Apparently a lot of people believe that everything wrong with the economy right now is the fault of the Democrats. In particular many people believe that the economic stimulus plan was entirely the Democrats’ (and President Obama’s) idea. And that if we could just get all the Democrats out of office things would be better. And if Republicans had been in control the bailout would never have happened.
As much as I enjoy bashing politicians, unfortunately this issue needs some factual correction. I now refer you to H.R. 1424, better known as the law that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the main body of the economic stimulus plan, a.k.a. the bailout. Most importantly I’d like to draw your attention to the votes in both the House and the Senate, as well as the signature of the president who signed the bill into law.
Senate Vote On Passage: H.R. 1424 [110th]: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:
Democrats: 40 Y – 9 N
Republicans: 33 Y – 15 N
On Motion to Concur in Senate Amendments: H R 1424 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:
Democrats: 172 Y – 63 N
Republicans: 91 Y – 108 N
President Signs H.R. 1424 into law:
George H. W. Bush
Also important to note to those that believe the Democrats are to blame is that the Democrats didn’t have even a chance of overriding a presidential veto. You need 2/3 in both the House and Senate. In the House Democrats had 172 yes votes of 435 seats (less than 40%). In the Senate Democrats had 40 yes votes of 100 (exactly 40%). President Bush could have vetoed the bill and then it would have simply died.
Now, to be clear. The idea of bailing out the major financial institutions that created the housing mess didn’t sit well with me either. But I’m under no delusion that it was the Democrats’ fault.
(I promise I’ll try to be done with political posts for awhile.)