Hillary Clinton And The Senate Democrats Pound Bush-McCain Economics

Hillary Clinton and many Senate Democrats pounded away at the economic policies of Bush and McCain.

Clinton: What we have seen over the course of the last eight years is an administration that refused to recognize the threats lurking in our economy. No matter what lurked just beneath the surface or what problems were facing middle-class families. Now, we know that many C.E.O.'s are paying lower tax rates than their receptionists. We know that President Bush and those who carry his mantle seek to lower those taxes even further. Middle-class families have seen their wages decline even as the cost of living has skyrocketed. This administration has the worst job creation record in 70 years.

Millions of families were locked into ballooning and unaffordable adjustable-rate loads as this administration stood by denying there was a crisis. Regulators and regulations designed to keep pace with the markets have been steadily chipped away by Washington Republicans even as companies experimented to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in ever more complex and risky financial instruments.

More transcripts below the fold:

(from the C&L email inbox):

Senator Whitehouse goes there and fingers McCain's involvement in the S&L scandal. Points out how McCain and the Bush administration have always been on the side of the deregulation of "crooks and schemers" who have created this current economic mess:

No matter what one presidential candidate may think, the fundamentals of our economy are far from strong. Our economy is off the rails. For the past eight years, the Bush administration has preached over the financial markets a gospel of uncontrolled deregulation. Simply leave the banks and the financiers and the lenders to their own devices, they said, and all will be well. Well, all is not well.

Markets are places where people come to make money. They don't come for altruistic motives. And some are clever enough, when they come to those markets, to try to rig or gain the market in their favor, to gain monopoly power, to hide information, to cheat, to create special advantage. In short, to find a way to gull the suckers. Markets need to be defended against that age-old risk. Markets have to operate honestly, transparently and reliably. And that's where regulation comes in. That's how markets are defended against crooks and schemers. Special interests constantly seek special advantages and it's the regulators' job to push back.


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In that constant struggle of the special interests against the regulators, the Bush administration always took the side of the special interests. They have systematically undercut the regulators in their efforts to keep markets safe, and now here we are.

And Senator McCain has been against the regulators even back to the savings and loan scandals of the 80's. The schemers, the manipulators, the Enrons, the subprime mortgage packagers, the oil market speculators, the credit default slop artists, they all found a friend in the Bush Administration, they all found an ally in Bush-McCain policies of deregulation, and now here we are.

Senator McCaskill just clowns the Bush-McCain Republicans new found love for market regulation:

Now here's the thing that is killing me. It's just killing me.

All of the folks that have been screaming deregulation - get the government off our back. Evil government off our back. Big, bad government off our back. Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate. In last 24 hours there has been ... remember the transformer toy that's went from animal to a massive machine, well, we have transformers around here.

These massive deregulation advocates all of a sudden, we've got to enforce rules on Wall Street. We've got to regulate. Come on. Do you think we're dumb?

You can't transform overnight from a big, bad deregulator to I'm now the cop on the beat. I'll take care of Wall Street. It's not honest. Be principled.

Either you're a deregulator and you want to live with these consequences and you want to say to the American people, hey, when we deregulate, this is the risk. This is the risk that we are taking with your money. They are going after the status quo.

Many of my friends on the other side of the aisle, they're fighting the status quo. And guess what? They created it. This was their plan. It didn't work out. It didn't grow our economy. It didn't create jobs.

American families for the first time in our history have gone down in terms of their average income. For the first time our history America is not growing. Our prosperity is not growing.

Senator Clinton gets snarky saying how no one could have predicted this current mess while mocking the claim of "fundamentals" of our economy for being strong:

What we have seen over the course of the last eight years is an administration that refused to recognize the threats lurking in our economy. No matter what lurked just beneath the surface or what problems were facing middle-class families. Now, we know that many C.E.O.'s are paying lower tax rates than their receptionists. We know that President Bush and those who carry his mantle seek to lower those taxes even further. Middle-class families have seen their wages decline even as the cost of living has skyrocketed. This administration has the worst job creation record in 70 years. Millions of families were locked into ballooning and unaffordable adjustable-rate loads as this administration stood by denying there was a crisis. Regulators and regulations designed to keep pace with the markets have been steadily chipped away by Washington Republicans even as companies experimented to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in ever more complex and risky financial instruments.

Now, we were reassured that the risk was too diversified and investments too sophisticated to put our economy in jeopardy. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, the cracks were showing as the value of the mortgage-based securities slipped day by day by day. And the President and his supporters in Congress repeatedly changed and still chant the mantra today - that the fundamentals of our economy are strong.

I wish we had taken action long before this for the sake of all my constituents, but now we must have a concerted, focused effort. I don't believe we can wait until the next president. I am extremely hopeful and optimistic that we will have a president who will work with us to resolve our economic challenges, but I don't think we can wait.

Clinton calls for decisive action to confront the crisis saying no option should be off the table:

However, I do believe we can avoid a deepening crisis. We can take steps right now to address the root causes of what is taking place in our economy to stem the tide of foreclosures and mortgage defaults and the aggregating consequences in the credit markets on Wall Street and throughout the global economy.

But we must cast aside the haphazard, half hearted approach of this administration and bring every stakeholder to the table to seek out and implement the right solutions. We must be as vigilant on behalf of homeowners and middle-class families as we are on behalf of the Wall Street firms. We must chart a new course based on the facts at hand, not the ideology at work for eight long years. We've tried being reactive. It's time now to be decisive.

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