We’ve noted many times that John McCain was one of the prescient legislators who saw the dangers posed by the runaway Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae and tried to do something about the problem. Until now, though, I’d never seen this letter of May 5, 2006, signed by McCain and 19 other Senators, that couldn’t have been clearer about the dangers posed by the Democrats’ reckless treatment of Fannie and Freddy, and the need to take action to protect the taxpayers and the economy. It’s hard to see how any warning could be more spot-on. Click to enlarge:
Among the more prescient observations:
We are concerned that if effective regulatory reform legislation for the housing-finance government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. …
Today, almost half of the home mortgages in the U.S. are guaranteed by these GSEs. They are mammoth financial institutions with almost $1.5 Trillion of debt outstanding between them. With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would pay this debt if Fannie or Freddy could not? …
It is vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that these institutions benefit from strong and independent regulatory supervision, operate in a safe and sound manner, and are primarily focused on their statutory mission. More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event either GSE should fail.
Via Human Events. One thing I hadn’t realized is that McCain’s reform legislation was passed through the Senate Banking Committee, but was not able to gain majority support on the Senate floor. All twenty Senators who signed the letter calling attention to the urgency of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were Republicans. After May 2006, the Democrats continued to use Fannie and Freddy as their private slush funds until the inevitable collapse, which McCain had warned against so eloquently, occurred.
For some inexplicable reason, John McCain seems unable to claim the credit he deserves for being one of the few politicians in Washington who saw the present crisis coming and tried to do something about it. He is even more unable to vigorously and unambiguously put the blame where it belongs: on the Democratic Party. Which is one of the principal reasons why, as everyone expects, he will lose in November.
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