How To Shut Down Fannie and Freddie

Posted by , 11th November 2010

fanniemaeEmil W. Henry, Jr.
11/11/2010

Although Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played a central role in causing the recent economic crisis, they are absent from the reform plans of Congress and the Obama administration. So these two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) remain mired in conservatorship, as extensions of the federal government. Eliminating the GSEs and moving their activities to the private sector should be fairly easy: the Treasury Department can stop rubber-stamping their debt issuance at any time. Secretary Geithner can immediately reshape the mortgage markets by withholding his approval of new debt issuances by the GSEs. That’s the best way to begin curtailing the GSEs, and it can be done unilaterally.

Henry, the CEO of Henry, Tiger, LLC, was an assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2005 to 2007.

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2010 a Banner Year for Conservatives

Posted by , 11th November 2010

SenateGeorge F. Will
11/11/2010

President Obama’s presidency has indeed been “transformative” in the sense that it ushered in conservatism’s best year since Ronald Reagan’s election. Two major regulatory attempts by the federal government failed: campaign speech and cap and trade. This was followed by Americans awakening in 2010 to an extremely unstable financial future and realizing that local governments had been “looted” by the collaborative efforts between federal workers’ unions and elected officials. Hence the deadening of “card check” legislation, the darling of unionized public workers. And yet another boost for conservatism was NPR’s “self-immolation,” begging the question of just how important government funding for “public” broadcasting is and supplying conservatives with a starting point for cutting government.

Will is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing about foreign and domestic politics and policy.

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What Everything Means

Posted by , 11th November 2010

127 hoursGail Collins
11/11/2010

After the midterm elections it is easy to draw parallels between many things in pop culture and politics. She likens the movie “127 Hours” about a real-life hiker who was forced to amputate his arm after being stuck in the desert to American politics; the cruise ship that is adrift to America itself. David Kennedy of Stanford University likened America today to the Gilded Age, and Collins says this fits, as the media was fragmented then and it produced some of the most sensationalist headlines. She says she is waiting for the next Teddy Roosevelt to ride to our rescue.

Collins is a New York Times columnist.

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The GOP’s Racial Challenge

Posted by , 10th November 2010

John BoehnerZoltan Hajnal
11/10/2010

Lost in the GOP’s euphoria over its midterm victory is the fact that it has almost become a whites-only party. Its strategy may win seats now, but it will lose over the long run, writes Hajnal. Republicans can’t win in the future without more nonwhite votes. If minorities didn’t give up on the Democratic Party last week, they are unlikely to do so without dramatic changes in the platforms of the two parties. A growing and resolutely Democratic nonwhite population is a serious threat to the Republican electoral calculus. Over the long term–as white voters become an ever-smaller fraction of the electorate and Latinos and other racial and ethnic minorities become a larger share–any campaign that appeals primarily to whites will be doomed.

Hajnal, an associate professor of political science at UC San Diego, is author of “America’s Uneven Democracy” (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

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Why Rush to Cut Nukes?

Posted by , 10th November 2010

Nuclear armJohn R. Bolton and John Yoo
11/10/2010

The Senate should heed the will of the voters and either reject the New Start arms control treaty or amend it so that it doesn’t weaken America’s national defense. They look at the problems with the treaty, including how the low limits it places on nuclear warheads ignores the disparities between American and Russian global responsibilities and how America’s “nuclear umbrella” maintains international security. The Senate must ignore the resolution of ratification and demand changes to the treaty, which is within the Senate’s powers, because if 34 senators reject a treaty, no president can override them.

Bolton, the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Yoo, a deputy assistant attorney general from 2001 to 2003, is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

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What Bill Clinton could teach Obama about a shellacking

Posted by , 10th November 2010

Obama 2008Ruth Marcus
11/10/2010

The author notes the difference between Bill Clinton’s response to his “shellacking” in 1994 and Obama’s response to his in 2010. Both presidents spoke of voters’ dissatisfaction with Washington, but only Clinton understood that his defeat meant Washington, not the people, was in the wrong. While she supports President Obama’s agenda over the last two years, Marcus is uncomfortable with the presumption by Obama and Nancy Pelosi that their defeat was largely the result of not communicating more with the people. In other words, Pelosi and Obama blame the people’s inability to understand their lofty agenda. Obama may be able to reconnect, but Marcus sees little chance that Pelosi will.

Marcus is an editorial writer for The Post, specializing in American politics, campaign finance, the federal budget and taxes, and other domestic issues.

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A Return to the Norm

Posted by , 5th November 2010

Republican votersCharles Krauthammer
11/5/2010

While it is being hailed as some sort of modern, exotic, technologically-driven wave, the recent Republican midterm victory is really just political history as usual. Swings are often preceded by social upheavals, and the Republican wave of 2010 is no exception. Voters reacted against the administration’s far-left policies and the arrogance with which they were delivered. Thus, Obama’s far-left agenda is dead, now and for future Democratic presidents. Clinton-style, center-left policies will once again be the successful ones. Nonetheless, President Obama’s Wednesday press conference was a clear indication that he remains clueless as to the role the people’s rejection of his policies played in his “shellacking.”

Krauthammer is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign and domestic policy and politics.

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Midwest at Dusk

Posted by , 5th November 2010

CrowdDavid Brooks
11/5/2010

If politicians can figure out how to build a future for working class Americans in the Midwest, then our country has a future as a predominant power, Brooks says. He looks at the ironies within this group of people, as well as the last election results in which Democrats were destroyed as blue collar whites voted Republican. The trend towards putting center-right governments in power has also swept across Germany, Sweden, France, Britain, and elsewhere in Europe. In America, politics are volatile because no one has an answer for the working class, and volatility will continue until an answer is found.

Brooks is a New York Times columnist.

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Federal Government Needs a Chief Operating Officer

Posted by , 5th November 2010

Michael BloombergBob Kerrey, Mark L. Alderman and Howard Schweitzer
11/5/2010

While much attention is being given to President Obama’s selection of a new Chief of Staff, an equally vital role of federal Chief Operating Officer should be created. Just as the chief of staff manages the political machinery of the White House, a COO would manage the bureaucratic machinery beyond the White House that is currently left to operate without specific leadership or direction. Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be an ideal candidate to fill this role, given his considerable experience and success in both the public and private sectors.

Kerrey, a former US senator from Nebraska, is president of the New School. Alderman was a member of the Obama-Biden presidential transition team. Schweitzer was the first chief operating officer of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. They are partners in Cozen O’Connor P.C. and principals in Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies.

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