Monday, September 29, 2008 – In a stunning development, the House of Representatives voted down the $700 billion financial bailout plan by a 228-205 margin after working days to hash out an agreement. The defeat shocked the world, following pledges by leaders of both parties to work together to avert economic disaster. Markets in the U.S. and abroad reacted with alarm. The Dow plunged 778 points, its largest one-day point drop ever. Additionally, a federal grand jury launched an investigation into accounting and disclosure issues at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that were taken over by the government earlier that month.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 – The Senate passed a modified version of the bill that the House of Representatives rejected on Monday. The modifications include temporarily raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000 from $100,000, extending renewable energy tax breaks and another year of relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
The revised measure was passed by a vote of 74 to 25 after more than three hours of floor debate in the Senate. Presidential nominees Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John McCain, R-Ariz., voted in favor. roll call.
Friday, October 3, 2008 – Just hours after the Labor Department reported the biggest drop in jobs in more than five years, the House finally passed a far-reaching plan to bail out the nation’s financial system.
The 263-to-171 vote was the result of strong lobbying on the part of the White House and other supporters of the bill all week. The Dow closed down 818 points for the week, it’s worst week in seven years. roll call.
Three years later, let’s examine the political fallout for the Senators and Representatives that voted yes on a bill to bail out the “too big to fail” outfits like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs et al. This bailout did not mean much a month afterward in November, 2008, but many people have gradually built up resentment toward politicians caving in to enormous pressure to bail out the rich punks. It is also important to remember why so many more Dems than GOP in the House and Senate were for this bailout. When Dems are out of power they earn their money running institutions like Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Goldman Sachs. It’s more of a too big to let their pals fail, regardless of the financial incompetency involved. If these financial institutions had been run by conservative GOP executives the foolish incompetence wouldn’t have happened, and if they were in trouble, then the Democrats would certainly not have pressed so long and hard to get a bailout.
The regular folks don’t always get what really is going on, but eventually they do. Here is what I’ve noticed after three years: 31 of the 74 Senators who voted YES are gone or retiring in 2012. Of the 43 remaining only 15 of them were reelected in 2010. 9 of the 31 have already been replaced by Tea Party supported candidates. 28 of the 43 are up for reelection in 2012 and 2014.
In the House, about 100 of the 263 Reps who voted YES are gone or retiring in 2012. The other 163 who have managed to get reelected include 117 Dems and 46 GOP.
Now, from that last week in September 2008 to the present day we’ve heard all kinds of spin for why the votes to pass the bailout bill were necessary, and further argument about the rightness or wrongness of the bailouts isn’t necessary for this analysis. I am just reporting the results of elections, and how the statistics reveal that the Senators and Reps who voted NO are more likely to be reelected. Those bailout votes woke a lot of people up to the falsehood of Democrats caring more for the poor and middle class. Those votes are evidence to the public that actions speak louder and more clearly than politicians’ words.