I live in Ohio, so I wasn’t surprised that last night I received a call asking me to support a Presidential candidate. I was surprised that the candidate was Bernie Sanders.
I almost felt sorry for him but in the end, I did suggest that when he hung up that he should leave the volunteer center and go home and stop trying to ruin America now that he had received a lesson in economics and voting record.
What I was most amazed at was that this young man thought that Bernie Sanders would “fix Wall Street.” I wasn’t surprised that the young man liked Bernie’s call for socialized healthcare and extremely high minimum wages. We discussed these topics for several minutes, and I explained economics to him, but it didn’t surprise me that the young man liked Bernie’s ideas – after all, who doesn’t want something for nothing! However, the uninformed young man didn’t realize that when it came to Wall Street, Bernie is quite simply lying when he says that he will “fix it” simply because the fixes that Bernie already supported CAUSED the financial crisis that has hurt so many people. In fact, I am simply amazed that any low to middle-income person in the US would want to support Mr. Sanders simply because his lack of judgment has hurt so many poor people already.
The caller had no knowledge that Mr. Sanders actually voted FOR the legislation that ultimately caused the “too big to fail” banks and limited the regulation of financial derivatives (the Financial Services Modernization Act) that was passed under Bill Clinton. He was also completely uninformed that this massive bill that dramatically changed banking in the US was primarily supported by Democrats (and Mr. Sanders as an Independent) while the majority of the Republicans voted against it. That is correct, the party of those that will “fix Wall Street” are primarily the ones that “broke Wall Street”. For those that are keeping score, Republicans 58-131, Democrats 182-1, Independent (Sanders) 1-0.
The young man was also uninformed as to the second major contributor to the financial crisis of 2008. That was The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. This act forced home loans to people that were very unlikely to pay back the loan. This created the bad loans which then the banks wanted to sell to get them off their books which caused the problems because of lack of control in the Sanders’ supported Financial Services Modernization Act. Mr. Sanders also voted for The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. In fact, so did 95% of the Democrat Congressman. Unfortunately, the Republicans are not as clean on this as 75% also supported this ill-fated bill.
In true transparency, Mr. Kasich was also serving at that time, and he voted for The Housing and Community Development Act and voted against the Financial Services Modernization Act. Mr. Cruz was too young to hold federal office. Mr. Rubio was too young to hold national office. Mr. Trump was not in public office and was probably dealing with his first of several bankruptcies which occurred at about this time. Ms. Clinton did not hold public office at that point, but was the First Lady and likely supported both bills as they were both signed by her husband, President Bill Clinton.
What is the lesson to be learned here? There are two. The first is that Bernie Sanders had a helping hand in creating the situation that caused the 2008 financial crisis so saying he can now fix it is a stretch of the imagination. The second lesson is that if you are going to call me to have me support your candidate, be prepared to have to defend the candidate with solid facts and reasoning otherwise it won’t be an enjoyable phone call for you (even though I will probably enjoy it immensely).