Monday, September 29, 2008

House Fails to Pass $700 Billion Bail-Out, and Republicans Blame... Nanci Pelosi?!

Classic. The Dow Jones drops 777 points -- a single day worst ever -- after the U. S. Congress fails to pass the $700 Billion economic bail-out package. And who gets blamed by the Republicans, despite the fact that 2/3 of their House members (and 40% of the Democrats) voted against the bill? Nanci Pelosi, Democrat and Speaker of the House. Republican leaders say that her harsh words (as in truth hurts, baby!) caused a dozen or more Republicans who were going to vote "yes" on the bill to change their minds. (If you believe that, I'll sell you Lake Michigan.)

But hey, what did Pelosi actually say? Here's a sample:

"[W]hen was the last time someone asked you for $700bn? It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system."

"Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos."

"Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street. The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardise the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilisation bill."

"Today we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership … We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a new direction to a better future." [from The Guardian]

There's the truth. Handle it.

[Corrected earlier incomplete number of points the market fell to the final 777 point number.]


bob brown said...

I hope this is factual, please correct any errors of fact.

The D's in the House are in the majority. They need 0 votes from the R's on this issue. If this is "Save the Financial Planet" time, the Speaker should be the iron lady over her own caucus.

Further, if this bill is "all that and a sack of chips" why not pass it on a straight partisan vote?

The D's would get all the credit for saving the financial planet and the R's would get the rightful scorn they deserve. An extra benefit, if Ms Pelosi succeeded here, she should expect that the House would show about 300 D's come next January.

I think the facts on the ground are that we out here in fly over country hate this bill and the concept behind it. All the heat has made the D's nervous and they dearly need the cover from the R's

The stupid politics here is that Ms Pelosi did not have a lock on the vote count in her favor. She then went out and insulted the very people whose help she needed to "Git r' done" exactly minutes before the nose count started.

Doesn't matter that I disagree w/ Ms. P on the legislation, this ranks right up there w/
the Dixie Chicks wizzin in their own Cheerios. If you are trying to sell something, best not tee off the potential customers.


ahswan said...

You fail to mention that Pelosi blames Bush, but fails to mention the number of times since April 2001 that Bush and other Republicans warned of trouble with Fannie and Freddie. Or, the repeated Democratic position that there is no problem. And, let's not forget the Clintonian policies that started this particular ball rolling.

Pelosi is playing partisan games for political purposes, as she typically does.

@bdul muHib said...

You posted this too early. The Dow dropped 777 points at the end of the day!

Which just begs to be numerologically analzyed. It must have been an act of God. Chickens coming home to roost, anyone?

Corey said...

I would prefer that Pelosi be gagged before being allowed in the vicinity of a microphone. While I agree (roughly) with the analysis of this government's monetary policy, her comments were divisive and unnecessary. Partisan posturing does not due the country any good.

Jon Trott said...


Right you are. I posted before the market had closed, and now I've corrected that number to reflect the final tally of 777. Yes, a real biblical-sounding number. Where are all the numerologists to interpret this number and tie it -- well, to something!

Jon Trott said...


Clintonian policies are responsible for this financial mess? Lessee... Clinton ends his presidency with our economy actually in the black. Bush takes over, and after 9/11 (NOT Bush's fault in itself as far as I'm concerned), our economy starts its downward trend. A trumped-up war, which will cost us over a trillion dollars by the time it is over ($12 Billion a month), doesn't help at all. Oh, and then there's the regulatory loopholes McCain's close friend and main economic advisor, Phil Graham, created in congress that laid the groundwork for the unmitigated greed behind the banks' insane speculation.

I'm just not sure what sources you use for information on some of this stuff.

Doubtless, we are *all* in over our heads when discussing the dismal science (economics), and the more quickly we admit it the better off everyone else around us will be.

But few folks out there -- including the majority of voters, it appears right now -- think the Democrats are primarily at fault here. It is fairly easy even for idjits like me to trace the historical threads in what happened to the banks in the past few years. The Republicans helped get rid of pesky rules, clearing the way for wild, risky, and dangerous, financial speculation. That speculation got us where we are, but the Repubs made it possible. Let's not beat up Bill Clinton for the single greatest strength his administration had.

Jon Trott said...


While it is true that around 40 percent of Dems also voted against the bill, most of them did so because of the perception that this bill would line the pockets of the rich while taking money from the poor. I actually resonate with that idea.

Nor do I blame Republicans who voted against the bill, even if some of them did so primarily because it made them feel that government was getting "socialist" or something. They had guts to go against their leaders.

What I object to is the idea that one woman's words -- wisely or unwisely spoken -- would be blamed by Republicans for having caused their own leadership (all behind Bush's bill) to fail to lead over 2/3 of their rank and file members in congress. The Dems promised exactly the number of votes they delivered. The Republicans failed to do so. The attempt to blame Pelosi for their own failure was ridiculous and highly annoying, and already today some of them have retracted those statements as silly.

One other note: I grew up in Montana, and it is "fly over" country if any place is. Doubtless, many Montanans hated the bill... but some of my relatives (not rich folks!) lost big money in the stock market as a result of this mess. I suspect they favored the bill, not because it was pretty but because it might help partially restore the nation's economic health.

bob brown said...


RE: Ms Pelosi

I agree w/ your thought that if you as an R made your decision totally on the offensive words of the Speaker - that is pridefully lame. I was just pointing out that it is stupid politics when you don't have a lock on the vote count to do what she did.

Forgive me if this is a little wonky - but one of the requisite skills of the Speaker is to KNOW the state of the vote ahead of time or even gauge it as it flows.

Remember the majority party sets the agenda, the time of the vote and the process.

She has the power to postpone the vote if the required 'ayes' are not there.

The majority has the power to stop the show either temporarily or to pull down the question.

Just from a pure politics standpoint you have R's standing around during the vote watching 4 or 5 of the majority's committee chairs voting 'Nay', they saw D's from battleground districts being allowed to vote 'Nay' and about a dozen of Mr Frank's committee members voting 'Nay'

They figured out that they were being set up. With whatever other objections they had, I'm sure some of them read the crayon scrawl on the wall.