Letter writer Gene Robke keeps blaming President Bush for the present state of the economy. What he fails to note is the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, which peaked about 2005-2006. High default rates on subprime and adjustable rate mortgages began to increase quickly thereafter.
Lenders began originating large numbers of high-risk mortgages from around 2004-2007. Loans from those years exhibited higher default rates than loans made either before or after.
If the Senate Bill "Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Act of 2005" had been enacted, it could have reined in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs, or government sponsored enterprises) before they had led the entire lending industry to ruin. In 2003, five years before the meltdown, Republicans took control of the Senate. On July 31, 2003, in the 108th Congress, recognizing the dangers in Fannie and Freddie, and after hearings where Fannie and Freddie were taken to the carpet for improper practices, Senators John Sununu (R-NH), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) introduced legislation to strengthen and improve oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This bill (S.1508) passed the Senate Banking Committee, with Democrats opposing. With opposition by Democrats, traditionally seen as evidence that a bill will never pass the 60 vote cloture rule for a floor vote, the bill died in the 108th Congress.
The U.S. housing crisis is seen as the root cause of 2008 financial crisis. Freddie and Fannie issued trillions of dollars in loans before being put into conservatorship.