Vouchers vs. teacher pay? Lawmakers gear up for budget battle

Finance Commissioner Stuart McWhorter presents budget cuts to the Senate Finance Committee on March 18, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee lawmakers are gearing up for a long day Thursday in which they hope to come to an agreement over deep budget cuts before going into recess until the coronavirus crisis subsides.

One of the biggest sticking points is Gov. Bill Lee’s plan to keep funding in the budget to launch his school voucher program this fall while cutting a planned 4% teacher pay raise in half.

The word around the largely deserted hallways of the Cordell Hull Building is that the House will go first on trying to pass the budget, with the Senate to follow suit later.

79 Responses to Vouchers vs. teacher pay? Lawmakers gear up for budget battle

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    “. . . deep budget cuts” shouldn’t be an excuse to zero out the voucher program. The Government School Trust is relentless, education free market advocates must be too.

  • MARLE says:

    Is any teacher or state employee, now staying at home and out of work, feeling concern about whether they will be paid in full for as long as their hiatus lasts? Have any of them, retired, seen a reduction in their pension checks. Most 401K folks have noticed a 25% reduction in funds available.

    So……of course let’s make sure teachers get their 4% pay increase. They are hurting.

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    Teachers need much more that 4% and the voucher program is anti education. Teachers should be paid in full even through this disease outbreak. I had what I guess were delusions about this governor and his capacity for empathy.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Forcing children to go to failing government schools by making it economically prohibitive for them to do otherwise is “anti education” and is unnecessary because it accomplishes nothing other than keeping the world safe for the Government School Trust monopolists.

      • Daniel Parkhurst says:

        Public schools aren’t failing. They’re overburdened by the ever-growing task put before them by a society that doesn’t value them. Then couple that with politicians that have never been teachers, yet are constantly telling teachers how to do their job, implementing ridiculous programs and mandates that don’t truly measure a student’s learning or a teacher’s effectiveness. The result is a public school system that is not only responsible for educating students, but one that is also battling against all of society’s woes to develop successful citizens. The politicians have “tinkered” with the public education system for so long that they’ve created many of the problems that they claim vouchers are supposed to solve. Give the money back to the public educators, get out of their way, and let them try to fix what they didn’t break.

        • MARLE says:

          Decades ago schools were not micro managed by the state governments. National testing uncovered the fact that students in many states were far behind in basic math and reading. THAT is what brought the flashlights in.

          Southern states in particular brought this uber-spotlight and subsequent policies to bear.

          • Daniel Parkhurst says:

            The problem is that instead of listening to teachers, the politicians come up with their own solution and then try to shoe-horn every school system into it. State testing doesn’t measure anything except how much money a third party can siphon out of our coffers. Yet we spend millions on it year after year, even as State testing itself fails year after year. And I don’t know what lies they’re selling everyone, but reading, writing, and math schools are much worse now than they ever were when I was in school. They haven’t made anything better. Rather, they’ve dug a hole so deep that they would prefer to just fill it in and start a new hole. The problem is that they want to fill it in while the public school teachers are still in it.

          • MARLE says:

            Daniel…..most administrators Were Teachers. Most Superintendents Were teachers. Teachers represent a huge and cohesive voting block which commands politicians attention.

            How on earth should teachers, whose DNA is thoughout the bureaucracy from the classroom to the administration to the legislature not be held responsible for the mess we are in?

        • Dottie Arnett says:

          DITTO to this comment!

      • K. Rodgers says:

        If the states would appropriately fund the schools the schools would not fail. The failure is in looking for answers outside of the school instead of asking the experts, who are in fact the teachers. Class size, growing burden of extra requirements, lack of support, lack of supplies, lack of curriculum and resources for the new standards. Also, the state keeps making funds available for teacher pay increases, knowing that the law allows the school system to use that money for salaries however they want, such as increasing the pay of the board employees instead.

  • Diana Page says:

    Why would vouchers be considered an education free market issue? Rather than a govt subsidy for …. The schools will receive government funds (which are needed to provide for public education)

    Smacks of Orwellian verbiage.

    • MARLE says:

      We collect tax dollars for the purpose of educating children. We believe that society, as a whole, benefits from an educated populace. There is nothing but tradition that has limited at which schools those education dollars are spent.

  • James White says:

    VOUCHERS give them the money. My money

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      And their money. . .or do you oppose compulsory education laws and any government involvement in education?

      • MARLE says:

        Perhaps this horrible experiment with social distancing will inform us that we can accomplish our educational goals with Remote Learning.

        We don’t have to depend on the talent pool (or lack thereof) in communities, urban and rural across Tennessee. We could have the most exciting, competent, presenters, wherever they might live, deliver Live Classroom instruction to any student who wants a quality education at home, or in private schools, etc.

        21st Century Delivery of Education by the best teachers in America is possible. Maybe we can finally see the possibilities. And if it reduces our current wasteful practice of hiring PhD’s to teach 3 grade arithmetic …..what an amazing savings for the taxpayer.

        • MARLE says:

          With apologies (or maybe not) to those who will call this yet another “meltdown”.

        • James White says:

          There are already many live internet class rooms for k-12 today. May they increase and yes, use voucher money.

          • MARLE says:

            How good are these people? I am talking about Super Star teachers who have been hired for their expertise and presenting ability.

            If the only basketball games you ever saw were those played in your neighborhood gym you would think that’s as good as it gets. Then you see an MBA game or an Olympic game and you realize how fortunate it is that you can have that piped right into your living room through the magic of TV.

            In S Korea the teachers who students choose to educate them make between 2-3 Million per year.

          • James White says:
          • MARLE says:

            Not even close to what I am talking about. Not series of video clips or documentaries but a person teaching as would happen in real time in front of classroom with student interactivity.

            The classroom teacher currently employed by in the highest cost private school teaching a real class, in real time and this being accessible to any student who wanted to tune in for a nomirnal fee. An entire class in a private school could tune in or a student quarantined at home could tune in.

            So much of what home schooling has grown up around is Christian bases messaging. There isn’t much for those who want just non-denominational, conservative, capitalist-friendly (but not blindly examining the flaws and benefits).

          • James White says:

            Malre, the one I posted is LIVE teachers all the time.

          • MARLE says:

            I can’t find any “live class teachers” to see how and what a typical lesson looks like. But when I see “Faithfully teaching” used as a by-word I am not thinking this is secular teaching of Econ or whatever but teaching with a religious, primary or tangential, bent.

            Just my opinion but I think the teaching of Econ, for example, should be offered by professors who are along the spectrum from free-market to planned economies but I don’t think Biblical teachings tossed in here and there would improve the current situation of a liberal stranglehold on subject matters of all kinds.

          • James White says:

            My post says:
            Does my child have to attend the live sessions of class?
            Can we go on vacation while our children attend FPA?

            +
            All of our classes are presented live, in real time. This is the BEST option for your child as they will be able to participate in the interaction with the teacher and other students. However, we realize that sometimes your student may have to miss class. All classes are recorded and available for viewing 24/7.

            If you do have vacation times planned that do not coincide with our FPA planned breaks, it will be your responsibility to ask the teacher(s) far enough in advance for assignments so that your child will be able to keep up with the class. One travel extension is permitted per semester. To qualify for the travel extension, parents must notify the principal at least one week in advance about the dates of your scheduled travel. Any assignments not completed prior to travel or while traveling become the responsibility of the student and parent. All missing assignments must be submitted within one week of returning from travel if a travel extension has been granted.

        • Susan says:

          Students do not want instruction “delivered” to them. Remote learning is a poor substitute for an education where students can personally interact with their teacher and other students. Remote learning might work for the most motivated students, but it would not work for many, including those with learning disabilities. There is also the problem of equity. We are now being made painfully aware that many students lack the technology and internet access. Teachers have been overlooked and paid stagnant salaries for years. We need a pay raise, and more than 4%! I do not want my tax dollars funneled into vouchers that are not superior to public schools. Vouchers deprive public schools of adequate funding.

          • Donna Locke says:

            My granddaughter says she is having trouble learning high school physics remotely. As one might expect. Another grandchild, on the autism spectrum, is having some struggles with this, though both parents are home now.

            I, too, totally oppose the vouchers.

          • MARLE says:

            Remote learning is in its infancy or perhaps even embriotic stage. And by remote I mean delivered by a highly qualified, excellent presenter which I know for a fact not all or even many teachers are.

            The setting into which it is delivered can be a brick and mortar school. The classroom would have adult facilitators, not necessarily limited to graduates of our university education departments. We do not need a 3d grade arithmetic teacher to have a masters plus 30 or a PhD. It is wasteful of taxpayer money. But that is exactly what we do now.

            I understand entirely why teachers (I was one) don’t want anything like this. It would up end the status quo of unqualified (despite a credential and a couple of degrees) teachers who log 30 yrs with lifelong pensions.

        • Benny says:

          Pretty hard to have hands on learning in a virtual educational world. There is a lot more to education than just watching a teacher on a computer screen. I teach courses such as greenhouse management, small animal care, veterinary science, natural resource management, and agriculture mechanics just to name a few. HANDS ON LEARNING is essential in these courses and many others. Not to mention everything else public schools offer. Band, sports, CTE organizations, and many others. Yea go virtual and see what happens to this generation of kids. We already have enough kids that cant do basic skills because their parents dont take the time to teach them. Like reading a tape measure for God sake.

          • MARLE says:

            Michael Lottman

            I really don’t think most families mind having their children sitting in the Chemistry AP class next to a minority or low-income student. What experience or data are you referencing? My guess is none.

  • Michael Lottman says:

    The coronavirus is being used as a cover or excuse for any number of foul deeds, of which this is one. Nothing should be spent on the school voucher plan, certainly not this year and certainly not at the expense of teachers who need their promised raise more than ever. Also the voucher plan was passed improperly if not illegally, and may or may not still be under investigation by the federal government. It is unwanted by virtually all school systems in the state, including the two on which it is presently focused, and in fact it serves the (corrupt) interest only of some influential families in those districts who dislike having their kids in school with minority or low-income children.

    • James White says:

      The government education system is corrupt and should be charged with RICO. Give the education system back to the parents and get the federal and state OUT.

      • Heather A says:

        If the school is what is corrupt, why did so many Republicans only vote for vouchers after making sure the areas they represented were not part of the plan???

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Because so many Republicans are interested in their re-election or eventual election to higher office first and the Government School Trust monopolists are one of the strongest political institutions in many communities.

        • MARLE says:

          I’d like to say that they are phasing in the practical application of vouchers to small geographical areas with the most failing schools rather than do it statewide. Ironing out the inevitable glitches you might say.

          But truthfully they probably feared the incredible political backlash of a very powerful and large union voting block. That is more likely the explanation for the vote on limited roll out.

    • MARLE says:

      Michael Lottman

      I really don’t think most families mind having their children sitting in the Chemistry AP class next to a minority or low-income student. What experience or data are you referencing? My guess is none.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      OF COURSE “. . .virtually all school systems in the state. . .” don’t want vouchers any more than John D. Rockefeller wanted Standard Oil broken up by the courts or Edward Henry Harriman welcomed the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act. Monopolists like members of the Government Schools Trust, consisting of school boards, school management bureaucrats, and teachers simply don’t want competition to challenge their comfy monopoly. Besides the current voucher legislation does not, as you pointed out, effect the schools where your sinister “influential families” would have to send their students. As for ascribing the motives to families who want to abandon government schools they are entitled to them, whatever they may be, and to use their tax money to educate their children any way the seem fit.

      • Susan says:

        Families are not entitled to tax money to educate their children however they see “fit.” How about they take their kids to Disney World on your tax dollar because they think it’s educational? How about funding charters for religious organizations? Your comment about teachers having a “comfy monopoly” makes no sense. Are you kidding? The words teachers and comfy don’t even belong in the same sentence. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves. Charter schools and public schools alike are begging for teachers. I have been teaching for 13 years in public ed and have a Master’s Degree in Reading. I make 54K a year. This is not enough to live sustainably in Nashville where it costs 85K to live comfortably. Teachers are not the enemy. If vouchers are so wonderful, why did practically every legislator want to exempt his district? I notice how you throw out incendiary, dog-whistling buzzwords like “monopolists” and “bureaucrats,” and “government schools.”

        • MARLE says:

          Susan…………Are students allowed to use their TN Hope scholarships as they see fit or must they spend that money with a Public University? Can it be used at a Religious university or for the study of Religion?

          There are parameters for curriculum. Tax dollars should not be used for Disney world or ANY field trips. No one wastes tax dollars doing that anymore, do they?

          It is a monopoly and run by the government.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          No Susan, the job of a teacher obviously isn’t a comfy one – few jobs are otherwise we would pay to do them rather than the other way around. What is comfy is the government monopoly that forces all but the fortunate few to attend government schools no matter how dismal the school’s performance and that is precisely what should change. As for the pay of teachers, that should be determined by the supply of and demand for teachers like every other profession. If there’s a shortage, why is the pay so low? Sorry, no one becomes a teacher without knowing that it probably isn’t a path to be well compensated. I never considered it as a profession, yet you chose it so it must provide you with non-monetary rewards so complaining about your compensation some thirteen years after making your choice doesn’t evoke a great deal of sympathy.

          In my 3:58 PM response to Heather I explained why so many Republicans voted for vouchers while exempting their own district. It is the typical move of a professional politician, you vote correctly while neatly avoiding the political fallout from voting correctly. Of course teachers aren’t the “enemy,” the Government School Trust and its monopoly over education is the “enemy.” We must have teachers. If there is a growing shortage of them I expect their compensation will soon dramatically rise with my full support but we simply must change the way education is dispensed in this country.

    • Donna Locke says:

      Exactly, Michael.

  • Linda Caldwell says:

    This pandemic has shined the light on the fact that our public schools have been providing social services to our communities for some time, with little to no notice or thanks. I am seeing public school employees helping to get food to children who live in homes that struggle to buy food. I am hearing teachers express concerns over students they know rely on the school as a safe place. I am NOT seeing private schools out there. Our legislators need to stop, look, and listen.

    • James White says:

      The Government education is a sham. And it will be exposed.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      “Welfare” is a function of government, it therefore should be dispensed by governmental entities such as government schools not private enterprise entities such as private schools. Using government schools as a means of conveyance is simply a matter of efficient logistics, no “thanks” or “notice” is necessary. It is not as though government schools are somehow coming up with the funds to provide all of those “social services.”

      In any case, all of this is yet another smoke screen to justify the monopoly of the government school trust over the education of the children of this country which it fails to do. As with almost all monopolies outside of utilities I say break them up and and replace them with the bracing air of free market competition.

    • MARLE says:

      You are quite right, Linda, for in times like these we we see that our public schools are as much social services providers as they are educators.

      Decades ago when Clinton declared we had ended “welfare as we know it” I remember calling into a radio talk show to say “but replaced with welfare as we had never imagined it”.

      Instead of welfare checks to spend “all willy nilly” we have targeted programs for everything from cell phones, a plethoral of social services, to 3 hots without the cot, and as you rightly point out we can clearly see that the schools indeed are functioning as an integral part of the delivery system.

    • MARLE says:

      Linda….your teachers who know children are in an UN-safe place~ don’t they have a reporting mandate?

  • MARLE says:

    Still waiting for Michael to put data out there that parents object to their children sitting in Chemistry AP with minority or low-income students.

    I see others find his comments complete and excellent but I think some data to support his dubious contention would be expected.

  • Karen Bracken says:

    Reading these comments paints a society in TN that has no clue about vouchers and charters and their real purpose. Charters and vouchrts are not the solution they are to insure more of the same. Charters are required to teach the same standards and take the same assessments as the traditional public schools. Why? Because they get public money. Vouchers are public money and they are the vehicle that will suck the private school into the same system and the same data pipeline. What they are offering is a freaking false choice and you people are so greedy with your hand out for someone to pay your way you are falling right into their hands. There are already several research papers that prove charters and vouchers do not deliver as promised. Why? Because the promises are based on lies just like NCLB, RTTT and Coomon Core and you still think the very people that brought about this mess really want to fix it? I give up.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      This is bizarre! We have decided that a certain amount of universal education is necessary for the functioning of society and that government should finance that education through the taxes it collects. A certain amount is spent by the government educating each child. What the free market in education advocates simply want is for that money to go to the parent/guardian of the child to be spent wherever the parent chooses so long as the institution meets certain basic academic requirements. Why obfuscate this simple plan by engaging in the alchemy that suddenly converts tax dollars into some nebulous “public money” so that only government bureaucrats can determine where the money is spent and micromanagement the recipient of the money?

      If charter schools and or private schools produce inferior results vis a vis government schools they will fail to attract students and go bankrupt and disappear. Good riddance! Parents will spend their voucher money sending their children to the best schools. There will also be more of a free market for teachers and school administrators so the best will be better compensated – that’s the way a free market works. Free markets work better than government monopolies. They have even finally learned that in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, surely we can follow that simple axiom regarding organizing the furnishing of education here in Tennessee.

  • Paul says:

    Free market, blah blah blah. Government schools, blah blah blah. These are Heritage Foundation talking points if there ever was one. Yup, conservative district representatives in the state exempted themselves from this because, well, they actually don’t believe in vouchers. Go to some random rural county in the state and try the “we’re here from the Conservative Rural Association for Progress and we are here to save you from your government schools” shtick and you’ll be about as well received as being from the Socialist Party of America would be. Fact is, folks in these rural counties think “Ms. Smith” from the local school is pretty swell and not a representative of “government schools”. All schools are local is the bottom line, not some theoretical thing. Fact is, we continue to under fund them, since we are a low tax state, but hey, it’s great if you are a retiree or whatever. You get what you pay for and if your are a conservative, you get to say “I didn’t pay much and I’m not happy that I got off cheap”.

    Try getting a substantive voucher program going in, say, Grundy County, and see how it works out for you conservative social engineers. No money to be made there, so your “free market” school corporate entity isn’t flocking there to make a buck (which is what it’s about I hate to tell you). On the other hand, “government schools” in Davidson or Shelby County are a problem in your view, ergo that’s why they are the focal point of this plan, since those areas are easy targets for the gullible conservative mafia, who want to put public funds in private hands. Vouchers for thee, but not for me is the program. What a surprise. The big lie here is conservative social engineers continue to use the big four counties in TN as their cash register for their planning, meanwhile conveniently avoiding implementing the same approach in their own backyard. All the while, “freedom” is the mantra being espoused. When I see rural TN legislators voting for this plan as approved, it’s pretty clear they don’t really drink their own castor oil on “government schools”. It’s just the conservative version of centralized control from on high (Nashville knows best), with no consequences at the local level for them. This might be more plausible if these alternative schools had to follow the same standards, but they don’t. So, they can just take your tax dollars and declare whatever version of success they like. How do we know the results are “inferior” to public schools? We’re not using the same yardstick. You just claim it is so, based on what evidence? Let me guess…some conservative talking point/think tank/white paper/etc which is rooted in “government is bad”. It’s the conservative deep state profit-making education goons in action.

    “Free Market” works for those who have a real choice, not for some rural location where there’s no real choice to be had. If you think some “choice” entity (read “money making voucher plan”) is going to swoop in in rural TN and provide a quality alternative, that’s your right to believe in. That said, you keep on preaching there Stuart. Looked at how that free market is working for the US economy lately? Or in 2008? Roughly a 10 year cycle now between free market meltdowns. As long as you can keep on spending OPM — other people’s money — on your conservative utopia, it’s all fine. When the urban area cash register runs dry, which it’s on a track to do, thank you Donald Trump, gonna be a problem for your “free market” planning for schools and much more on the conservative agenda.

    Are public schools perfect? Of course not. If you want to spend your personal money to send Buffy and Jody to the local academy, have at it, just don’t spend tax dollars on a school that doesn’t have to meet the same standards, since we are then comparing apples and orange and obfuscation continues about “results” (which you can’t compare unless you use the same yardstick). There’s no reason to ask the taxpayer to subsidize these conservative fantasies that keep falling apart when looked at under the microscope. How about you fans of this write some large checks to your local private academy instead and take a tax deduction?

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Paul, people may be emotionally attached to government schools as some wonderfully democratic leveling institution, which they are not, or a wonderful way to indoctrinate the younger generation in left-wing politics, WHICH THEY OBVIOUSLY ARE, but those of us who want a free market in education are far more dispassionate. Private schools either work, or they don’t. Not enough students in Grundy County to economically support a private school(s) when parents are given a free choice? Devotion to Mrs. Smith et al. and the government school(s) so strong that no one wants to attend anything but Grundy Central High School? I’m OK with that and I hope Grundy Central produces nothing but Merit Scholars and skilled craftsmen. The point is that parents should be given a CHOICE, a point that is lost on the liberal mind because the liberal mind thinks only of CONTROL.

    Of course, we are used to hearing whining that the manifest problem with government schools stem from the fact that we simply don’t spend enough money on them. This despite the last figures I’ve seen shows that the U. S. spends more on educating its students than any other country except Norway for which we get results that have our students ranking in the lower middle of the 36 OECD countries. Of course, the liberal answer to every problem is for the government to confiscate more money from private hands to finance their beloved government because that means more CONTROL

    The goal of conservatives is to have the government do as little as possible because the power of government is inversely proportional to the freedom and prosperity of individuals living under that government. We want to get government out of the education business as much as possible. We simply want what you call “public funds,” though I much prefer “taxpayer’s money,” to go back to the taxpayers to educate their children to be spent wherever they choose throughout the state. Those areas controlled by liberals, of course, have the worst schools and are the place where the utter failure of government schools is brought into the sharpest relief so in the political battles that arise from the Government School Trust fighting to keep its monopoly proposals for statewide vouchers are whittled down to apply to only wretched Davidson and Shelby County schools.

    There are great government schools, there are terrible private schools. Private schools tend to be better because they have the pressure of parents choosing not to patronize them unless they are better. There is no reason that all schools can’t be held to the same objective standards and the achievement of their students publicly displayed. Now there’s a role for your beloved government Paul, make sure that in dispensing government money there is a level playing field on which all schools are judged and results are publicly displayed.

    Have faith in the free market Paul to produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The 2008 fiasco was an example of what happens when liberals interfere with the working of the free market insofar as it was basically caused by liberals forcing banks to give mortgages for houses to people who patently didn’t qualify for those mortgages in furtherance of their terribly destructive pursuance of identity politics. Lately, the U. S. economy was moving along at a record breaking pace until the Communists in China suppressed news about a disease that arose in that country and now afflicts the whole world. Davidson County is going broke so it’s Donald Trump’s fault? Not the liberal ideologues the good people of Davidson county elect over and over again but Donald Trump’s? That’s silly Paul and you are smart enough to know it!

    Only liberals insist on a subsidy for their favorite nostrum as just a part of doing business (e.g. NPR, Amtrack). We conservatives want small government and low taxes so we don’t want the government allocating goods and services choosing winners and losers. In education, once we agree that a modern society needs a populace with a certain level of education to function we reluctantly agree that it is the government that should set the minimum standards and provide the funding for that education to each parent to spend as they see fit on education then step aside. I know, you can’t CONTROL very much doing that can you Paul? Oh well. . . .

    • MARLE says:

      Stuart….giving loans, as Barney and Charlie advocated for, to low income is NOT what caused the magnitude of that fiasco. I worked for 2 years prior to that 2006-2008 in a niche area of mortgage warehouse business. We dealt in “scratch and dent” loans. Those were inferior in that they were outside the boundaries of VA or FHA requirements Or, in many cases, were “NO DOC” jumbo loans on 2d and 3d homes.

      But the real problem caused entirely by Wall Street was that they took these inferior loans and packaged them with solid loans , securitized them, and peddled them all around the country (and the world) with artificially high Moody’s ratings.

      Rangel and Franks didn’t mandate or mastermind ANY of that.

      • Stuart I. Anderson says:

        But the initial problem stemmed from the fact that Clinton and his liberal friends forced the banks to make loans that in a free market they would never have dreamed of making. What you describe, of course, was the mechanics that made this initial government interference turn an economic downturn into a worldwide Great Recession.

        • MARLE says:

          So…..it wasn’t liberals who told the banks and wall street to do what they did. Let’s make sure we give full credit to all the bastards.

        • MARLE says:

          If I tell you you must drink a bottle of water a day because I correctly or mistakenly believe it is the right thing to do and you instead drink a swimming pool full of chlorinated water the blame for the severe consequences are so much more on you than me it’s not worth assigning a percentage to your stupidity.

        • Donna Locke says:

          I recall Bush II saying he wanted everybody to get a loan to get a house. I have the exact quote around here somewhere. The lending to people who couldn’t afford a house ballooned after that.

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I don’t think that Uniter Bush put pressure on banks to grant loans to people who patently couldn’t qualify for a mortgage under any reasonable criterion. He was a shallow Chamber of Commerce Republican so I wouldn’t bet the house on it, I just don’t think so.

          • Donna Locke says:

            I remember the situation because I was following immigration news, including mortgages going to illegal aliens.

            Anyway, one summation:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/21admin.html

          • MARLE says:

            First of all W was not known for his eloquence. So if I am a multi-millionaire you mean W was telling ME (part of everybody) to get a loan? Come on.

            Secondly loans, in and of themselves, were not what caused the problem. Getting non-conforming loans or jumbo loans with only stated (not documented) financial information was a part of the problem. But NOT the worst of it.

            Those inferior loans were securitized (a VERY important part of what went wrong) and Moody’s (the rating institution for verifying worthiness from Junk status to A+++) LIED and gave those inferior loans a very high credit rating. THEN

            They were sold to municipalities for their pension funds, to universities for their endowment funds and millions of other unsuspecting buyers all around the world.

            THAT is what caused the depth and breadth of the Recession of 2008. NOT W telling people to get loans.

          • MARLE says:

            Clinton along with Charlie Rangel and Barnie Frank wanted to expand homeownership by minorities and passed legislation that opened the loan options for low income.

            But they did NOT tell the banks to offer Jumbo Loans to people for their second home on the beach in California. The Banks did that out of greed in that they could offer a loan to THOSE home buyers with less verification of ability to pay back. Those were called NO DOC loans that relied only on a persons VERBAL statement that he made X dollars per year. NO verification other than that required.

            Frank and Rangel did not tell them to take these inferior loans and securitize them and peddle them with a Fraudulent Moody’s rating.

            But for the last 12 years you’ve been thinking this was about a President saying everyone should get a loan???????

          • Donna Locke says:

            I am aware of all of that. Many saw the consequences coming. Read the New York Times piece. The Bush II administration led the parade.

  • MARLE says:

    It wasn’t loan by themselves that caused the recession. It was securitizing, artificial ratings, and worldwide peddling.

    I was in that industry handling from morning til night the non-conforming loans. Didn’t originate them. Didn’t sell them. But they passed through us on their way to Wall Street.

    Good that you, not even near this industry, knew all of this but your comment didn’t mention anything but the loans. So I hope you see how it appeared that this was your focus. I can only read what you write.

  • MARLE says:

    Bush could have and SHOULD have stopped the banking and Wall Street hustle. But your comment was about getting loans. And THAT was not the problem. Everyone could have had loans IF they were credit worthy and there wouldn’t have been a problem And it wouldn’t have been a problem IF they hadn’t been bundled into securities that carried a Double or Triple A rating by Moody’s.

    The small, 5-person company I worked for had 2 co-owners and 3 others. One owner was a PhD in Economics from Harvard and the other a former hedge fund manager with Goldman Sachs. They held daily briefings with us. I had a catbird seat for this debacle.

    No doubt the NY times articles did a bang up job of informing you; you intentionally simplified and distilled your understanding of the problems by characterizing it, here, as “W wanted EVERYBODY to get loans.”

    Got it. But it is Wrong. That wasn’t what threw us into a worldwide recession.

  • MARLE says:

    Perhaps the NYTimes headline says it all. “Stokes Mortgage Bonfire”

    Stokes means it was already ablaze. And “mortgages” Were NOT the entire, or even the main, 2018 Global recession issue.

    I think your focus on illegals getting loans may have made your reading of information too limited. The scope was so much more far reaching than the loans to poor people.

    • Donna Locke says:

      Marle, I rarely suggest this to anyone, but in your case, try therapy.

      And it was more than 12 years ago when Bush II made his statements of intention on policy about homeownership for everyone. Many of us–certainly those of us watching that president on immigration policy–noted it. Two members of my immediate family were working in banking at the time, one in loans.

      • MARLE says:

        A policy for home ownership is NOT what caused the problem internationally, nor in this country.

        The back and forth here was running between Stuart and me. Then you jumped in which is certainly not a problem. But when you’re wrong you just won’t let up. So I keep trying. And as for therapy.

        Look at your last statement. Speaks for itself.

      • Donna Locke says:

        The Atlanta Journal-Constitution won a Pulitzer for Bill Dedman’s late-Eighties reporting on redlining. We all know what happens when “racist” gets hollered. There was and is inexcusable discrimination in lending, but some lending decisions called redlining were sound business practice. Regardless, banks began to overcompensate under the scrutiny. Minorities and others were going to get loans whether or not they understood what a balloon payment is, for example.

        Many things, many irresponsible policies, contributed to the economic reckoning. We are still in that reckoning.

        • Donna Locke says:

          Though this thread has wandered far afield of Erik’s post, I must add that before the economic reality of the housing bubble, overall debt, etc., could not be denied any longer, a number of law firms, including my sibling’s, were staying afloat on bankruptcy filings, handling bankruptcies. There were so many. As I said, many saw it coming. You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist or a weatherman or know every detail. The evidence and the logic were available to anyone, the same as today. Well, maybe not the logic.

          When the reality became clear to those paying attention, Bush II sat at his Texas stage-prop ranch musing about the speech money he was going to make as soon as he jetted away from all the messes he was leaving to the taxpayers and all the damage he did to this country–“Clinton’s making a lot of money.”

  • James White says:
  • MARLE says:

    Having a family member “in loans” is irrelevant to understanding what went wrong since loans were MERELY A PART, a small part of what went wrong and caused the recession. This is like trying to explain quantum physics to someone who thinks because his cousin is in 10th grade AP physics he knows everything.

    “two members of my immediate family were working in banking at the time, one in loans…………………………………………good grief.

  • James White says:
  • MARLE says:

    Working in the industry in the midst of transfer of loans to Wall street IS the front row. Having a family member in banking is NOT

    But it isn’t the least bit surprising that you don’t understand the difference.

    • MARLE says:

      My undergraduate minor in Psychology along with certifications in 5 different areas of personality assessment (I’m sure you have a least one cousin-twice-removed who have a similar background) tell me you have, among so many other things, a great need for getting the last word. Have at it.

    • Donna Locke says:

      Try the therapy.

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