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Economy, Jobs, Deficit & Taxes

The Financial Crisis: It Wasn't Barney Frank

The right blames the Financial Crisis of 2008 on Barney Frank, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. This view justifies their belief that financial reform is unnecessary. What really happened was that a huge market for subprime mortgages was created when the financial innovations of Collateralized Debt Obligations and Credit Default Swaps, combined with recklessly generous ratings by the ratings agencies, allowed subprimes to be marketed as AAA investments. This market burgeoned just as the Bush administration was dismantling regulatory oversight of lending institutions.

Who Funded the "Job Creators"?

Answer: Largely you and your taxes. Fighting the deficit by returning tax rates on the top 2% of households to the levels of the 1990s is fair and appropriate because the "job creators" have gained their wealth by capitalizing on tax-payer funded research and development. That's a good thing, but they should not turn around and destroy the mechanism that made their wealth possible. The inventions listed below (just in the area of computers) were all pioneered by government supported research. Where would the “job creators” be without these:

Bush Tax Cuts Drive Deficit

Most people seem to believe that the Stimulus added tremendously to our long-term debt problems by exploding the deficit. However, the Stimulus-related expansion of the deficit will be short-lived. As this graph shows, the Stimulus increased the deficit greatly for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011. After that, however, the effect on the deficit drops off dramatically. Going forward, the major contributors to the deficit are the Bush tax cuts, the lingering effects of the recession itself, and the two unfunded wars (including their aftermath).

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