We are now a bailout nation - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

We are now a bailout nation

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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:00 pm | Updated: 3:35 pm, Thu Apr 26, 2012.

These days in Washington the numbers are getting so scary, politicians almost don’t need to use rhetoric anymore.

Some numbers flying around Washington recently were no exception.

Fannie Mae, following a poor fourth quarter showing, asked for another bailout. Yes, you heard me right — another bailout.

Business was not going so well the last couple months, so Fannie Mae went to the source of previous bailouts, the place where they haven’t heard “NO” in awhile: Congress.

In 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), asked for and received one of the biggest bailouts in American history — all on the backs of taxpayers.

Why? For years they unwisely took on excessive risk with taxpayer dollars for their gain.

Under a Democrat controlled House and Senate, this piece of legislation known as the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 sailed through Congress and was easily approved.

You and I were put on the hook for their terrible decisions. Hardworking American taxpayers paid for $170 billion worth of bad decisions, to be exact.

This culture of bailouts, wasteful spending, and big government in Washington has been one of the biggest contributors to our $15 trillion debt and counting.

Under this tidal wave of debt, each taxpaying American owes a share of $139,000. After you couple this bank-breaking number with the worst level of unemployment since the Great Depression, and it’s hard to believe Fannie Mae has the gumption to ask us for more of our money.

This is gutsy. Even gustier after you realize Fannie Mae has handed out millions in taxpayer-paid bonuses to top employees since the first bailout.

Please do not believe for one second that this member of the House Financial Services Committee is standing idly by while their request for more money hits our desks.

I will continue to fight with all of the resources my staff and I have to cease and desist this egregious money grab.

All of these bailouts and their costs, handed down to us, make it harder for American small businesses, families, and farms to balance their own check books.

However, we have been making some progress in taking the reins of our out-of-control spending.

Proof that what we have been doing this past year is making headway in stemming the tide of bailouts, is the “JOBS” package introduced in Congress recently.

Two of my jobs bills, that are designed to undo some of this damage and update antiquated regulations, were included in the House Republican “JOBS” package.

Even more exciting was the endorsement President Obama gave this package the afternoon we unveiled it. And in a shocking turn of events, the U.S. Senate put together a package of its own that included most of these bills.

This is encouraging progress and these bipartisan bills, though small in nature, will be necessary to unwind bureaucracy that is keeping much of our capital on the sidelines.

I am grateful that both of my included bills, most of any other member in Congress, are a key step toward getting our small businesses hiring again and providing certainty for Arizona’s entrepreneurs.

While we are making progress in our fight, it is clearly far from over. I am dedicated to seeing every last bit of red tape in our financial markets and small businesses gone. Until then, stopping Fannie Mae from getting more of our hard-earned money will be the task on hand.

•David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is a member of Congress in Arizona’s District 5, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him locally at (480) 946-2411, or in Washington D.C. at (202) 225-2190.

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