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Earlier, Steve Singiser pointed out that former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, currently challenging John McCain for the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona, is hardly the only Republican to have slammed government programs in public while personally profiting from them in private.

Here's another name to add to the list: Fred Thompson.

In September 2008, Thompson decried government-backed mortgages as the cause of financial meltdown:

Lost in this immense, complex mess is the root problem most people are missing: the government is gradually becoming the guarantor of seemingly every important aspect of American secular life, creating incentives and bureaucracies that cause failure and invite fraud.

In Fan and Fred’s case, it was in no one’s interest to turn off the bubble machine. Just the opposite. The system induced borrowers to take on financial obligations they could not afford and lenders to lower lending standards. Fannie and Freddie went along because their managers’ compensation depended on the firms’ short term financial performance. And investors continued to buy complex security packages they didn’t understand, because the securities were viewed as government-backed.

Flash forward to 2010 and now Thompson is a TV pitchman for -- you guessed it -- a business selling government-backed mortgages.

Money quote:

THOMPSON: A government-insured reverse mortgage allows seniors stay in their own home and to turn their equity into tax-free cash without any monthly mortgage payments. They ought to call my friends at AAG. They can help you or your parents. To find out more is absolutely free.
Unfortunately, it's not like Thompson has suddenly become a progressive on economic policy. As Gawker points out, the company he's pitching for has been sued by attorneys general in Massachusetts and Illinois for deceptive marketing practices.
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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 04:30 PM PDT.

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