Democrats’ plan: New Deal 2.0?

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With visions of a massive liberal majority in the next Congress and the power to remake economic policy for the next generation, Democrats are dusting off their New Deal history books and openly discussing the idea of re-engineering Depression-era agencies for the 21st century.

Several lawmakers want to bring back the Home Ownership Loan Corp., and others have discussed resurrecting the defunct Reconstruction Finance Corp., a federal program that made direct loans to businesses. Others see a lame-duck stimulus bill less as a short-term cash infusion for the economy and more as a long-term, government-driven jobs creator — a kind of modern Works Progress Administration that invests in infrastructure, bridges and roads.

Come next year, the new administration and the new Congress may be able to build an entire new bureaucracy to govern the economy for decades. Essentially, Democrats want to put some institutional permanence behind the sweeping executive actions taking place as the Bush administration moves to shore up banks and other financial institutions with Treasury’s new powers.

“This is the equivalent of what FDR had to do with the SEC — to regulate capitalism,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. “A failure to regulate the economy appropriately is what led to this mess. … We need to do what we can to prevent it from happening again.”

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Thomas J. Moore - 10/15/2008

This is insane - Frank was one of the chief instigators of the conduct that forced Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac to become the "holders of last resort" of mortgages that everyone in the pipeline knew would fail.