Got into a bit of a political discussion today with a father and son. It started out innocently enough, talking about what PBO's re-election means for the country. We agreed that the President would be better for social issues.
"But Romney would have been better for economic issues," said the son.
"Yes, Republicans are more business-like in how they run the country. They do better with balancing budgets."
I countered that the data I had seen showed that the Democrats reduce the deficit and Republicans expand it. And that more jobs are created when the president is a Dem rather than a Rep.
He insisted that the data he had seen showed that he was right and I'm not persuaded at this point. I talked about the economic freefall the country was in when Obama came into power and the jobs data but he wasn't persuaded. Then his dad chimed in with something I wasn't sure about.
The father stated that Clinton had sowed the seeds for the housing bubble by not only deregulating the mortgage lenders but also by telling the lenders that if they didn't provide mortgages to those who couldn't afford them the government would go after the lenders. Is there any kernel of truth in what he said? Was there actual pressure from the Clinton government pushing the mortgage market?
He also said that Chrysler had posted a huge quarterly loss (half a billion dollars?) at the end of the Clinton era so the signs of the impending economic downturn were already visible.
They didn't argue that the Bush administration had messed up the economy but that was more in the context of "all politicians are liars and they're out to line their own pockets and screw the rest of us."
Those are the main points that I remember at the moment. I will update if I remember anything else.
So my questions are:
(1) On what basis could the son have said the Republicans are better for the economy? Is there any data that could support this?
(2) Did Clinton cause the housing bubble? Did Clinton threaten mortgage lenders if they refused someone a mortgage?
(3) Was Chrysler posting losses at the end of the Clinton era? If so, why were they losing money? (I'm thinking bad products rather than economy but open to being educated.)
All help gratefully appreciated.