Americans Lopsidedly Blame GOP For Economic Crisis

Main Street’s verdict is in, CNN reports:

By a two-to-one ratio, Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the financial crisis that has swept across the country the past few weeks, a new national poll suggests.

That may be a contributing factor to an apparent increase for Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain in the race for the White House.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned say Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market, with 24 percent saying Democrats are more responsible.

One in five of those polled blame both parties equally, and 8 percent say neither party is to blame.

The poll also indicates that more Americans think Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, would do a better job handling an economic crisis than McCain, the Republican presidential nominee…

These numbers seem to be affecting the battle for the presidency. Fifty-one percent of registered voters are backing Obama, five points ahead of McCain, who is at 46 percent.

40 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    from The Hill (h/t KOS) we have Jim DeMint[R] with some very legit observations:

    “After reviewing the administration’s proposed bailout plan, I believe it is completely unacceptable,” DeMint, chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, said in the statement. “This plan does nothing to address the misguided government policies that created this mess and it could make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy.”

    “This plan fails to oversee or regulate the government failures that led to this crisis,” DeMint added.

    And from HuffPo we have:

    Barney Frank, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, was one of the first out of the gates, telling ABC’s Good Morning America: “I trust Hank Paulson. But I don’t trust anybody to have the amount of power he asked for in the bill he sent us.” Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, followed suit: this bill, he warned, will “turn $700 billion over virtually to one individual.”

    And while the rest of the caucus was initially vague about where it stood, their positions have became more sharply defined. A counter proposal was released through Dodd’s office, calling for government intervention in the market, and adding elements that the Bush team initially resisted: limiting corporate compensation, assisting homeowners, inserting measures to prevent foreclosures, and demanding additional oversight of Treasury’s actions. It is a pill Paulson may have to swallow.

    And it looks like the GOP plan is to vote against the plan and then use the Dem votes for it in the election.

    I have a feeling that we may actually see a reasonable plan crafter with all these forces in play. When politics works correctly – it can work very well…

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    If Obama can make McCain look clueless on the economy while he comes across as someone who will handle it competently – it’s all over.

    And McCain has a history of saying the wrong thing. Usually the press protects him but in this case it’s live, unscripted, and in front of the entire country.

    A debate can go either way but I think McCain has much more reason to worry.

    • Dabee47 says:

      The first debate is “[a] 90 minute debate exclusively to foreign policy.”

      Sure, foreign policy and national defense are related to the economy, but if Jim Lehrer does his job, it won’t play a major role in the first debate.

      The town-hall style debate on the other hand should be different.

      • bob ewegen says:

         Pols are pretty good at steering their talking points in even with the best of moderators.

        “As to your question about Tibet, Jim, the problem is that we have no leverage over China betcause they own more than $1 trillion of our debt, which the irresponsible Bush/McCain administration ran up in its eagerness to subsidize Wall Street bailouts that destroyed the Middle Class and exported jobs to Berserkistan.


  3. Jeff Bridges says:

    What the hell those other 24 percent are thinking. Or are they? I sure hope they aren’t voters! Of course, that would help explain the last eight years…

    • Go Blue says:

      Bush’s approval numbers and those running around blaming Clinton for this past week’s events. Oh, and in case you didn’t read this, in section 21(b) of the GOP operative handbook, if all else fails just blame the NY Times.  

      • bob ewegen says:

        Do you really think McCain’s choice of Palin raises questions? My fear is that it answers them.

        • parsingreality says:

          Great sound bit, “My fear is that it answers them (Selection of Palin).

        • Go Blue says:

          And they answered their rhetorical question in their editorial.

          To us, it says the opposite. Mr. McCain’s snap choice of Ms. Palin reflects his impulsive streak: a wild play that he made after conservative activists warned him that he would face an all-out revolt in the party if he chose who he really wanted – Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

          Why Mr. McCain would want to pander to right-wing activists – who helped George W. Bush kill off his candidacy in the 2000 primaries in a particularly ugly way – is baffling. Frankly, they have no place to go. Mr. McCain would have a lot more success demonstrating his independence, and his courage, if he stood up to them the way he did in 2000.

          I believe you’re correct though. This pick not only raised serious questions about McCain, but it has also answered many never thought to ask such as would John McCain really sell out to the right-wing religious extremists of his party; Yes.

    • OneEyedOwl says:

      … but Clinton signed it.  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        But the Republican asleep at the wheel approach to regulation compounded the problem.

        • OneEyedOwl says:

          It has been no secret that since the 1990s, many people were taking out mortgages they couldn’t afford. It was common knowledge among mortgage brokers and anyone else affiliated with the real-estate industry, and the politicians knew it, too. Even ordinary folks knew it — how many times did you drive past a fancy new starter mansion and wonder how the people who lived there could afford it? Well, now we know that they couldn’t. The politicians turned a blind eye to the problem for most of the past decade and let it grow to this point. The whole situation is absolutely disgusting.

          • parsingreality says:

   of those “Look how bad it is” snapshots in the paper about a couple losing their home.  It was pretty nice, all that faux column stuff, big two car garage.  

            His occupation?  Handyman.

            I don’t recall hers, but it wasn’t CEO.  

      • parsingreality says:

        ….I wouldn’t have taken any cookies if Billy didn’t take the cookie jar down!”

    • BlueCat says:

      that the same old spin machine isn’t working so well any more.  And yes, that 24% does go a long way toward explaining the last eight years which is why the Obama campaign and Dem party are putting such an emphasis on new voter registration and GOTV efforts this time.  We can’t keep letting the Rs do a better job of getting their voters to the polls.

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    In my ongoing search for a better way to handle the government bail-out. No purchase of anything. But we’ll take any company that wants to hand itself over to the federal government – like it did for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.

    And if they want to let the stockholders hold on to some stock, like they did with AIG, then depending on the situation, sure.

    Or maybe the feds will take any company, but when selling it off or taking it public again, after the feds get 150% profit, then they split any profit after that with the stockholders.

    ??? – dave

    • parsingreality says:

      …that Dan mentions often.  At least as how I understand it.

      It has my backing. I’m sure Pelosi was waiting for that.  

    • ohwilleke says:

      asking for help.  It would be making bids.

      • Danny the Red (hair) says:

        Liquidity (access to funds) is in many cases the real problem.

        The companies may be “solvent”, but because they can’t access funds they fail.

        Other firms may recognize the value, but because they are credit constrained they can’t take advantage of the distress.

        The government because of a basically unlimited balance sheet can act on the weakness.

        The government won’t make money, but if done correctly, the malefactors can be punished, the cost to the taxpayers can be minimized, and the system can be protected.

        I think a combination of the Swedish plan and the HOLC is the best strategy, but I’m still working through my thoughts.

        The biggest complication is unwinding the bad loans in the securitizations.

        One test of whether its a good plan or not–you don’t want people lining up to take advantage of the plan–you want regulators forcing them to.

        • sxp151 says:

          seems to be the real debate here.

          Paulson’s plan works if liquidity is the problem. I haven’t seen any evidence that that’s the case, except a bunch of people repeating it over and over again.

          If that’s NOT the problem, Paulson’s plan is just overpaying for worthless junk. In other words, orchestrated fraud, which would be prosecuted if America had a functioning Justice Department.

          Oh well.

    • Go Blue says:

      From Naomi Klien, Now is the Time to Resist Wall Street’s Shock Doctrine

      It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the right’s ability to use this crisis — created by deregulation and privatization — to demand more of the same. Don’t forget that Newt Gingrich’s 527 organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, is still riding the wave of success from its offshore drilling campaign, “Drill Here, Drill Now!” Just four months ago, offshore drilling was not even on the political radar and now the U.S. House of Representatives has passed supportive legislation. Gingrich is holding an event this Saturday, September 27 that will be broadcast on satellite television to shore up public support for these controversial policies.

      What Gingrich’s wish list tells us is that the dumping of private debt into the public coffers is only stage one of the current shock. The second comes when the debt crisis currently being created by this bailout becomes the excuse to privatize social security, lower corporate taxes and cut spending on the poor. A President McCain would embrace these policies willingly. A President Obama would come under huge pressure from the think tanks and the corporate media to abandon his campaign promises and embrace austerity and “free-market stimulus.”

      We have seen this many times before, in this country and around the world. But here’s the thing: these opportunistic tactics can only work if we let them. They work when we respond to crisis by regressing, wanting to believe in “strong leaders” – even if they are the same strong leaders who used the September 11 attacks to push through the Patriot Act and launch the illegal war in Iraq.

      So let’s be absolutely clear: there are no saviors who are going to look out for us in this crisis. Certainly not Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the companies that will benefit most from his proposed bailout (which is actually a stick up). The only hope of preventing another dose of shock politics is loud, organized grassroots pressure on all political parties: they have to know right now that after seven years of Bush, Americans are becoming shock resistant.

      The “bailot” propsal as pitched by Bush and Paulson is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme and the American people are being bullied into it. However it looks Dodd is going to put up a fight.  

  5. ohwilleke says:

    against Obama. Then Bush proposes a $700 billion bailout.

    I guess Bush didn’t get the memo.

  6. redstateblues says:

    what percentage blame the GOP for the Iraq war. I bet there’d still be 24% who blame the Democrats.

  7. Go Blue says:

    Because he should since his VP is one of the worst big spenders out there.

  8. trump512 says:

    Bush has been trying to get reform of Freddie and Fannie since 2003 and has been met with resistance from the dems in congress.  

    In fact, here’s a New York Times story from September 2003, clearly showing that the first substantive Fannie and Freddie reform from inside government came from the Bush administration. Spurred by worries that Fannie and Freddie were cooking their books and taking too many risks, Treasury Secretary John Snow proposed placing the companies under Treasury oversight with strict controls over risk and capital reserves. The NYT labeled the proposal “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago” and noted:

    Barney Frank said there was no problem and that the Bush admin was exagerating to keep from giving affordable housing to low income families.  Giving would be the key word as that is now what will happen.  Bush tried….Frank and Dodd said nooooooo what about our pay off.

    “I want [Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae] to help with affordable housing, to help low-income families get loans and to help clean up this subprime mess. Otherwise, why should they exist?”

    In other words give loans to people that can’t afford them and worry about it later…hello it is now later.

    How about Chris Dodd and his roll which was to take $133,900 in contributions from Freddie and Fannie.  While he gets a 6 figure paycheck we the American taxpayer are thrown under the bus.  Barack Obama took a 6 figure paycheck in his short time in the senate too.  Thanks Barack I like the new tread marks on my back and here’s my wallet.

    John McCain has taken not a single penny from fannie or freddie nor has he ever taken a single earmark.  I don’t buy things I can’t afford and I shouldn’t be forced to pay for others irresponsiblity…that is why I will vote for McCain in 2008 and I will do my part to vote the dems that took part in this crisis out of office.

    • Go Blue says:

      Drink some more koolaid chump512 and go back to the McCain campaign website to claim your new golf towel for trolling.  

      • redstateblues says:

        accepted a salary for his work in the Senate is a very good attack, considering the GOP candidate is ALSO A SENATOR! And I’m pretty sure he cashes his paycheck the same as the other 99 members.

        How dare Obama accept his paycheck! America is hurting! (but the fundamentals are strong.)

    • 1) the 2003 Bush plan was a corporate solution and it failed in a Republican-controlled Congress because Republicans opposed it alongside Democrats.

      2) By 2005, Frank had changed his tune and helped pass a bi-partisan reform measure in the House.

      3) Dodd’s involvement has been discussed here in the past – i.e. no-one has provided a single ounce of proof he was blocking anything at the time.

      4) John McCain has spent much more of his career deregulating these organizations than he has proposing reform measures that die in committee.  He voted for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which removed the walls between investment, insurance, and banking – allowing this to happen.  His campaign manager was taking money from them as recently as late 2006 when McCain was running for President.

      Still want to vote for McCain over Obama, who never did anything to block reform of the system?

      • trump512 says:

        In 2005, the Senate Banking Committee, then under Republican control, adopted a strong reform bill, introduced by Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu and Chuck Hagel, and supported by then chairman Richard Shelby. The bill prohibited the GSEs from holding portfolios, and gave their regulator prudential authority (such as setting capital requirements) roughly equivalent to a bank regulator. In light of the current financial crisis, this bill was probably the most important piece of financial regulation before Congress in 2005 and 2006. All the Republicans on the Committee supported the bill, and all the Democrats voted against it. Mr. McCain endorsed the legislation in a speech on the Senate floor. Mr. Obama, like all other Democrats, remained silent.

        All Republicans voted for it and all dems sat on the butts and 16 of those dems collected bribes….darn I hate those pesky little facts!

        Sen. McCain’s criticisms are at least credible, since he has been pointing to systemic risks in the mortgage market and trying to do something about them for years. In contrast, Sen. Obama’s conversion as a financial reformer marks a reversal from his actions in previous years, when he did nothing to disturb the status quo. The first head of Mr. Obama’s vice-presidential search committee, Jim Johnson, a former chairman of Fannie Mae, was the one who announced Fannie’s original affordable-housing program in 1991 — just as Congress was taking up the first GSE regulatory legislation.

        McCain has always tried to do something and Obama has sat on his butt taking bribes…and he has the very people responsible for this mess working on his campaign.

        Anita Huslin, who wrote a profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared on July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had “taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters.”

        redstateblues a $105,000 contribution from freddie and fannie is not a paycheck it is a bribe.

        I will vote for McCain as I own my business and do not want to have Obama raise my taxes to 58%.  Should he become president There will be a mass exodus of SBO…by raising SS tax, medicare tax and corp. taxes he will either send us overseas…have us layoff middle-class Americans…or go out of business.  You can not tax your way out of debt that is econ 101!

        • The Democrats were probably supporting the bi-partisan House bill, which had provisions for affordable housing.

          Regardless, if either bill gained a majority vote, it should have left the committee and been sent to the full Senate chamber.  No reform bill ever arrived on the Republican-controlled Senate floor.

        • If you make more than $250,000, your taxes will go up; if you make less, your taxes will go down, and more dramatically than under McCain’s plan.

          If you make more than ~$200,000, you will have an extra 2-4% taxed for Social Security.  (I’m guessing this also includes removing the $90,000 cap, but I’m not sure).

          Obama’s plan has no mention of Medicare tax increases.

          Corporate (and personal) taxes will be simplified under Obama’s plan, and overseas corporate loopholes will be closed.  No rate changes beyond the return of the 36% and 39.6% extreme upper-income tax brackets.

          Capital gains taxes will go to 20% max., which is still much lower than the 35% it was prior to Bush 41.

          None of these are back-breakers, and we need to reduce spending and/or generate a lot of revenue to get out of the massive hole the GOP has us in.

          PS – you can in fact tax yourself out of debt, but it helps to have a robust economy backing you up and having some discipline to go along with it.  Obama promises to implement PayGo for his budgets to keep spending under control, and will use other budget savings to promote job growth.

        • ClubTwitty says:

          and Gov. Palin is quite the earmark queen.

          As mayor, she did really well for a town of a few thousands.  Sen. Stevens–currently under indictment and on trail for taking bribes, is both a Republican and the earmark king.

          Rick Davis, McCain campaign manager, remained on the F/F payroll, or as an officer of his consulting company taking 15k a month for nothing more than his cozy relationship with ‘Maverick’ McCain, until last month.  As you say, a bribe.

          I also own a small business, which is one of the many reasons I support Obama.

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