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Financial Ruin: A Republican Legacy

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The right continues to push U.S. into a deep financial abyss!

Holding Republicans responsible for the damage they've caused over the past three decades should be our first priority. And the damage is unprecedented.

The mid-term elections and the rise of the Tea Party has again changed the political landscape so it is even more imperative that the American people start paying attention to the reasons we're in this incredible mess and why we're sliding back into recession.

In the second article in the Republican Crises Series, "Financial Crisis: Made in America by Republicans," 11 different events that have caused pain and suffering for the American people are listed.

Have Republican policies ruined America?

Each of their legislative and policy decisions made over the last 30 years have adversely affected the financial health and quality of life for most Americans.

Relaxing the regulations on Savings & Loans proved to be a huge mistake in the 80's. It nearly gutted the Texas banking system and forced the closing of over 1,600 S&L's and banks nationwide. Fortunately the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stepped in and was able to unwind the banks and soften the affects of the failures.

The country definitely looked into the abyss during that crisis.

During the dot.com bubble fundamentals were ignored as everyone rushed in to grab the easy money that could be made. Tech and dot.coms were being traded at immeasurable levels in hopes of each becoming the new Apple or Microsoft. Four hundred, five hundred times earnings was not unheard of and persisted until the decline, then margin calls began coming in.

We, again, found ourselves looking into the abyss!

And what can be said about Phil Gramm? If you can't say anything nice... unadulterated silence.

Single-handedly -- with help from his colleagues in Congress -- Gramm created the two most destructive crises of the decade. We have not yet recovered from either and, are still in jeopardy of complete financial failure.

Most everyone is aware of the demise of Enron and WorldCom and the damage they did to the economy. Lay, Fastow, Skilling, Sullivan, and Ebbers were indicted and four of them are currently serving time for their crimes. Their greed killed the corporations they ran. What has been under-emphasized is the irreparable damage these collapses did to millions of people: employees, investors, and vendors. The result of Gramm's Commodity Futures Modernization Act.

But a year earlier the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Act, entitled the Financial Services Modernization Act, was not a surprise and we are still paying for its passage. It has proven to be the most destructive piece of legislation in 70 years.

Clinton was wrong to sign the Gramm Bill in November 1999. He assisted the right in destroying the economy. It passed the House by a vote of 343 to 86. On the Senate side, 90 senior statesmen were convinced the Act would allow American banks to better compete globally. Instead, it made the entire global financial system unstable.

But it's what it did to our country -- to our economy -- that we're concerned with. These 433 politicians, charged with preserving the democracy we so cherish, repealed the Glass-Steagall Act which had protected hard-working Americans from the greed and arrogance of bankers for 68 years, and left our economy teetering.

We're still paying for those decisions. And globally, they're in even worse shape.

And yet again, we are peering into the abyss!

Republicans blame Freddie and Fannie for the housing bubble and, therefore, the financial crisis. Don't believe it. They point fingers at the Democrats. Don't believe them. It's a feeble attempt to misdirect 'the people' from their complicity.

Their Modus Operandi is to conveniently forget the mortgage companies and banks pushing people into homes they could not afford. Convincing them that 'the housing market' would continue to rise, then providing them with a loan beyond their means. Sucking up bigger and bigger commissions.

Wall Street securitized this crap and sold it to unsuspecting investors; while investment banks bet against the very tranches they were pushing on those investors.

Standard & Poor's and Moody's, Wall Street's partners-in-crime, screwed investors with their bogus ratings.

That's in the past. And though Republican economic policies are still a tremendous economic burden with the right stimulus, we could still recover.

Evidence mounts that that's not what Republicans want. They're again screaming for deregulation and tax cuts; the two policies that caused and perpetuated the crisis. They're obstructing job creation, obstructing legislation that could heal our economic woes, and advocating an economic collapse.

We are on the verge of financial ruin.

This country -- this world -- cannot afford destructive right-wing policies. We won't survive another Republican term.

We are again... looking into the abyss.

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