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Roskam bailout vote ignores history
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 10/31/2008 12:03 AM

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Cong. Peter Roskam's Web site statement, "Why I Voted Against The Bush-Paulson Bailout" is a clever bit of sophistry.

Roskam fairly summarizes the complex chain of events, explosion of risky mortgages which were bundled and resold in ways to insulate the lender from their eventual collapse, that has now paralyzed the entire worldwide credit mechanism. What he fails to acknowledge is his support and participation in his party's political philosophy of unbridled deregulation of the financial industry which is the primary cause of the complex chain of events he so accurately describes.

To say "our regulatory infrastructure could not contemplate and hold in check robust financial innovation" is preposterous. First of all, it is not "robust" financial innovation, it is "criminal" financial innovation - a pyramid scheme pure and simple. Beginning with the Reagan administration in 1980, many politicians and their financial base began a relentless drive to dismantle effective regulation of the financial industry precisely to prosper financially and politically to the detriment of the common good.

But the most outrageous statement is when he describes this inadequate regulatory structure as being "New Deal". As a former history teacher, Roskam must know that the New Deal regulatory structure enacted under FDR in the 1930s saved America from its first great financial pyramid scheme, buying not houses, but stock with "no money down."

In fairness to Roskam, a lot of Democrats signed on to this second great swindle that puts us in financial peril. But as an unfettered free marketer and deregulator, Roskam should stand up and admit that his political and financial philosophy is as bankrupt as the land we now inhabit. The Late, Great American Middle Class deserves nothing less.

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn