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The organization I chair, American Family Voices, sponsors Lauren Windsor’s The Undercurrent show on The Young Turks network in part because of reports like this one on the Warner-Corker legislation that purports to “reform” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Windsor does a great job of summarizing and analyzing the issue in her report. Check out her video below:

What was particularly striking to me in this report was Mark Warner’s classic playing of the DC centrism card to promote a bill that will benefit Wall Street bankers a lot but will do serious harm to middle and working class families. It is a classic DC politician ploy: carry the water for a powerful lobby and call it centrism, while warning advocates of low and middle income people to “not let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. What Warner and Corker, in a forum (not unlike their campaign funds) sponsored by the biggest Wall Street banks want to do is rapidly wind down Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and replace them with...wait for it...the free market. The big banks would then be free to structure mortgages in whatever way made the most money for them and would be under no obligation to help working class families get homes. Meanwhile the financial backstop that, for all its faults, has allowed most middle and working class families to buy homes at all goes away. Great deal for bankers, terrible deal for working families. But what the hell: at least it it’s centrist! That is what matters to DC elites: that we can call a bill centrist and bi-partisan. If it helps the powers that be at the expense of most people, even better.

What we need instead is a politics that says we aren’t going to worry about labels or what it’s called, we are going to pass laws that actually help most people- that build a strong and prosperous middle class, that help young and poor people climb the ladder into a more financially secure future, that help spread wealth and income to more people than just the top 1%. If you ask people about policy ideas that do those things- such as increasing the minimum wage, making student loans cheaper, expanding Social Security, and creating more jobs in education, manufacturing and road construction- they are in fact centrist, at least in the sense of huge majorities of people supporting them. It is only in DC where a bill to help big banks and make it harder for middle class folks to buy homes could ever get the label of centrist.  

Warner’s line about not letting this “opportunity” pass us by because we “made the perfect the enemy of the good” is also a classic DC centrist line. The opportunity he describes is no opportunity except for the biggest banks. It is not only a long, long way from being perfect: it is a country mile away from even being good.

Fannie and Freddie became as corrupted by the financial industry’s mindless bubble-induced profit machine as anyone, and in recent years under Ed DeMarco’s sorry leadership, they contributed a great deal to extending the housing crisis rather than solving it, so yes they need to be reformed. But winding them down entirely and putting nothing but Too Big To Fail banks and the “free market” (the bigger you are, the freer it gets) in their place will only exacerbate our housing problems, not help solve them.  

Originally posted to Mike Lux on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  helps Warner in Va (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's why Warner is popular even in the red parts of Va, he is perceived as a very pro business and moderate democrat. The guy is worth a couple of hundred million you wonder why he is pro wall street

  •  And don't even get me started on how much the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, dewley notid

    Democrats spent to elect Terry McAuliffe.  Cronyism and self-serving autocrats.   If they run Hillary, I will not vote.  Ive had it.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 01:40:31 PM PST

    •  You could always vote for Ralph Nader. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, mikeVA

      That worked out so well last time.

      •  Puleez - that's stale and trite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldDragon, brasilaaron

        You forgot:  the supreme court, how do you feel about President McCain, what? you'd rather romney.

        If you don't have something thoughtful to say, please don't feel compelled to just let words fall out of your mouth.

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 02:41:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's right, I forgot. (0+ / 0-)

          The Nader apologists were completely blameless in 2000. And Chris Christie is completely blameless today. But hey - they feel good about themselves. What else counts?

        •  dkmich (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brasilaaron, dkmich

          what happened to Dkos? This community used to hold Dems as well as the GOP accountable for their actions. Indieguy immediately went on the attack. Very reactionary.

          •  Oh, good grief. (0+ / 0-)

            "Attack?" "Reactionary?" Please tell me, after your 318 comments in the two-and-a-half months you've been here, what you know about how the DKos community "used to" be? I'm trying to decide if this is just another puerile attempt at concern trolling, or if you're really that un-self aware.

            If somebody here says they will not vote for the Dem nominee because they didn't get their way, how exactly is that holding Dems accountable for anything? Being a sore loser, taking your marbles and running home, holding your breath 'til you turn blue, or whatever other juvenile metaphor you like may make you feel good about yourself but in the end, who wins?

            •  I was a lurker here from 2005-mid 2008 (0+ / 0-)

              before I moved to London. I moved back this year and joined DKos. Why not talk to dkmich and try to convince him/her to support the Dem nominee.

              Read my diary from last week, I will support the nominee, but I will not talk down to anyone who chooses not to. We do not have a fighter in the White House and that has depressed a large part of the base.

              Be a little more sensitive to that.

              •  I don't need to talk to him about it. (0+ / 0-)

                Failure to get one's way in the primaries, followed up by a refusal to vote for the actual nominee is the mark of a childish narcissist. Nothing more. If that's what he and you end up being, you will have no place here complaining about what you have sown.

                •  Did you even read my comment? Very knee jerky (0+ / 0-)
                  If that's what he and you end up being
                  I want the most progressive candidate we can get, but I will support the nominee. Pay attention.

                  Knee jerk reactionaries like you are what Schumer was talking about when he said:

                  New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case?

                  Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          •  Is this even a diary? Looks self-promotion. (0+ / 0-)

            There is little to no information here. Just hysteria and some guy in Michigan trashing a state nearly taken control by the Democratic Party. So maybe get Michigan's house in order before trashing Virginia.

          •  dkos has turned into N. Korea.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Bullies on the playground don't like being told no.   This particular group of bullies think they own the joint.  Have you watched them posse up and all come after a non-believer like Ray Pensador?    Not only do they think they are free to disagree and vote as they please, they think they're entitled to tell others what to think and how to vote.   They don't offer opinions, they demand and denegrate.  

            I was a Democrat for 50 years, but no longer.  Obama was the Wall Street straw that broke the camels back.   Observe the Occupy movment and war on the middle class being turned into another war on poverty - yeah right, like the middle class and working poor are going to buy that policy anymore than the Reagan Democrats did.    What we are experiencing is a war against the middle class, a strip mining of their jobs, wages, schools, and safety net.  Neither party intends to change the status quo.   We can have gay marriage, maybe even legal pot - but we better keep our hands off the real power and money.    Hence, the war on the middle class is turned into the losing "war on poverty".  

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by dkmich on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:37:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Because Michael Lux wants to promote his show? (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe send Michael Lux a donation too? He worked real hard to write 1000's of words of nothing. No explanation of the current state of the former GSE lending instuitions, what the bill even does, or any alternatives.

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