October 2, 2008
The talking points are making the rounds of TV, radio shows and newspaper quotes about who is most responsible for the difficulties in the financial world at the moment. Democrats are blaming former Texas Republican Senator Phil Gramm, who helped author legislation in 1999 that repealed the Glass-Steigel act. That law kept separate commercial and investment banking.
But former president Bill Clinton himself said this week that the bill he signed didn’t cause the present crisis. Clinton told BusinessWeek.com he doesn’t blame Gramm or the Republicans. After all, as the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, the measure passed the Senate 90-8. Thirty-eight Democrats voted for it, including such notable Barack Obama supporters as John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dick Durbin and Tom Daschle. Obama has been critical of Gramm and the Republicans.
The history of these things, particularly in a political season, is important to know and even more important not to forget.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.