Monday, July 28, 2008

The Garrett that Cried Debt

In his column on Sunday, Herb Jackson made an interesting point about Representative Scott Garrett:
IF A HOUSING BILL to prop up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ends up being a massive drain on the public treasury, then Rep. Scott Garrett has every right to say, "I told you so."

Garrett's concern that the bail out bill could put taxpayers on the hook is well founded. Some will point to the fact the CBO said we have a better than 50% chance of not owing anything. The companies even have said they don't need the money. But Garrett is still on to something.

The problem is the GSEs are publicly traded and have shareholders. If taking advantage of the taxpayers increases the value of those shares, the GSEs are obligated to take advantage of us. The prospect of owing more money when the Administration has already had to revise the projected deficit next year to an eye popping $482 billion is nothing to be taken lightly.

The problem is, "I told you so" won't help the situation. What we needed was a Representative whose opinion carried enough weight for people to think about this stuff objectively. Unfortunately for us as a District, and potentially America as a whole, we don't have that type of Representative.

There's a pretty good track record of how this happened. Garrett's misleading and patently false assertions on issues like SCHIP and PEPFAR; Garrett's rigid partisanship; as well as ostracizing moderate Republicans on Capitol Hill seems to be coming back to haunt him.

Garrett hasn't released much in the way of misleading information since his new press secretary took over, and I see that as a very good thing (the energy thing is a carry over). Now we have to hope Garrett will realize the cost of what he had been doing.

When we needed him to deliver most, he was at his least effective.

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