Jim DeMint on The Economy

Last Updated : Dec 15, 2010

Summary

Senator DeMint is a strong advocate for the removal of government from the economy, and the expansion of the economy through lowered spending, fewer government regulations, and lowered taxes. Senator DeMint opposed the bailout legislation known as TARP, opposed it's second installment being authorized, opposed the 2009 stimulus, opposed the wall street reform legislation, but supported the Bush stimulus.

In 2006, Senator DeMint argued that section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation should be rewritten to allow small companies to comply with standards more suited to their size. It would also make it clear that outside auditors could provide advise. He proposed these changes in the America Competes Act.

Senator DeMint opposed provisions in 2008 and 2009 to assist the housing market through tax incentives to those who purchase houses. He further opposed the extension of these policies. He stated stated that it was time that the housing market stood on it's own, and that further manipulation by the government only destabilized the market and was increasingly unfair to tax payers.

In 2008 and 2009, Senator DeMint opposed the original TARP legislation to bail out Wall Street and he opposed the authorization of the second installment of TARP. He stated that the legislation did nothing to address the misguided government policies that created this mess and that it could make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy. He stated that the plan failed to oversee or regulate the government failures that led to this crisis. In Opposing the second installment of the TARP funds, Senator DeMint stated that The TARP program completely violated America’s free-market principles, that its funds have not been used in the way the administration promised, and that there has been little to no transparency to the public.

In addition to objecting to the authorization of the TARP program, Senator DeMint called for an investigation into the involvement of Countrywide Financial in the writing of the legislation and in the money given to the company. Senator DeMint also stated that two of the largest contributers to the financial meltdown were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that the ability of those two entities to directly lobby Congress created an obvious conflict of interest. He stated that since those entities were bailed out by Congress, they should not be able to lobby Congress. Senator DeMint also opposed the idea that foreign banks our countries should be bailed out through US funds. He submitted legislation to prohibit the TARP program from dispensing funds to the IMF for this purpose. Senator DeMint also sought legislation to prohibit the Treasury from purchasing common stock - something that was prohibited through the TARP.

When opposing the 2009 stimulus, Senator DeMint referred to the plan as a "trillion dollar mistake" which was intended not to stimulate the economy, but rather to grow the size and influence of government. He stated that the principle of the stimulus was flawed in that money could be borrowed and spent to create lasting jobs beyond that influx of capital. He stated that the promised jobs would be fewer in number than promised, slower to develop than promised, and quicker to disappear than normal jobs.

To counter the stimulus plan, Senator DeMint offered his own jobs plan. This plan consisted of making the Bush tax cuts permanent, lowering the marginal tax rates, and creating a balanced budget. Senator DeMint also opposed additional stimulus measures.

Senator DeMint was opposed to allowing AIG and other companies to use TARP funds to pay out bonuses to executives. He wrote a letter with Senators Bunning and Vitter to call for the Chairman Dodd to subpoena their records.

Senator DeMint also opposed the bailout of GM. In addition to the desire not to have the government involved in a private company, Senator DeMint noted that a bankruptcy of the company was inevitable and that this should occur first to allow the company to restructure. GM did eventually declare bankruptcy.

Senator DeMint opposed the Wall Street Reform legislation and specifically cited the creation of the Consumer Protection Agency. He stated that the bill did nothing to oversee the areas that caused the meltdown, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

Sarbanes-Oxley

In May of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the COMPETE Act to remove some of the regulatory burdens associated with Sarbanes-Oxley.

In April of 2007, Senator DeMint again introduced the America Competes Act to reform Sarbanes-Oxley. He spoke about the legislation on the Senate floor and talked about the effects on American business.

 

  

Opposition to Senate Housing Bill and Tax Credits

In April of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the Senate home ownership bill. He stated that the legislation would make the tax code more complex and wasn't much more than a bailout.

In June of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the bailout of the housing industry.

In June of 2010, Senator DeMint spoke about the Democrats attempt to renew the homebuyer tax credit for an additional year. He stated that it was time for the housing industry to stand on it's own, and that it was unfair for some taxpayers to subsidize the purchases of others.

 

Press Statement - Countrywide Investigation

In June of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his belief that the bailout for CountryWide should be investigated.

 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lobbying

In July of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his belief that since the US government was bailing out the institutions, that Fannie Maw and Freddie Mac should not be allowed to lobby congress.

Senator DeMint ended up voting against the housing bailout and stated that the bailout crossed the line between freedom and socialism.

 

Opposition to the Bailout (TARP)

In September of 2008, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his opposition to the bailout of AIG.

Later in that month, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his overall disapproval of the bailout legislation.

In October of 2008, Senator DeMint spoke at length on the Senator floor about his opposition to the bailout, the government's role in the economic problems, and the lack of solutions to those problems addressed in the bailout.

In January of 2009, Senator DeMint appeared on Fox Business and spoke about his opposition to the authorization to the second installment of TARP.

 

Press Statement - Opposition to the Second TARP Installment

In January of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the authorization of the second half of the TARP funds.

Senator DeMint spoke on the Senate floor about his opposition to the second installment of the TARP in February of 2009. He noted his objections to the original bill and supported a resolution by Senator Vitter to denounce the TARP legislation.

 

 

Opposition to the stimulus

In February of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the Obama stimulus. He stated that the bill would not solve economic problems, but would dramatically grow government, reverse 1996 welfare reforms, and expand government control of health care.

In February of 2009, Senator DeMint wrote an op-ed calling the stimulus an anit-freedom bill. He stated that the idea that the government alone possessed the ability to solve the economic problems is a fallacy. He stated that the basic premise that spending money you don't have creates stimulus is flawed.

In a floor speech opposing the legislation, Senator DeMint called the stimulus bill a mugging that was intended to launch the US towards a European type government. 

 

Jobs Plan

In January of 2009, Senator DeMint spoke in a video about his opposition to the stimulus being proposed by President Obama and the Democrats. He stated that the bill could not be dealt with and must be defeated. He also proposed a plan to create jobs through tax cuts.

That same month, Senator DeMint also wrote an op-ed in which he described the plan to make the Bush Tax cuts permanent, and lower the marginal tax rates for all. He also reiterated his opposition to the stimulus, stating that the jobs it creates will be fewer than promised, appear more slowly than promised, and disappear just as easily as they were created.

 

Subpeona of AIG Funds

In March of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting a letter that he and Senators Vitter and Bunning had sent to the the ranking members of the Senate and House Banking Committees. The letter asked for these committees to subpoena the AIG contract records to ensure that the bonuses which were paid were indeed legally obligated bonuses.

 

Opposition to the Auto Bailouts

In April of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement where he noted his intention to introduce an amendment to prevent future use of the TARP program to bailout the automobile companies.

In a 2010 campaign video, Senator DeMint spoke about his opposition to the GM bailout and his belief that the companies union obligations make it unsustainable without reorganization.

 

In June of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting that GM had gone bankrupt and that his previous statements concerning loans to GM were true - a bankruptcy was inevitable.

 

Press Statement - Amendment to Stop Common Stock Purchase

In April of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting an amendment he was introducing to stop the Treasury from purchasing common stock. 

 

Opposition to IMF or European Bailouts

In May of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting an amendment he intended to put forth which would prevent any funding from going to the IMP to bail out foreign countries.

In May of 2010, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting the European Bailout Prevention Act which he was introducing.

 

Press Statement - Solving Government with Government

In June of 2009, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting that the main problem with the financial markets was government intervention and that the President's solution was more government involvement.

In January of 2010, Senator DeMint repeated these assertions in another press statement, noting that it was government involvement that encouraged these banks to make the loans and government involvement that bailed them out.

 

Press Statement - War Funding and Bailout

In June of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the attachment of bailout funds to a war funding bill.

 

Opposition to Second Stimulus

In February of 2010, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to a possible second stimulus. 


 

Press Statement - REINS Act

In September of 2010, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the REINS Act.

 

Opposition to Financial Reform Bill

In May of 2010, Senator DeMint issued an op-ed calling the bank reform legislation the latest failure in the long line which included the TARP and the stimulus.

 

Government's Role in the Economic Crisis

 

Opposition to Cash for Clunkers

Sentor DeMint was strongly opposed to the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

 

Campaign Video (2010)

In July of 2010, Senator DeMint several videos on numerous subjects. In one of those videos, he discussed the economy and it's relation to spending.

 

Campaign Video (2008)

 

2010 Re-Election Website Statements

 

 

Statements on Official Website

 

 

Voting Record

Wall Street Reform

In 2010, the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. The legislation consolidated many financial regulatory agencies, increased transparency in the derivatives market, regulation of credit rating agencies, and a "resolution regime" to resolve insolvent banks. Jim DeMint voted against the Wall Street Reform Legislation.

Jim DeMint voted against the Wall Street Reform Legislation.

The Stimulus

After the stimulus passed the House, the conference report was voted on to pass the unified version. Jim DeMint voted against the Stimulus in the final vote.

Jim DeMint voted against the Stimulus in the final vote.

The Stimulus

The Obama stimulus package passed through the Senate in January of 2009 and received the support of all Democrats and three Republicans. Jim DeMint voted against the stimulus in the initial vote.

Jim DeMint voted against the stimulus in the initial vote.

TARP Funds - Disapproval of Second Installment

In January of 2009, the Senate voted to released the second half of TARP funds to President Obama. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the resolution and against the second installment of TARP funds.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the resolution and against the second installment of TARP funds.

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 was a program designed to assist those who may be able to remain in their home with a modest amount of government assistance. The bill got wide bi-partisan support in the Senate and passed 91-5. Jim DeMint voted against the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

Jim DeMint voted against the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

The TARP program was designed to prevent the failure of large banks by purchasing their "troubled assets" and allowing them to move them off their records as liabilities. The bill received both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition and passed 74-25 with the two parties making up about half of each vote. In January of 2009, the Senate voted on granting the second half of the TARP funds to President Obama. Jim DeMint voted against the TARP program.

Jim DeMint voted against the TARP program.

The Bush Stimulus

In early 2008, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008 was passed in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Also known as the Bush Stimulus, the act consisted largely of checks sent to individuals. The bill received wide bipartisan support and passed the Senate 81-16. Jim DeMint voted against the Bush Stimulus.

Jim DeMint voted against the Bush Stimulus.

Bankruptcy Reform

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 completely redefined bankruptcy in the United States. The bill made it much more '); echo('for people to walk away from unsecured debt, such as credit cards, and permitted the court to award some compensation to creditors in the event that a bankruptcy was awarded. The bill got bipartisan support and passed 74-25. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Bankruptcy Reform bill.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Bankruptcy Reform bill.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 64; A bill to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to require approval by the Congress for certain expenditures for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the process for exercising the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make purchases of troubled assets in excess of the $350 billion previously obligated.Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding the exercise of such authority, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary from exercising authority to make such purchases unless a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise the authority.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 64; A bill to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to require approval by the Congress for certain expenditures for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the process for exercising the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make purchases of troubled assets in excess of the $350 billion previously obligated.Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding the exercise of such authority, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary from exercising authority to make such purchases unless a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise the authority.

Session-111; Bill Number-S J Res 5; A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of obligations under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 - Cosponsor

Declares that Congress disapproves the obligation of any funds that exceed specified amounts authorized for the purchase of troubled assets by the Secretary of the Treasury under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 3683; To Require Approval for Spending TARP Funds - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the limitation on the Secretary of the Treasury's authority to purchase troubled assets through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding authority to purchase troubled assets, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary, that is, from exercising any authority to make any such purchases with regard to any TARP amount authorized, and unobligated as of November 14, 2008, unless within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise such authority, a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 256; Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend title 11 of the United States Code, and for other purposes.

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