Rep. Joe Walsh, Tea Party-Ill., is pissed off that people are still blaming banks for the mortgage crisis that ruined the economy back in 2008. It was the government’s fault, for forcing banks to sell homes to poor people!
At a “Cup of Joe With Joe Walsh” meeting at UNO Bar & Grille in Gurnee on Sunday, Walsh lit into constituents who suggested that the Bush Administration may have been to blame by hiring Wall Streeters to regulate the financial industry. “The fox guarding the henhouse,” one woman called it.
“Joe, look at the people -- [former Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson,” a constituent pointed out. “They go into a big bank, they go into government.”
“I AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THAT!” Walsh bellowed. “THAT’S NOT THE PROBLEM! The problem is, you gotta be consistent, and I don’t want government meddling in the marketplace. It’s not the private marketplace that created this mess. What created this mess was your government, which demanded for years that everybody be in a home…Don’t blame the banks. Don’t blame the marketplace for the mess we’re in right now. I am tired of hearing this crap! This pisses me off. Too many people don’t listen. Do you want more Dodd/Frank? Is that what you want!”
Agitated, Walsh headed toward the bar.
“I need more coffee,” he said.
“I think you’ve had enough,” a woman called out.
“Decaf!” someone shouted.
When Walsh’s questioner tried to continue the argument, the congressman cut him off.
“Quiet for a minute,” he said, pointing a finger at the man’s face, as the crowd giggled nervously. “Quiet for a minute. QUIET FOR A MINUTE, or I’m gonna ask you to leave. It’s so easy to sit here and say ‘I want government to solve all these problems.’ I love ya, and I love ya, and I love ya, but you know what? If the postal service can’t compete in the marketplace, I am tired of propping it up.”
Walsh followed up Wednesday with a press release outlining why he took that tone.
“As my constituents know, I am a very passionate person. I am passionate about our freedom, fighting for taxpayers, and standing up against big government. Constituents with opposing views have every right to argue with me, and I have every right to argue passionately for my conservative values. That's what freedom is all about. This debate is important and the fact that two people can discuss their differing opinions is what makes this country special. ...
“Regarding the substance of which I was referring – I have never been a ‘pal of big banks’ and I would have voted against the bank bailout in 2009. If banks abuse their charters, they should be prosecuted. But banks are not all to blame for this mess – government policy that advocated for every American to become a homeowner is at fault for this disaster. To allow and encourage Freddie and Fannie to approve loans to people with no credit history and no money down was a disaster waiting to happen. Despite some Republicans attempts to enact reform, Democrats, like Barney Frank, killed any attempt at reform. The banks followed the rules set forth by the government, and further meddling by the government will only exasperate the problem."