicans born dumb or do they have to work at it?

    • drzaius

      Its a little of both actually.

  • irishtap

    The current species of pars Republcanas (Republican) is determined to regain prominence via a new messaging campaign that pretty much translates to: psychotic – mindless blathering – disdain for women’s reproductive rights and complete hatred of any segment of the population, whom currently are blessed enough to be getting a fair shake at their workplace. Yet, the hatred of working Americans pales to the invective used toward our hungry brothers and sisters whom, currently depend upon the government to sustain nourishment programs for their struggling, financially strapped families. “Lazy” is what they call the ‘full – time Wal-Mart employee’. Whom is considered worthy of employment from this ‘freedom loving corporation’. But, at the same time: ‘just not worth paying a wage to allow them to experience the dignity of providing food – shelter and clothing for their families’ and are forced to seek help from state and federal agencies to bridge the ‘fiscal chasm’ created by corporate avarice. They practice hypocrisy as virtue, when they go home to stand on stage with the oversized check from the federal government – ‘they want credit for in bringing home the pork to constituents’, but instantaneously revert back to obstructing funds for other important infrastructure projects in other states where they are also badly needed. Similar to a pack of carnivores circling weakened prey – they attack American citizen’s right to attain reasonably affordable health care that ‘every person needs’ which ‘of course they have’. In doing so, they have unwittingly acknowledged publicly the belief and character of the GOP, transparent in their circumlocutions’ that we are only serfs and are here for the benefit of “Freedom Loving Corporations”. In truth they ascribe to a collective doctrine – unmistakable for it’s intent: “Our power over your lives trumps any misgivings you may have regarding the right to Life – Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. For those of us whom don’t recall receiving the memo – “Republicans will make it easy for us, by making voting so onerous you won’t want to ‘bother’ with it.”
    The GOP is political stage four cancer of our precious representative government and all humane advances our country has achieved thus far. But. Without question, it’s all on the line, and ONLY the will of the people to beat back this brotherhood of ‘lethal arachnids’ will save our democratic republic. Do your part – than do more.

  • Agentpapers43

    So he’s saying if we ban all guns then we ban all crime? I would be willing to trade that.

  • AlfredSonny

    Looks like only the legislators are immune to bribery crimes?

  • clarenceswinney

    Newt Gingrich said: “The GOP has been caught up in a cycle that is negative and vicious”.
    Does he recall Repeal of Glass Steagall—Modernization of Commodity markets—Open Market with Cuba and Nafta? Or, does he forget the Impeachment?
    Yet! He is intelligent on Government and noted no increase in Minimum Wage—Dream Act—Immigration–America Jobs Act—Bush Tax Cuts for Rich—Payroll Tax Cut—Social Security CPI—Voting acts—Shutdown of Government—Debt Extension, etc.
    I will take him over Boehner. He is smarter and tougher.

  • Allan Richardson

    For football fans, here is the “laissez-faire” or Randian Republican way to run the NFL:

    Whichever team wins the next Super Bowl will be allowed to hire and fire the referees and other officials, unilaterally set the rules of the game, and have veto power over all penalties, for at least the next season. They will be allowed to change rules at any time, even in the middle of a game, and to make different rules for their team (or the team they want to win a game in which they are not playing, thus governing whom they will play in the playoffs) than for the other teams, changing them for each game if they wish. They will be able to decide the point value of a touchdown, field goal, safety and extra “point” to suit themselves, and do so AFTER a score. They will, in other words, be able to ensure that THEY CANNOT LOSE, and will be the champions FOREVER.

    If you don’t like this principle in a GAME, why would you like it in LIFE?

    Oh, and that stupid remark that it cannot be a crime without a gun? Is this the same NRA right wing base that says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” Has he ever heard of espionage (of which an alleged case has been in the news lately), which can be committed without ever shooting anyone? Or arson, or rape, or robbery (with a knife), or embezzlement? And nobody “forced” people to take out loans they did not want, but the TERMS of a loan are under the lender’s control, with no negotiation (take it or leave it), except when the vendor trying to make a sale has some influence over the lender who makes the sale possible (as in CAR SALES). But when ordinary people are confused by legal language crafted to deceive them, it BECOMES necessary for the public good to regulate such behavior. The NEW version of Glass-Steagall is intended to do just that: protect people in their PERSONAL (not business or corporate) financial lives from deceit by unscrupulous bankers and brokers (ever take a look at that word “broker?”).

    And the NFL can continue to be run by a Commissioner hired by a VOTE of the team owners who has the interest of the LEAGUE as a priority (and don’t even THINK about giving team owners votes in proportion to their win-loss record).

    • TZToronto

      The problem is that they didn’t win the last Super Bowl–but they’re trying to convince everyone that they did!

      • Allan Richardson

        Good point, but the “they” I was referring to are the wealthy people who (good for them) have been more successful than the rest of us, but (not so good) want to rig the “game” of acquiring wealth so that only they and their friends have a reasonable chance of getting ahead, and almost no chance of PASSING them, even if they slack off.

        But that applies to politics too; they won two years ago by cheating, and are trying to “cheat harder” to be sure to win in the future.

  • Justin Napolitano

    I wonder how this ass would feel if his bank went under and he lost all of his money?

  • jointerjohn

    Hey all you enlightened and open-minded people out there, I have some defining news for you. For about two weeks I have been checking in and responding to WND, the worst of the worst in extreme right wing pseudo-news sites. My blogs have been polite, dispassionate, articulate and on-topic. Never an insult, never an unkind word, just cool rational thought. I just this afternoon had my access for posting comments blocked by them. This source that claims to defend democracy and free thought has now banned me from commenting. I take it as a compliment, considering how hideous WND is. If you haven’t already, go over there and take a look at the garbage they post and the mental midgets who are their bloggers. Get yourself banned for being sane and rational like me. Perhaps we can start a club? Hey Dominick Vila, you won’t last a week over there in nazi censorship land. Way too smart for them.

    • dtgraham

      I just checked out WND. Picked out a thread at random. Irish1025 told me that if only perverts (gays), Demonrats (Democrats), and RINOS (Republicans in name only) were permanently deported, all of America’s problems would be solved. I had no idea it was that easy.

  • Mikey7a

    Ok, I am stuck in rethuglican HELL, here in N.W. Florida. I receive a Newsletter from Congressman Jeff Miller R, so I can keep my eye on them. Here is his opening Statement for this weeks installment. My question is this, are they all just totally fuukin nuts, or disgusting, lying, treasonous bastards? Quote Below, try not to laugh too much ok?

    “In the News

    Last week, the Treasury Department issued statistics showing that the federal deficit is down 37.6 percent through the first ten months of this fiscal year. While we still have some way to go before we achieve a balanced budget, the Treasury’s report is evidence that Conservatives in Congress are successfully leading the fight to reduce our deficit.”

    I mean really? Really? I have to find a way to get out of here, before i do something horrible to myself!

    • Independent1

      What you’re seeing is the GOP’s standard operating procedure – “Do everything you can to take undeserved credit for anything that seems positive for the country even though you’ve been purposefully doing nothing but killing time and spending money.” (Voting 40 times or so to repeal Obamacare (doing nothing) is projected to have cost us taxpayers in excess of 50 million dollars.)