Reporters Treat Ohio Governor’s Race Nonsense as News

What was a silly Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) campaign jab on May 30 was Cleveland Plain Dealer news by June 2, because Ohio’s legacy press is embarrassingly fixated on horse-race politics.

Last week, Republican Governor John Kasich’s reelection campaign quoted at length from a New Philadelphia Times Reporter story about a visit from Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. The campaign selected excerpts in such a way as to exclude a negative comment from the story.

ODP noticed, almost immediately posting screenshots of the Times Reporter story and the Kasich campaign announcement side by side.

ODP wrote that the Kasich campaign “gets a little sensitive about Kasich’s economic failure they just edit it out,” an accurate but unremarkable observation.

The Kasich campaign simply left out a portion of a news story that conflicted with the campaign’s narrative; the newspaper was not misquoted, and quotes were formatted in a way that made it obvious the story had not been reprinted in full.

Days later, Cleveland.com featured a news story about ODP’s shrug-worthy criticism from political reporter Henry J. Gomez. After Gomez reached out to the Kasich campaign, they reformatted what was already an innocuous blog entry in an attempt to avoid a media firestorm.

Breaking: Candidate’s Campaign Tries to Make Candidate Look Good!

Gomez shared the story on Twitter, where it was retweeted by Youngstown Vindicator reporter David Skolnick.

Toledo Blade reporter Nolan Rosenkrans tweeted a link to the story. So did Pew States Stateline reporter Jake Grovum.

The Ohio Newspaper Association, a statewide organization whose membership includes all of Ohio’s most influential print outlets, even shared commentary on the non-story.

If it seems pointless to comment on media coverage of a pointless story about campaign spin, consider how diligently the press has ignored far worse dishonesty from Gov. Kasich.

While pushing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, Kasich lied about billions of dollars in taxpayer money — as well as his own warning that the policy would “stick states with large and unsustainable costs” — and Ohio’s real reporters ignored the truth even when it was dropped in their laps.

But it’s statewide news that Gov. Kasich’s campaign declined to include a quote that made Kasich look bad when publishing excerpts from a news story in a campaign blog post.

When it comes to inconsequential political stories, reporters who can’t be troubled to even fake skepticism about out-of-control government spending turn into bloodhounds.

The post Reporters Treat Ohio Governor’s Race Nonsense as News appeared first on Media Trackers.

Maryland to Spend $43 Million to Fix Obamacare Website


 

(Photo: AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images/Newscom)

(Photo: AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images/Newscom)

 

After spending roughly $130 million to build a faulty website, Maryland officials voted last week to spend $43.5 million more to transition the state’s health insurance exchange site to new technology that is reported to fix enrollment problems.

According to the Associated Press, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board approved a $29.3 million, five-year contract with Xerox to host the new technology that has been used in Connecticut’s health exchange under the health law known as Obamacare.  Another $14.2 million, three-year contract was approved for Deloitte to handle software licensing.

Maryland Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein, said Maryland would not need to ask the federal government for additional grant money to rebuild its exchange website, according to The Baltimore Sun. Sharfstein pointed to leftover funding from building the first exchange as well as monies available through Medicaid.

Maryland—one of several state exchanges that had a botched rollout—has received $180 million from the federal government to fund its health exchange.

The post Maryland to Spend $43 Million to Fix Obamacare Website appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation.

Nancy Pelosi Bringing Class-War Roadshow to Ohio

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will address a Tuesday, June 3 Ohio Statehouse stop on her national “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” bus tour.

The event takes its name from the House Democrats’ 2013 “economic agenda for women and families,” which Pelosi discussed at length with Center for American Progress (CAP) last September.

During her CAP speech, Pelosi thanked union bosses and abortion providers for their help pushing the Democrat agenda.

When Women Succeed, America Succeeds “fits comfortably with what CAP is doing, with what our sisters in the Senate are doing, what labor unions and others around the country are doing, in keeping with what Planned Parenthood is doing in terms of health,” Rep. Pelosi said.

Pelosi assured the deep-pocketed leftist group that hiking the federal minimum wage “affects our whole country, it affects our families, and it affects our women,” and accused House Republicans of “preying on people” by trying to cut entitlement spending.

Minority Leader Pelosi, one of the wealthiest members of Congress with an estimated net worth of more than $20 million, has invested heavily in companies whose bottom lines are impacted by the laws enacted in DC.

“Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men,” union-funded leftist group ProgressOhio asserted last week in an announcement of the Ohio Statehouse rally. “This creates an income gap of $11,084 annually.”

The “77 cents for every dollar earned by men” canard is a frequently repeated but thoroughly debunked figure.

“The Department of Labor statistic underlying the ‘wage gap’ claim simply compares a full-time working man’s median wages with those of a full-time working woman, ignoring the many factors that affect earnings, including number of hours worked, industry, years of experience, and education, to name but a few,” explained Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) Executive Director Carrie Lukas in April 2012.

“When such information is taken into account, the wage gap shrinks, and in some cases even reverses,” Lukas added.

IWF summarized its “gender wage gap” research in a YouTube video released last spring.

Heritage FoundationAmerican Enterprise Institute, and other national center-right groups have also worked to refute the narrative that wage discrimination based on gender is a problem that demands federal action.

Although the 77 cent statistic is clearly misleading, the number is repeated by President Obama, congressional Democrats, and union bosses desperate to convince women that bigger government is vital to their success.

Federally-mandated “fair” pay for women is one front in the decades-long class warfare campaign leftists are waging with renewed vigor in an attempt to distract from the Obama Administration’s growing list of policy failures and scandals.

As The Huffington Post acknowledged last month, Pelosi’s bus tour is also meant to improve Democrat voter turnout for the upcoming November mid-term elections.

The post Nancy Pelosi Bringing Class-War Roadshow to Ohio appeared first on Media Trackers.

‘Nonsense’ Regulations A Problem Even in Business-Friendly Florida


Photo: Ingram Publishing/Newscom

Photo: Ingram Publishing/Newscom

MIAMI—Florida owns a reputation as a pro-business state. Its state government attempts to streamline procedures and minimize the regulations that needlessly frustrate business owners and cost them time and money.

Its Republican governor, Rick Scott, signed a bill in 2012 that reduced the amount of time to approve certain permits—such as wetlands permits—from 90 days to 60, earning kudos from business groups. His administration also has scaled back education requirements and protectionist policies that kept newcomers out of professions such as hair stylists and real estate agents.

As a result, Florida also gets high marks in the “best places” surveys and recently came in second as the best place to open a business, according to Chief Executive’s 2014 Best & Worst States for Business.

Moreover, the article on the survey said Texas continues its 10-year hold on the position as best state overall, but Florida is “edging up and even overtaking Texas in its quality of living environment.”

Its local governments are another story.

South Beach gas station owner Abraham Abramovich said local inspectors are a constant presence.

“Inspectors are very abusive with us business owners,” he said recently. “They ask for nonsense things.”

Among other requests, he was ordered to replace metal drainage grates for ones made of concrete and add handicap parking—at a do-it-yourself car wash. New fire regulations required him and other building owners to install heavy metal boxes with keys stored inside to permit access in the case of an emergency.

The heavy metal box turned into the kind of nightmare that not only consumes excessive amounts of time and money but leaves business owners wondering why they bother at all.

It was one for the bureaucratic books.

“I called the number they gave me, but no one responded,” he said. “It took me time to get to the right person, but they really gave me the runaround. I went to the first floor, the second, the third, and came back to the first floor, and again to the third. And that [was] just to find the person who sells the lock box.”

But the box he bought didn’t come with a key, which started the game of runaround all over again. Again, he could not find the right bureaucrat. Finally, “I had to contact someone there who I knew to have someone else come by to open the box,” he said.

It didn’t even end there.

Abramovich had to fill out paperwork for a license to install the box. He sent in the paperwork only to have to do so again four days later because the procedures had changed.

“I paid $65 for the lockbox,” he said. “But I spent much more than that in time finding out how, when and where to buy it.”

In Naranja, where Abremovich owns a car wash, things aren’t much better.

He has a new ice machine, but it has sat idle for five months because he can’t get the local authorities to provide a water connection. In Homestead, where Abremovich has another car wash business, local authorities slapped his wrist for putting a poster in his shop window.

“An inspector came and notified me that I wasn’t allowed to have the sign,” he said. “If you look at the surrounding area you can see the amount of dirty businesses and overgrown lots, but they (inspectors) don’t go and check that out.”

Abramovich said navigating state regulations is a breeze compared to the local rules.

“The state level is more efficient,” he said. “If you call them they will respond, while municipalities and counties don’t.”

Julio Estremera, a board member of the Southwest Chamber of Commerce, says state and local officials largely work in tandem.

“State regulations are basically the same,” he said. “They [local government] could add on an extra tax or a restriction, but all the information is available online.”

Estremera said it’s important that business owners do their due diligence before opening a business or signing a rental agreement.

“When a person is emotionally involved in a business decision, it is difficult for them to listen to advice that could help them avoid getting scammed,” he said. “They are so focused on their dream, and in their mind they won’t fail. So they usually enter into a business without a business plan. That is the right formula to fail.”

Abramovich said he doesn’t think his “dream” is the problem. He said local authorities just complicate things with too many regulations.

“I don’t have any problem with following the rules, but they need to tell me how to do it. When I call, no one responds,” he said. “This [opening a business] was never easy, but it has gotten harder over the time. If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t do it.”

Many agree there’s still work to be done in Florida and elsewhere.

NerdWallet.com rates cities according to worker abundance and quality, access to start up money, affordability, the local scene and how business-friendly they are. Only Tampa made it into the top 10 at number six.

A 2012 survey by The National Federation of Independent Business  found 45 percent of small businesses consider government regulation a “very serious” problem, a huge increase from the 2001 survey when the number was 17 percent.

Marianela Toledo is a reporter for Watchdog.org, a national network of investigative reporters covering waste, fraud and abuse in government. Watchdog.org is a project of the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.

The post ‘Nonsense’ Regulations A Problem Even in Business-Friendly Florida appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation.

Emanuel’s Chicago Among Cities to Get Federal ‘Manufacturing Communities’ Funds


 

President Barack Obama walks alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama walks alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB/Getty Images)

A dozen communities across the nation, including Chicago, where former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is mayor, will receive up to $1.3 billion in federal taxpayer funds after having been approved recently by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Designated as “manufacturing communities,” the Commerce Department stated each region is part of a federal initiative to “help communities attract and expand private investment in the manufacturing sector and increase international trade and exports.”

The announcement, part of an initiative launched by the administration in December 2013, came a day before newly released economic data for the first quarter of 2014 revealed the U.S. economy shrank for the first time since 2011.

According to a report last week, manufacturing job growth primarily concentrated in the Midwest and South after the recession.

The communities chosen as part of the Commerce Department’s plan are spread out across the nation.

The regions include: the Chicago metro region, southwest Alabama, Southern California, northwest Georgia, south Kansas, the greater Portland region in Maine, the New York Finger Lakes region, the southeastern Ohio aerospace region, the Puget Sound region in Washington, the Milwaukee, Wis., area, the Tennessee Valley and southeastern Michigan, including Detroit.

The 12 communities were chosen, out of 70 that applied, by an “interagency panel,” said the Commerce Department,.

The White House said Wednesday the administration planned to have a second competition later in the year to determine its next round of funding, as well as convene the 70 communities that applied for funding so they could share best practices.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in a statement the 12 manufacturing communities “represent a diverse group of communities with the most comprehensive economic development plans to attract business investment that will increase their competitiveness.”

Emanuel, in a statement released on his office’s website, said the “designation of Chicago as a Manufacturing Community, eligible for up to $1.3 billion in funds from 11 federal agencies, is a direct result of our work to bring the Digital Manufacturing Lab to Chicago, our investments in College to Career manufacturing training programs, and our success in attracting new manufacturers and jobs to Chicago.”

Since assuming office in 2009, the Obama administration has advocated for the use of government and taxpayer funds to fuel job creation and economic growth.

Critics say taxpayer funds have been used by the administration to benefit the business interests of its political allies and campaign donors.

Emanuel also reportedly sent lobbyists to the Illinois capital to push for a tax hike on the city’s wireless customers through an extension of the monthly fee charged for 911 dispatch services.

The mayor’s office didn’t return Watchdog.org’s request for comment.

Josh Peterson is a reporter for Watchdog.org, a national network of investigative reporters covering waste, fraud and abuse in government. Watchdog.org is a project of the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.

The post Emanuel’s Chicago Among Cities to Get Federal 'Manufacturing Communities' Funds appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation.

Ohio Common Core Repeal Rally Planned for June 4

Ohioans Against Common Core has announced details of an Ohio Statehouse rally planned for this Wednesday, June 4.

The event, to be held in the Statehouse atrium from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, will include an update on Common Core repeal legislation House Bill 237 (HB 237) from primary sponsor Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) and from House Assistant Majority Floor Leader John Adams (R-Sidney).

“Ohio’s battle to repeal Common Core is advancing,” asserted Ohioans Against Common Core in its announcement of the rally.

HB 237 would forbid the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Board of Education from adopting or implementing Common Core standards or tests, and would void any “actions taken to adopt or implement the common core state standards” as of the bill’s effective date.

HB 237 would also put new restrictions on what data about Ohio schoolchildren may be collected by the state and for what purposes said data may be shared with vendors or federal agencies.

Ohioans Against Common Core is encouraging parents to attend the June 4 event, make plans to meet with their legislators, “[b]ring examples of your child’s inane Common Core homework to share with your legislators,” and “plan a Civics field trip with AND FOR your children and grandchildren.”

Hundreds attended an Ohioans Against Common Core “Bring Your Legislator to Class Day” this April, and hundreds of Ohioans have traveled to the Statehouse for HB 237 hearings to demonstrate their opposition to Common Core.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) adopted a formal resolution in April 2013 rejecting Common Core and describing it as a program “which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.”

Because the Ohio Republican Party has no platform, activists have been working to formalize GOP opposition to Common Core at the local level. Just last week, the Greene County Republican Central Committee adopted a resolution mirroring RNC’s opposition to Common Core.

However, Republican Governor John Kasich has made it clear he has no interest in driving Common Core out of Ohio’s schools, going so far as to claim that Common Core “is written by local school districts” in a recent radio interview.

Like most states, Ohio agreed to participate in Common Core in 2010 in order to secure federal Race to the Top funding promised by the Obama Administration.

Attendees at the June 4 rally will hear from Celina mother Sarah Lewis, teacher Rose Stechschulte, Oklahoma activist Jenni White, who lead the grassroots campaign for that state to end its participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and Brad McQueen, a former member of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

PARCC is the national consortium behind development of the standardized tests based upon the Common Core standards.

In addition to Assistant Majority Floor Leader Adams, HB 237 is cosponsored by:

  • Rep. John Becker (R-Union Twp.)
  • Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville)
  • Rep. Matt Lynch (R-Bainbridge Twp.)
  • Rep. Ron Young (R-Leroy Twp.)
  • Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon)
  • Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon)
  • Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk)
  • Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson)
  • Rep. Pete Beck (R-Mason)
  • Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton)
  • Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek)
  • Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay)

The bill has languished in the House Education Committee, which is led by Rep. Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster), since its introduction last July. Rep. Thompson, Rep. Becker, and Rep. Roegner are members of the Republican-dominated committee.

Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) founder Tom Brinkman’s victory against Rep. Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Twp.) in the May 6 primary hinged on Brinkman’s opposition to Common Core, and has prompted some Republican leaders to reconsider their position on the issue.

“That sucker is a problem. I think we probably should have addressed it,” Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina) confessed immediately after the primary.

Other allies of Gov. Kasich who support Common Core campaigned this spring on “fighting for local control of our schools” in order to stave off primary challenges from Common Core opponents.

The post Ohio Common Core Repeal Rally Planned for June 4 appeared first on Media Trackers.

Not Satire: Despite Waiting Lines, Some VA Employees Got Bonuses


(Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

The Veterans Affairs Department health care scandal has deepened, with new revelations of incompetent management and misplaced spending priorities, including millions of dollars paid out in bonuses at the very hospitals where services were the worst.

Recently, now-resigned VA secretary Eric Shinseki tried to bring closure to the scandal by firing the VA undersecretary of health, Dr. Robert Petzel, and filling the position with Dr. Jeffrey Murawsky — the director of VA’s Great Lakes Health Care System in Winchester, Ill. Since 2009, Murawsky had oversight responsibility of the Edward Hines VA Hospital in Cook County, Ill.

But Freedom of Information Act requests by Illinois-based watchdog group Open the Books reveal that the VA spent millions on bonuses during the last three years at Hines.

Worse, in 2013, only about one-in-four of Hines’ 4,230 employees were those providing the actual primary care: doctors (309) or nurses (about 800), Open the Books found.

Five veterans died waiting for care at Hines.

As far back as 1999, the VA had found systemic quality-of-care problems at Hines with little done to correct them. A VA study concluded that “Hines has the most inefficient physical plant for inpatient care and the most significant compliance issues with patient privacy.”

In 2005, a VA study rated Chicago the worst regional office in the country. Now the man in charge at Hines, Murawsky, has been elevated to oversight of the entire VA system.

Democrats in Washington have started touting a recent poll showing a slight plurality (43%) of Americans believe the scandalously poor quality at VA hospitals is due to recent budget caps and inadequate financial resources devoted to the hospital system.

This was slightly higher than the 41% who believe the shoddy care is due to federal bureaucratic incompetence.

The revelations of bonuses suggest that misspending may be the biggest problem.

The VA’s own budget numbers indicate a more-than doubling of the agency’s expenditures to $57 billion from $28 billion since 2003. The patient load is up only about one-third over the decade.

So the VA has more money than ever per patient, even after adjusting for inflation.

As far as mismanagement, the problem of “performance” bonuses at the VA appears to have been systemic. An Open the Books investigation has found:

• One in five employees at the Phoenix VA received bonuses in 2013, with some receiving extra pay of $5,000 or more. The total bonus payouts were $337,885.

As many as 40 veterans may have died awaiting care at this hospital system and about 1,300 waited more than six months for care.

• In 2013, Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman received the No. 1 bonus out of 3,170 employees (at Phoenix): $9,345. The number of avoidable deaths was higher than at nearly any other hospital.

• In Chicago, $1 billion in salaries were supplemented with $4 million in bonuses over a three-year period.

• At the seven most troubled VA facilities, almost $9 million in bonuses were paid out to 13,000 employees.

Wait — bonuses?

“This would be like giving a bonus to the management and players of the last place Chicago Cubs,” complains Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books. “What the VA executives must answer is why every veteran didn’t receive world-class health care.” Many vets don’t even receive average medical care.

Republicans are lobbing partisan grenades at the Obama Democrats for the VA scandal, and there is little question that ineptitude has worsened over the last five years. But this is a bipartisan scandal.

For at least 25 years VA health care has been documented as inferior to care provided under private insurance.

That’s one reason many veterans choose private hospitals rather than VA facilities.

Now some members of Congress are wondering whether it is hopeless to upgrade the VA health system. Government-run health care with global budgets — in Canada, in Britain, in the VA, in Medicaid — “almost always reduce costs by rationing care, reducing quality, and increasing waiting lines,” says health care expert John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

This tiger never changes its stripes.

Perhaps a whole new approach to providing medical care to veterans is in order.

“Why not give veterans a health care voucher and let them shop around for the doctors, clinics and hospitals of their choice?” asks Phoenix-based physician and Cato Institute health care analyst Dr. Jeff Singer. “If quality is poor or waiting lines are too long, they can go elsewhere.”

Veterans deserve world-class health care and what is becoming tragically clear is government is incapable of providing it.

Originally appeared in Investor’s Business Daily

The post Not Satire: Despite Waiting Lines, Some VA Employees Got Bonuses appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation.

No, TARP Didn’t Prevent a Second Depression


(Photo: Newscom)

(Photo: Newscom)

In a recent debate on C-SPAN on the condition of the U.S. economy, my liberal sparring partner observed that the bank bailouts and stimulus plans saved us from a second Great Depression.

We’ve all heard that line dozens of times — Barack Obama recites it in nearly every speech he delivers. This claim is what we call a counterfactual — what might have happened if we hadn’t done what we did. The left loves to argue using counterfactuals because — like “climate change” — they are impossible to refute.

No one can say for certain what would have happened in some kind of parallel universe. But getting the story right on this episode of history is a critical issue for American economic policy.

Conservatives must not let the left write the narrative of the financial crisis and the massive and unprecedented government interventions designed to combat it — as they are trying to do.

We let the left write the history books on the Great Depression, and 70 years later it’s an Aesop Fable. Most Americans, my 12-year-old included — are taught that FDR’s New Deal rescued us from the Great Depression and moved millions of Americans out of misery.

Actually, as Amity Shlaes shows in her classic book “The Forgotten Man,” nearly every government regulatory bureau and spending program only lengthened the Depression and disrupted the normal healing powers of a free economy.

Eight years after the New Deal was launched, the unemployment rate was still in double digits, and it was not until the start of World War II — when millions of young men were put in military uniform as the nation mobilized for a global war — did the Depression end. These basic facts somehow get twisted into the enduring fiction that the New Deal worked.

Which brings us to the Great Recession in 2008 and its aftermath.

What is highly inconvenient for the left apologists for the Obama blitzkrieg of government programs and debt in 2009 and 2010 is that at the start of his presidency, he did lay out a counterfactual of what would have happened without the deluge of federal spending and debt.

Here’s the punch line. According to the White House’s own calculations, the economy would have been better off today if the government had done nothing instead of spending and borrowing $6 trillion.

The unemployment rate without the stimulus was expected to be 5% today. Instead it is 6.3% and in reality closer to 10%.

Another way to put this is that if the labor force had not declined and we had the 5% unemployment rate Obama says we would have had without the stimulus, there would be 5 million more Americans working today.

That is the counterfactual that sends Obama loyalists into a rage — because they have a hard time debating against their own number.

Here is another counterfactual to ponder: How much faster would the economy be growing today if we didn’t have the carrying cost of $6 trillion in debt to contend with?

U.S. GDP was supposed to grow at over 2% each year under the do-nothing scenario. In reality, 2% has been the anemic recovery pace.

Why does this matter? Because with even an average recovery we would have $1.3 trillion more GDP today. And under a supply-side, Reagan-style recovery, we would have $2 trillion more of GDP and collective income.

Imagine if we had used all this money to finance a 21st century tax reform or for transitioning Social Security to a fully funded personal account system that has real assets building up each year collecting compound interest, not a vault full of ever-accumulating IOUs.

All of this is important to remember as Obama’s first Treasury secretary pats himself on the back for pulling America out of the financial abyss. He says there were no other options to the bailouts and stimulus plans. Sure there were. Let the normal bankruptcy process run its course instead of stealing money from those who acted prudently to give to the bad actors.

In capitalism, you get rewarded for good decisions and punished for bad ones. Ford didn’t take auto bailout money, and it is doing very well. GM, not so much.

President Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, let the cat out of the bag in the earliest days of the administration by saying, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” This burst of honesty was an admission that the left exploited the 2008-09 financial crisis as an excuse to do all the things they had wanted to do for years.

Redistribute trillions of dollars to their voters, re-regulate the economy, build massive green energy projects, refinance the Great Society welfare state, rescue the unions with auto bailouts, print money in the trillions. And when the economy fails to perform, blame it all on George W. Bush.

The real story of the financial crisis of 2008 was a massive real estate bubble facilitated by easy money from the Fed, government policies through federal entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that underwrite risky mortgage loans with near 100% loan guarantees, a Congress and White House that, as Rep. Barney Frank once famously put it, “rolled the dice” on the housing market, and private banks, investors and home owners who got caught up in a speculation frenzy. Then we asked the conspirators like Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd to fix it.

Now we’re repeating the same inane pre-recession mistakes, with government again guaranteeing 90% of new mortgages, financed with easy money and many low down payment loans.

Here we go again. The problem is that when we let the left write the history books, we never seem to learn from our mistakes.

Originally appeared in Investor’s Business Daily

The post No, TARP Didn’t Prevent a Second Depression appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation.