Pete Stark voted against the bailout

Strange day. I went out to lunch and the Dow fell 777 points. I’m not going to look at my Vanguard account for at least a month.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, was one of 95 Democrats to vote against the $700 million bailout package that was defeated today in the House of Representatives. My congresswoman, Barbara Lee, also voted against it.
To see how other congressmen voted, click here.

Here was Stark’s floor statement on the bailout, according to his website:

“The bill before us today is basically the same three-page Wall Street give away first put forth by President Bush. The fig leaf adjustments are not enough to outweigh the fact that no one knows if this bill is what’s needed. I’m not willing to make a $700 billion gamble that President Bush is right after 8 years of seeing all that he’s done wrong.”

Matt Artz


  1. From the pdf:

    “BILL TITLE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and
    tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers,
    and for other purposes.”

    Yeah, for other purposes. They can’t even get the title right.

  2. Hey Matt, what Vanguard account?

    I guess Pete read the e-mail I sent him at 6:45 this morning.

    I’d like to hear what our conservative Republican bloggers (Walt in Livermore you out there?) think about this liberal, left-wing, Democrat voting to save the Republic from socialism.

  3. Doug, An argument can be made that a leftist such as Pete Stark has not only a political advantage for the bill failing, but also an ideological motive to see our capitalist economy fail.

    I’m giving nobody from either party credit or foul. I am all but certain though, that the particulars and outcome of this bailout is well beyond the braintrust in congress.

  4. Marty,
    Most Republicans voted against the bill. Those leftists must have an ideological motive to see our capitalist economy fail, seeing as they deregulated the chicken coop and let the financial foxes run free.
    We need heavyhanded regulation of our financial system to restore confidence. If we’re lucky, the Democrats will take the Republican refusal as a chance to add more regulation, which will actually make a difference. Then a bailout will actually work.

  5. Well, well, well… I’m very happy to see that Congressman Stark voted against the bail-out! I guess all of the calls into his office worked! Although my representative, Tauscher (CD-10) failed to listen to the people of her Congressional District and voted “Yes” on the bail-out! From what I hear, 50% of the people that called their representatives’ said, “No” and the other 50% said, “Hell-No!” McNerney may have also committed political-suicide, by voting “Yes” on the bail-out! When I called his office and expressed my concern about the bail-out, his secretary mentioned the hign number of calls flooding into his office in opposition to the bail-out. She said, “Conressman McNerney will not vote for a blank check bail-out.” Can someone tell me what the difference is between a blank check and a 700 billion dollar check?

    The federal government and the Federal Reserve are responsible for this mess with their excessive regulations, easy credit, and other money and market manipulation schemes. Yesterday’s rejection was a rejection of further worsening the problem with the same intervention that got us to this point.

    The market will have to adjust, and the nation will have to deal with the effects of what the government has brought upon us, but the answer is not to weaken the dollar, continue to sell our debt and national security to China and Saudi Arabia, and socialize what remains of the American free market.

    If credit is tight, I don’t feel that’s a bad thing. We the people and our government (local, state and federal) need to start living within our means.

    We need to stop printing money out of thin air… We need to bring our troops home… We need to address big government spending… We need to say, “Hell No” to Paulson, Bernanke, Bush, McCain, Obama, Pelosi, Frank, Tausher, McNerney and to the bail-out(s)!

    For those of you that called in, or wrote your Congressmen and voiced your opposition to the bail-out… You should all be very proud of yourselves! It worked! Great job!

    Check-out this video:

  6. I’ll admit I learned something new out of this debacle.

    The Federal Reserve is not funded by Congress and is not government owned.

    It is privately held and the names of the private owners of the Federal Reserve is a highly safeguarded secret.

    The Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913, established 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. The Reserve Banks issues shares to “member banks” that are non-government corporations or private owners. The shares issued can’t be sold or traded, dividends are set by law at 6 percent a year. This unique provision eliminating the liquidity of Fed stock created a private banking cartel/monopoly with ongoing secrecy because the Securities and Exchange Commission only requires publicly traded corporations to disclose their major shareholders.

    The President of the United States selects the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, which gives the appearance the Fed is owned by U.S. taxpayers.

    If you care to read more:

  7. Jon Simon, You are so off-track just about everytime you post!

    Jon says, “We need heavyhanded regulation of our financial system to restore confidence.”


    Jon says, “If we’re lucky, the Democrats will take the Republican refusal as a chance to add more regulation, which will actually make a difference. Then a bailout will actually work.”

    Regulation and Bail-Outs have a negitive affect on our free-market system!

    Let me ask you this…

    $29 billion for Bear Stearns;
    $200 billion for Fannie & Freddie;
    $85 billion for AIG;
    The proposed $700 billion bail-out;
    The $168 billion Stimulas Package;
    The newly proposed $50 billion Stimulas Package…

    Where is all this money comming from? When does it end?

  8. Doug, I give you credit for understanding Delong’s proposal. I have no idea what he is talking about.

    I would like to hope that Stark and his fellow opposing Democrats are acting in good faith, and perhaps holding out for some protections for the middle class -those of us who have any business having a mortgage. And I hope the Republicans are making their case for a restrained response in the interest of the tax payer. My money is on neither.

  9. Walter,
    Our free market got us into this mess, remember? The money comes from all of us. You know that. The question you should ask is, “Why has it come to this?” and the answer is lack of regulation. Free markets are unstable. Regulation is necessary to keep them under control. Over regulation slows growth, and I certainly don’t want that, but under regulation causes cancerous, deadly growth, which leads to bailouts and destroys all growth made and more.

  10. What if we took the $700 Billion and divided it up between all U.S. taxpayers? Every household in the country could pay off their mortgage, which would infuse the banks with enough money to become solvent and then loan the money to business.
    I like trickle up rather than trickle down.

  11. Jon “Heavyhanded Regulation” Simon, I’m sitting here asking myself, “What the hell is this guy (you) talking about?” I know that you would like to have us all believe that socialism is the answer, but you’re wrong!

    You say,” The money comes from us.” (refering to the $700 billion) Well, once again you’re wrong! While the tax-payers will foot the bill down the road and ultimatly be the ones who suffer, the money is printed out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, which in-turn devalues each dollar that you and I have in our pockets.

    You say, “Regulation is necessary to keep them under control.”

    Here’s an idea… Why don’t we have total regulation on everyone and everything (like in your socialist model) and then we could have total control of every aspect of life! Pure utopia right?

    Keep digging a hole for yourself, with your questionable positions, and maybe Congress will come and bail you out!

  12. Walter, you’re being somewhat rigid here. It is obvious (at least to this conservative) that regulation is needed. I’ve heard estimates of nearly 65 billion in mortgage loans were given to borrowers who shouldn’t have been given a car loan. Every level that contributed to these conditions should be monitored and prevented from ever even coming close to effecting our economy. A very short leash is in order.

  13. Marty, From someone who enjoys most of your posts… I respectfully disagree with you on your regulation of the free-market position. Bail-outs just make it easy for those same lenders to keep handing-out risky loans to those with no business getting loans, regardless if it is a mortgage, car loan, or even a credit card.

    The lenders should be kept on a short leash from within. They should be responsible for their own business dealings. If they give a high risk loan to someone that doesn’t or can’t pay it back, they should suffer the consequences, not the tax-payers. If they do it often enough and their businesses’ go under because of their greed and their, “get it while the gettin is good” mentality… so be it! How’s that for regulation?

    The federal government can’t seem to get anything right. What makes you think that government control or government regulation would make anything better? That goes for the Department of Education, Universal (government ran) Health Care, Bail-Out Packages, and Regulation of the Free-Market.

  14. Great job Congressman Stark! It was good to see all the phone calls from concerned citizens paid off!

    To Jon and Marty:

    The bailout is nothing but corporate welfare. How could you even consider supporting a bill that would rob the American taxpayer and subsidize the ultra-wealthy corporations?

    In a true free market, this sort of thing would NEVER happen. Realistically, we live in an economy practicing corporatism rather than capitalism. All economic control is in the hands of the bankers on the Federal Reserve. The banks knew all along they couldn’t “fund” these mortgages but they knew their insiders at the Fed would bail them out. In true free markets, there are natural economic downturns that must happen. Depressions are caused when governments attempt to manipulate or “bail out” the market. As a result of regulation and keynesian economics, we get artificial growth in the economy that crashes down even harder when the charade is over.

    If Congress passes a bailout, it will be the U.S Dollar and the American middle class that takes the hit. Let’s let wall street take a short term slump instead of creating more debt and a bigger headache in the future.

  15. Here’s the latest Bush Administration deregulation…

    “WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has abruptly halted a government program that tests the levels of pesticides in fruits, vegetables and field crops, arguing that the $8 million-a-year program is too expensive.”

    President Bush has put forth a $700 BILLION bailout for the financial crisis and is spending $10 BILLION A MONTH in Iraq, and $8 million a year to test for pesticides is too expensive.

    I sure hope there’s something left to salvage of this country come January 21.

  16. Doug-

    …”the [pesticide] program was launched in 1990 to answer congressional concerns over the use of the chemical daminozide, or Alar, on apples…The Agriculture Department had been scaling back the program over the last several years…a senior adviser in the agency’s pesticides office, said it’s now buying expensive, privately collected data and relying on older information.”

  17. Marty, a key part of the Bush Administration’s plan has been the privatization of government. Reduce staffing levels, then contract out to big “bidness”. There’s a reason George W. Bush has been referred to as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate America.

  18. Doug, I’m not sure which Bush administration you are referring to, but the current one has expanded the size and cost of government at a rate unseen since the 70s. And, this is non-defense spending we’re talking about here.

    I’m not sure why the partisan tact here, but I suppose there’s a core difference in beliefs, and that’s all right with me. But, I can get real partisan here as well, and invoke Dodd, Frank and Obama’s role respectively, in writing policy, restructuring lending standards, and suing lenders into giving loans to people who had no business stepping foot inside a title company.

    It’s a shaky road blaming this on your perceived view of who supports deregulation. It’s the government’s role in the mortgage industry that lit the fuse by socially engineering the face of home ownership. Oversite should have stomped that fuse out in 2004. But, Bush loved rolling out those home ownership numbers as a testament to his economic successes. The Dems saw minority home ownership spike. Local governments saw double digit year over year increases in property tax revenue. Who wanted to be the buzzkill?

    700 Billion is insane. It’s estimated that at-risk mortgages total 65 Billion. Derivatives and investments leveraged on these mortgages should be a loss NOT covered by the taxpayer.

    And, some people should lose their homes.

  19. Try to get through to your Senators right now! Their phone lines are either busy, or their message machines’ are full.

    I doubt that is because everyone is calling to voice their support for the Bail-Out!

    (202) 224-3553 -Barabra Boxer

    (202) 224-3841 -Dianne Feinstein

    Keep trying to get through people!!!

  20. Walter,
    What do you do for a living and who are your customers? Is it recession proof? How about depression proof? Methinks you don’t have a complete understanding of how markets work. Done right, a bailout will help. Done wrong, it will be money wasted. Doing nothing is, however, not an option.

  21. Marty, I guess we might agree the bailout is a damned if we do, damned if we don’t scenario.

    Businesses are screaming that without credit they will grind to a halt. I’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    I was talking about No.43. It could be said this administration is not going out a high note and leaving a tattered nation in its wake.

  22. Marty, I watched the YouTube link. I agree those selected for inclusion in the edited video were incorrect with their beliefs. As with any floor debate I am sure there were Democratic representatives that were calling for regulation as well, but when someone is attempting to convey their message it’s all about editing.
    What I found to be somewhat suspect was the choice of featuring mainly African American representatives. Was there a subliminal message intended?

  23. Doug, do a YouTube search for “financial crisis” or “bailout”. You’ll find dozens of videos arguing the same thesis.

    And yes, in many of the videss members of the Black Caucus usually railed against the warnings that Fannie/Freddie were in trouble. Some even charged racism at reeling in subprime mortgages. No subliminal message there -the Black Caucus’ motives were purely racial.

  24. Well I would have to say the Black Caucus did not do their constituents any favors in that support did they?

    My concern with YouTube, and the Internet in general, is we can produce material for instant and wide dissemination, to support any ideological viewpoint we wish, be it left-wing, right-wing, liberal, conservative, that is very compelling and believable. We witness it every night in the sound bites provided on network news.

    There are many, many facets to this controversial and troubling period in our nation’s history, in the halls of Congress, our financial institutions, and Wall Street. The blame can be spread to all.

  25. I realize there’s a lack of context, Doug. I’m just addressing your statement about the crisis being the child a Bush/Republican push for deregulation.

  26. Jon Simon says, “Walter,
    What do you do for a living and who are your customers?”

    Settle down there Jon! Next thing you know, you’ll be asking me for my papers, in typical socialist fashion. I think you need to take off your brown-shirt and strap on your thinking cap!

    I would never claim to know everything about how the market works. In fact, most of the time, I have more questions than answers when it comes to this subject. I do have some common-sense though.

    Jon Simon then says, “Done right, a bailout will help. Done wrong, it will be money wasted. Doing nothing is, however, not an option.”

    Click on this link…

    Remember the Chysler bail-out? What did that do? Pay attention to the part that reads… Such assistance, Treasury Secretary G. William Miller said, “is neither desirable nor appropriate, being contrary to the principle of free enterprise.” But Chrysler was an unusual exception, he added, in which the Administration “recognizes that there is a public interest in sustaining [its] jobs and maintaining a strong and competitive national automotive industry.”

    How’s Chrysler doing now! If you haven’t heard, their sales are down 33% and they’re looking for another bail-out from the tax-payers. Did their first bail-out work? Did they turn things around? Did it help maintain a strong and competitive national automotive industry? I think not!

  27. I think the bailout was the presidents present to Congress as an opportunity to recover some self respect. He gave them an opportunity to standup and say “NO”. Again they failed.

    Lack of serious education of the consumer hurts the economy.
    Bush was correct, There is no problem with the system from the governments point of view. Markets go up and down not controlled by governement intervention, (capitalism)
    You can not make integrity enforceable by law.
    They all said it was abad bill but passed it anyways.

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